Focus for Hahn, Ventura remains in dugout
General manager supports manager, implements new review procedures
CHICAGO -- Rick Hahn needed exactly one word to answer a question Monday at U.S. Cellular Field as to whether he was happy with the job done by White Sox manager Robin Ventura.
"Absolutely," said Hahn.
Ventura's detractors might not want to hear Hahn's support.
The story is an old one for the situation where Ventura currently resides. The White Sox came into the 2015 campaign with lofty expectations, but have gotten off to a 4-7 start against American League Central opponents.
Mix in an unsuccessful two-strike bunt attempt by Adam Eaton with two on and nobody out in the ninth inning Wednesday against Cleveland, along with the replay controversy in the ninth inning Friday at Detroit, both resulting in tough losses, and the pressure gets more intense. Both Ventura and Hahn understand it's part of the job.
"There is also a personnel management side of the game that most people aren't privy to," said Hahn of Ventura. "You guys as media members see some of it, but not all of it. And the strengths in that area are very high and very strong and something we are very pleased with."
"That's part of the job," Ventura said. "The focus for me is what we're doing and how to make it better and turn it around. Stuff on the outside is always going to be there regardless. Even if we're winning, there will be criticism and things like that. The focus is in here and trying to turn it around, not kind of the outside stuff."
Hahn was in Detroit on Friday and had a chance to talk with all parties involved about the play involving Nick Castellanos stretching a single into double and the call not being challenged despite Castellanos looking out and standing as the winning run with nobody out. He admitted that the game situation is "highly relevant" in those instances and that the White Sox "messed it up."
"It happens," Hahn said. "There is a chain of events that went wrong, starting with the umpire missing the call, which is going to happen on a bang-bang play, to our video guys not getting the look they needed in time and giving bad information to the bench.
"And to Robin making a decision that despite the game-changing nature of the call, all right we hear from the bench, it's not worth reviewing and we're not going to review it. We made some changes that night to our processes to how we review things and I think we will be better for it moving forward. It's unfortunate, but we messed it up and we own it.
"Look, it was a mistake," Hahn said. "These things happen. Now we're going to clean it up."