Renteria runner-up for Manager of the Year

November 11th, 2020

CHICAGO -- Rick Renteria was not part of Tuesday night’s MLB Network broadcast focusing upon the 2020 American League Manager of the Year, an award won by Tampa Bay’s Kevin Cash with Renteria finishing second. But Renteria’s absence was not surprising.

It probably had little to do with Renteria and the White Sox parting ways at the end of the 2020 season, a campaign marking Chicago's first playoff appearance since '08. Even when Renteria was running the team over the past four seasons, he didn’t particularly enjoy talking about himself.

Renteria’s intent always fell upon "us and we" instead of "I and me." In the process, Renteria and his staff helped take a talented young team from rebuilding to contention.

“He definitely has been in my corner ever since I stepped into the big leagues,” shortstop Tim Anderson said of Renteria, after Anderson won a Silver Slugger Award on Thursday. “He’s been there for me on and off the field.

“Just bringing out the best in me and [having me] continue to play hard, as well as teaching me the game. Staying on my butt as well. I can say a whole bunch of great things about him. He’s such a great guy, a great manager. It definitely was bittersweet to see him go. I reached out and wished him nothing but the best.”

After losing 284 games from 2017-19, Renteria guided the White Sox to their first season above .500 since 2012 with a 35-25 mark in '20. They tied Cleveland for second in the American League Central, sitting one game behind the Twins. The White Sox became the first AL team to clinch a playoff spot this season with a home victory over the Twins on Sept. 17, but they finished the regular season with a 2-8 stretch, including four straight losses in Cleveland.

Oakland eliminated the White Sox in three games during the AL Wild Card Series, with the A’s claiming a 6-4 victory in a deciding Game 3, during which Renteria employed nine pitchers who issued as many walks. Garrett Crochet, the team’s top pick in the 2020 Draft who threw 45 pitches at 100 mph or above in six Major League innings, was set to work three innings in Game 3 but left after recording two strikeouts due to a flexor strain in his left forearm.

Crochet also praised Renteria’s assistance during his first big league experience.

“Ricky was great to me,” Crochet said. “When I walked in, I was just a wide-eyed kid. He sat me down and made sure that I knew he was there for me if I had any questions. He is a great guy and I’m sorry to see him go.”

Ozzie Guillen was the last White Sox Manager of the Year in 2005, joining Jerry Manuel (2000), Gene Lamont (1993), Jeff Torborg (1990) and Tony La Russa, the current White Sox manager, who won the award in 1983. Renteria received five first-place votes, nine second-place votes and nine third-place votes from the Baseball Writers' Association of America voters, leaving him with 61 points. Cash finished with 22 first-place votes and 126 overall points, while Toronto’s Charlie Montoyo had two first-place votes and 47 points.

“Well, Ricky for me, was a great man on and off the field,” left fielder Eloy Jiménez said after receiving his Silver Slugger Award. “He helped me a lot. On the field, he gave me the confidence to go out and play. He helped me every single day. I’m going to miss him, but business is business.”