Ventura 'committed' to managing White Sox
In light of Sandberg's resignation, skipper familiar with tough times, but has support of Williams
DETROIT -- Robin Ventura didn't know the exact set of circumstances that caused Ryne Sandberg to resign as Phillies manager on Friday. But Ventura certainly understands the job's tough nature as a member of this exclusive fraternity.
Ventura truly understands being at the helm of a surprisingly underachieving team, with the White Sox entering Friday night's contest at 32-40. He doesn't foresee a circumstance that would cause him to walk away from the White Sox, reaching that enough-is-enough sort of moment in his fourth year on the job.
"I'm committed to getting this out of these guys. I believe in these guys," Ventura said. "Where I'm at and the people I work with, again if they didn't have faith in me, I'd already be gone. That's the part you work with and you get through."
Blaming the manager or the coaching staff as a whole becomes the natural reaction when a team expected to contend for a postseason spot, such as the 2015 White Sox, falls well off the pace. It holds especially true when many of the mistakes plaguing the South Siders are defensive and baserunning fundamentals.
White Sox executive vice president Ken Williams, who is making his first road trip of the season, doesn't fault Ventura or the coaching staff for the team's shortcomings. He believes the instruction and leadership is there in abundance, if not always followed.
"We've faltered, that's obvious, and we've got our shortcomings. But it's not with the coaching staff," Williams said. "We have one of the best guys that I consider as a hitting coach [Todd Steverson] around. And these guys are given a plan every day to succeed. And they are worked with as individuals to harness their strengths. So I'm as confident as I've ever been about a guy in that position.
"With regards to Robin, listen, you only have so much control as a manager on your overall team play. He will be the first to admit they haven't played, they haven't followed the direction as much as he would have liked. But what we have to look at in management, and it falls no further than my desk, what we have to look at is: Have we given him the right pieces?
"If they are underperforming to this degree as a whole, then I would have to say right now, and I've told the chairman [Jerry Reinsdorf] this, no, at the end of the day, it falls on my desk," Williams said. "I hired the manager. I hired the general manager."
As far as handling the criticism and negative comments thrown in his direction, Ventura relies on "thick skin" to navigate the tough spots.
"There is a certain element to that that you have to have thick skin and come in every day to grind and try to get the best out of what's here and continue that part of it," Ventura said. "It's tough. Some days those are the tough ones, but it's the best thing to have is the thick skin. There is mean stuff that goes on, but that's part of doing the job, really."