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Ventura says 9/11 will 'always be a tough time'

Former Met witnessed recovery efforts first-hand

CHICAGO -- It has been 14 years since the most horrific tragedy in recent American history took place on Sept. 11, 2001, in New York. Time has not lessened the harsh impact for White Sox manager Robin Ventura, who was a member of the New York Mets at the time of the attacks.

"It'll always be a tough time. Everybody looks at it a little bit differently, but it's always a tough time to remember that," Ventura said. "You remember a lot. We weren't in New York, but we did a lot around that. Playing for the Mets at that time, Shea Stadium a place where they put everything, all the supplies coming into New York were staged at Shea Stadium.

Video: Mets players speak about the first game back in NY

"We got to see first-hand the recovery effort of what you're trying to do, what people were doing, firefighters coming in from all over the place. It's sad. We knew people that were there. Everybody knew somebody, whether it was security guys that worked in your stadium to just people that were in the buildings."

Ventura had an acquaintance who was part of the estimated 3,000 killed. He thought about him Friday, and has thought about him many times since that day.

"It wasn't like I saw him all the time, but it's enough to shake you up," Ventura said. "I know a lot of people talk about the service people that were involved with it, but there were just regular people that were in that building that you knew, that you were acquaintances.

"When you think about it, it's still there. It's still pretty emotional."

The White Sox were in New York at the time of the attacks and returned to Yankee Stadium from Oct. 1-3.

"Even as players, it was hard for us to go out there and play at that point because it was there," Ventura said. "Everywhere you went you were dealing with people that had lost somebody."

Worth noting

Zach Putnam was reinstated from the disabled list prior to Friday's series opener with the Twins. The right-handed reliever was placed on the disabled list on Aug. 27 with a strained right groin.

Putnam has a 3-3 record with a 3.07 ERA and 55 strikeouts over 41 relief appearances and 41 innings for the White Sox this season. Putnam ranks fifth among American League relievers with an average of 12.07 strikeouts per nine innings.

• The White Sox will throw John Danks, Jeff Samardzija, Erik Johnson and Jose Quintana against the A's next week. That quartet of starters means rookie Carlos Rodon, who set a single-season innings high with his last start Tuesday, will have at least nine days between trips to the mound.

• Veteran reliever Jesse Crain made an appearance at U.S. Cellular Field on Friday. Crain was a non-roster invite to 2015 Spring Training and worked 5 1/3 innings for the Arizona Rookie League champion affiliate of the White Sox before being shut down on July 5 with soreness in his right shoulder. Crain has not pitched in a Major League game since June 29, 2013, with the White Sox.

Scott Merkin is a reporter for Read his blog, Merk's Works, follow him on Twitter @scottmerkin and listen to his podcast.
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