Bench coach Parent dismissed by White Sox
Baines also reassigned at his own request to ambassador role
CHICAGO -- The White Sox will be looking for two new coaches for manager Robin Ventura's staff following the dismissal Friday of bench coach Mark Parent and reassignment of assistant hitting coach Harold Baines.
Parent, who has served as bench coach for the entirety of Ventura's tenure as manager, was informed Thursday night that his expiring contract would not be extended. Baines, an icon within the organization, requested a move to an ambassador's role. He will be around in Spring Training and will work with hitters at home games from time to time.
No other changes to Ventura's staff are anticipated.
"It's a tough day because he's a friend, and it didn't work out," said Ventura of Parent's departure.
"We did get to the point where we think it is important to add a different voice to our coaching staff," said White Sox general manager Rick Hahn, who spoke with the media for more than 22 minutes on Friday. "Mark is a good baseball man and it is unfortunate that how we have played out on the field is having these repercussions for him personally."
Ventura and the White Sox front office met for more than nine hours during Monday's off-day to map out plans for the future and, specifically, 2016. Parent's fate basically was decided during that meeting, but Parent was officially informed after Thursday's 6-4 loss to the Royals.
Parent was given a chance to stay through the weekend, but he did not want to be where he wasn't wanted. Hahn and Ventura also offered to talk to him about the dismissal, but Parent declined.
"Unless [Hahn] said, 'I have another big league job for you,' there was nothing I wanted to hear," Parent told MLB.com Friday morning. "I tried to be accountable for what I did with my job. If they didn't think it was good enough, they are the bosses. It's up to them to go on to the next."
"I felt it best to do it face to face," Ventura said. "You could wait until the end of the year and it would be a phone call. But I didn't feel that was fair to him, and that's not what you do."
The next White Sox bench coach figures to have a strong feel for analytics, and possibly prior managerial or more extensive coaching experience. The White Sox also are looking to add a Latin American coach to the staff, but those could be two separate hires.
Raul Ibanez has been bantered about as a possibility, but Hahn and Ventura would only say a list of candidates had been assembled. Hahn was asked directly about Ozzie Guillen, the former White Sox manager, as a bench coach candidate, but acknowledged that wasn't going to happen. He felt Guillen was better suited to be a manager.
"There's a few areas where we need to get stronger, and I feel that was missing in certain areas from our coaching staff," Hahn said. "Someone who can help from certain in-game tactical decisions in a different way and has strengths in some different areas."