Is Ventura telling Big Donkey a joke?
The reasoning begins with the man himself.
Ventura found success during his first year as White Sox skipper because he is an exceptional communicator.
White Sox general manager Rick Hahn noted as much when he told ESPN.com’s Doug Padilla that from “communicating with the players to setting the tone to focus on what helps us win that night’s game,” Ventura reaches his players.
And while the GM heaps praise upon him, Ventura is not satisfied with the successes found in 2012 and knows that growth is the result of hard work.
"Getting better," Ventura continued,"with in-game stuff, in-between game stuff and even after-game stuff with you guys would hopefully be what I get better at."
See—for as much success as 2012 brought—Ventura knows he must improve. That is step one in avoiding a drop-off during his second year at the helm.
The White Sox have a solid 25-man roster, and their strength appears to be the pitching—both their starting rotation and their bullpen.
In addition to what should be excellent starting pitching, the bullpen that found success in 2012 will be a year older. And when there were as many as five rookies coming out of the pen at any one time last season, a year older means more than it may seem.
Is it realistic to believe that Ventura will be as successful in 2013?
For as much as the pitching staff let the team down late in the season, it was largely an overachieving group of young pitchers that led the way to a second-place finish in the division.
Ventura did one heck of a job in 2012.
With no desire to rest on his laurels, the respect of his players and a pitching staff that should only be better, Ventura will exceed the success he found during his first year at the helm.