Ventura does not have managerial experience and wasn't the best candidate for the job.
An accomplished third baseman who had 294 career homers and 1,182 RBIs, Ventura played for the White Sox from 1989-1998. However, Ventura did not manage in the minor leagues or majors. Ozzie was not a manager, but he was a Marlins and Montreal Expos coach for three years.
"I wanted someone who met very specific criteria centered around his leadership abilities," general manager Kenny Williams told the Associated Press. "Robin Ventura was that man. His baseball knowledge and expertise, his professionalism, his familiarity with the White Sox and Chicago and his outstanding character make him absolutely the right person to lead our clubhouse and this organization into the seasons ahead."
After Ozzie Guillen's departure to the Florida Marlins, Williams was looking at Terry Francona, Sandy Alomar Jr. and Davey Martinez as possible replacements.
Francona had the most experience by managing the Philadelphia Phillies (1997-2000) and the Boston Red Sox (2004-2011). He is 1,029-915, with five playoff appearances and two World Series titles. He also was a manager in the White Sox farm system in the 1990s, so he had familiarity with the organization.
Martinez, a former White Sox, is the bench coach for the Tampa Bay Rays. In an interview with the Chicago Tribune, Rays' manager Joe Maddon said Martinez deals with players in the clubhouse, leads workouts and is ready to manage. Martinez said he has been managing the game in his head for years as a player and has helped Maddon make in-game decisions during his entire tenure.
Alomar, a former Sox as well, was a good defensive catcher during his long career. Alomar was a catcher's instructor two years for the New York Mets and two-year coach with the Cleveland Indians, recently being promoted to bench coach.
Another possible candidate more qualified than Ventura was Ryne Sanberg, who has managed minor league teams for the Chicago Cubs and Philadelphia Phillies for six years.
Even though owner Jerry Reinsdorf doesn't like spending big on managers, Ventura was not the best candidate out there. While he does have experience with the organization, the lack of coaching experience could be felt next year.
Having a rookie manager will not help attract top free-agent talent, as it looks like the Sox are in rebuilding mode. Mark Buehrle might decide that the White Sox are not committed to winning now and leave as a free agent.
Hopefully, Williams knows what he is doing, because if Ventura struggles mightily like Cubs' skipper Mike Quade has, he might not return.
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