After eight years, the Chicago White Sox decided to part ways with their World Series-winning manager Ozzie Guillen. The club shipped Ozzie to South Beach before the 2011 season ended, and the front office wasted no time replacing him with former White Sox third baseman Robin Ventura.
Ventura spent 16 seasons in the big leagues, 10 of which were served with the White Sox. He was inducted into the College Baseball Hall of Fame in 2010.
Now he's got a new task to focus on: to take the White Sox back to the playoffs as the team's skipper.
Ozzie Guillen's last year with the club was not an ideal one when it came to success on the field. Blame that on GM Kenny Williams or Ozzie himself, but owner Jerry Reinsdorf decided that a change needed to be made. That change was to bring Ventura in as the team's manager, even though he has zero experience as a manager.
It's going to be tough to fill Ozzie's shoes because of the World Series championship he won, but recently there hasn't been too much success on the South Side.
Apparently that all started with the manager.
The following slides show why Robin Ventura will be a better manager than Ozzie Guillen.
Do the math. That's not very good bang for your buck.
Not many people doubted the Adam Dunn signing prior to the 2011 season because of the numbers he put up in Washington, but he had one of the worst big-league seasons ever. I doubt Dunn signed his $56M contract with the White Sox and planned on being a bum for those four years.
Following the White Sox 2011 season, the offseason is a time for guys like Rios and Dunn to regain the mental edge they had in the past and forget about their flaws from the previous season.
Dunn and Rios will both need to work their tails off in the offseason to prove they are not only worthy of their hefty contracts, but that they're even worthy enough to be placed in the everyday lineup for the new skipper Robin Ventura.
Even though Ozzie Guillen was a World Series champion, he came with a lot of baggage and distractions. Guillen didn't hesitate to throw his team under the bus and criticize them publicly.
It seems like some players on the team didn't appreciate that and it affected their play on the field.
Ventura is new to the managing games, and because he has no experience at this level the last thing he'd want to do is upset his players this early and cause poor play.
The quicker he establishes himself as someone who cares about his players, the quicker his players will warm up to him and feel comfortable with him as their skipper.
Robin Ventura may be new to the managerial game, but he isn't new to the White Sox organization. Ventura spent 10 years of his career with the White Sox and he's certainly respected by Jerry Reinsdorf and Kenny Williams.
If the players in Ventura's clubhouse don't know who Robin Ventura is as a player, then they probably don't belong in the clubhouse. Ventura is going to be respected around the organization for what he did as a player.
Until he proves otherwise, there's no reason for the team to not respect him as a manager.
Ventura is going to be assisted by White Sox pitching coach Don Cooper. Judging by the recent success Coop has had with his pitching staff, he should be respected as well.
So if Cooper is on Ventura's side, then the rest of the clubhouse will have to be too.
Many times throughout the 2011 White Sox season, it seemed as if Ozzie Guillen was making managerial decisions in order to spite GM Kenny Williams.
It was almost as if Ozzie refused to sit the dead weight in Alex Rios and Adam Dunn on the bench because of how much money they were making per year. And the reason they were making that much money was because of Kenny Williams' decisions in past offseasons.
Ventura is coming into this situation as a new manager, and he's going to have to prove himself worthy enough to hang on to that job for years to come. He's going to have to play the best players every day based on match-ups, even if that means sitting Rios one day in order to get Alejandro De Aza a chance to shine.
Ventura, if anything, is thankful the White Sox gave him this opportunity. He's not going to blow it in order to spite his GM.