Ventura coaching for today, not the future

Ventura coaching for today, not the future
February 12, 2013, 6:15 pm
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GLENDALE, Ariz. -- Robin Ventura isn’t one to look far into the future.

Before a baseball game, don’t ask him about what he’ll do in the ninth inning. He’s mostly concerned about what’s going to happen in the first.

The same is true for him as White Sox manager. Ventura is entering the second year of the three-year contract he signed in October of 2011. But when the White Sox went to him this winter and offered a one-year contract extension, Ventura said "no."

This isn’t to say that he won’t manage after his current contract expires.  He’s just not ready to commit to anything past it.

“You can see doing it longer, I think there’s also a point where it needs to be somebody else,” Ventura said Tuesday in an interview with Comcast SportsNet. “I think you can either burn out or people stop listening to you, or that affect goes away. When that happens, then it’s time for somebody else to do it.”

When the White Sox went looking for a replacement for Ozzie Guillen, nobody thought Ventura would be that somebody. However, in his first season as manager, he led the White Sox to 85 victories and was a finalist for American League Manager of the Year. Not bad for someone who had no professional managing, or even coaching, experience.

Ventura said Tuesday, “I love what I’m doing.” It’s a statement he wasn’t sure he’d ever be able to make when he first accepted the job. He admitted going into last season with some trepidation. But now with a full season of managing under his belt, he now sees himself possibly staying in the job longer than he originally thought--even if he’s not ready to sign on the dotted line.

“I think it changes how I thought about it last year. I was just trying to get through three years of it, just to make sure I can concentrate on that and get it done the right way,” he said. “Some people think they’re going to do it for a long time and it doesn’t work out that way, so I’m just enjoying each season as it comes, to be prepared for it and enjoy it.”

His approach to managing is a lot like playing: You don’t get to do it forever.

“You could probably do it for most of your life,” Ventura said. “But I don’t see it happening forever.”