By Jim Owczarski
Frustrated by a lack of production by several high-priced players last season -- and by a perceived lack of attention by the manager in not benching those players - a White Sox fan asked new manager Robin Ventura during a question and answer session Saturday afternoon at SoxFest how, and when, he would sit a player down.
Ventura lightened the mood with a bit of humor to start his answer, saying you simply invite the player over to the bench. He then related how he had been benched at various points in his 16-year career.
Every time I got sat down a manager very directly and honestly with me explained it to me, Ventura told the fan. Its my belief that Im not going to treat everybody the same, but Im going to treat everybody fairly. Paul Konerko is going to be treated differently than rookie who was just called up. Thats the way it is and thats way Im going to operate.
But I am going to be honest if a guy needs to get a few days off, or if he needs the whole season off, hell get the whole season off.
Ventura chuckled as he made that last statement, but it drew a heavy applause.
During a media session on Friday, Ventura said he and his entire staff will meet and decide whats best for the player and the team, should that situation arise.
As a staff, if we feel like its time to make a change, maybe give a guy a breather were different, Ventura said. We have a few different people in here making those decisions so its going to be different. I havent been to spring training yet, so I cant sit here and say Im going to give them 10 at bats and if hes not hitting .900 hes out. Its an unfair thing to do to a player.