Ventura is happy, comfortable heading into second season

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Ventura is happy, comfortable heading into second season

With the uncertainty of his first season out of the way, White Sox manager Robin Ventura made it clear Wednesday hes excited to return.

Ventura admits he needed to feel out his new position in 2012 after he took over for long-time skipper Ozzie Guillen. As Ventura waded his way through the season, speculation arose he might not be interested in managing long term. But Ventura, who spoke during a Wednesday morning visit to the Gilda Club, a free cancer support community for men, women and children, said he is ready to get his second season underway.

White Sox pitchers and catchers will report to the teams Glendale, Ariz. facility and hold their first workout on Feb. 12.

Im excited to do what I do, said Ventura, who finished third in the American League manager of the year vote in 2012. I love it. Last year there was a little bit of the unknown that went into it. This year I know what it is, I know who Im working for. I love where Im at and Im excited. I like the team we have. Im ready to get to spring training.

A first time anything when it came to the coaching staff, Ventura had plenty to learn last season. The former third basemans experience outside the announcers booth was restricted to one season as a minor-league instructor, which meant Ventura had to start from the beginning after he was a surprise hire in November 2011. With all those introductions out of the way, its not a surprise Ventura feels much more comfortable this time around.

Its a different feeling for me, Ventura said. Last year was more of meeting everybody and making sure plans were put in order for spring training. Im more confident for that stuff now. I didnt know that I liked it last year because I hadnt done it yet. But yeah, I enjoy what Im doing, and again, I like where Im at as far as who Im working for. Im lucky to have a great staff. Thats very important. When you like who you are working with, it makes your job easier.

Ex-White Sox Jesse Crain hosting charity event featuring Paul Konerko, George Brett

Ex-White Sox Jesse Crain hosting charity event featuring Paul Konerko, George Brett

GLENDALE, Ariz. -- Ex-White Sox pitcher Jesse Crain is hosting a local charity golfing event featuring Paul Konerko, Matt Thornton and Hall of Famer George Brett among others.

Crain, who pitched for the White Sox for three seasons and was an All-Star in 2013, and his wife, Becky, recently created the Crain Family Foundation to benefit children. 

The couple is hosting the Swing into Spring event at Top Golf in Scottsdale, Ariz. on Monday night, which is designed to benefit the Tandem Resource Center, Arizona RBI Baseball and Autism Speaks. Crain expects between 25-30 current and former players will participate in the event, which is open to the public.

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"Me and my wife had wanted to start a foundation for a long time with the platform that we'd give back to kids any way possible," Crain said. "We just want to be able to help kids in whatever capacity, whether through medical, hardships or whatever it may be."

Crain, who was at Camelback Ranch on Wednesday, said planning for the event began in October. Though he had wanted to begin a foundation during his playing career, Crain said after planning the event he knows he wouldn't have had the appropriate amount of time while he was an active player.

Among those scheduled to attend are Cody Ross, David Aardsma, Jonny Gomes, Nick Punto, JJ Putz, Brandon Webb, Justin Morneau, Matt Lindstrom, Scott Feldman, Nate Jones, Mark Melancon, Denard Span and Chad Qualls. Crain also hopes to convince a few more current White Sox players. He said reservations for the event or donations can be made through Crainfamilyfoundation.org.

Todd Frazier out with left oblique strain

Todd Frazier out with left oblique strain

GLENDALE, Ariz. -- White Sox third baseman Todd Frazier has been sidelined with what he's describing as a left oblique strain.  

Frazier — who produced a career high 40 home runs and 98 RBIs last season — said he injured himself swinging on Monday. White Sox manager Rick Renteria said Frazier is day-to-day and the club would take advantage of the extra time on the spring training calendar this season.
 
The veteran also said he expects to be cautious with the injury and thorough.

"Just felt a little tightness in my left side," Frazier said. "That's what spring training is for, you've got to just be careful. (Athletic trainer Herm Schneider has) been working with me the past day and a half. I don't feel like it's anything that serious, but we have so much time. Let's take a break, take a few days off and hopefully it keeps getting better and better.

"It's something I've dealt with before. But at the same time, from what I've heard they're not anything to mess with. So let's take a couple days and see how it is after a couple days and go from there."

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The White Sox begin their exhibition season on Saturday with a contest against the Los Angeles Dodgers. But the team's regular season opener isn't for another 5 1/2 weeks, which should give Frazier ample time to rest, rehab and prepare. The White Sox open the 2017 campaign at home on April 3 against the Detroit Tigers. 

"He's been working good," Renteria said. "I just saw him, he's smiling. He's day to day and we'll re-evaluate and see where he's at.

"We'll back him up. We're taking it day to day. We'll see where he's at before I can determine how far back we can push him back."