OAKLAND — Robin Ventura is secure in his decision to rip his team.
On Monday the manager passionately expanded upon why he was so upset with his White Sox players following Sunday’s loss to the Arizona Diamondbacks.
That he could become that angry after returning from his daughter’s college graduation — and that he would rehash it again Monday at length — gives you an idea how upset Ventura was with his players and what he doesn’t want to see from them again.
“I could tell right when I walked in,” Ventura said. “I got there from airport and you could kind of tell it was flat. You’re trying to get them going and it was flat the whole time. The first play kind of set me off from there. It was just flat the whole time, and the position we’re in with as many guys hurt and the way we’re trying to get through this period right now, you can’t come out flat. You don’t want to see it any time, but there are exceptions to it. Right now, you can’t play that way.”
Teams often get accused of looking flat when they don’t hit, as the White Sox often were in 2013.
Lack of offense and lack of energy go hand in hand.
Though Ventura got upset with his players on the same day that Arizona rookie Chase Anderson and four relievers combined on a four-hitter, the manager said it was much more than just getting shut down by the opposition.
“It has nothing to do with that,” Ventura said. “I can tell the way we are by the way it is in our dugout. I can tell. And I know what it’s like. It’s not like I haven’t had a day when I felt flat. You can either give in to it or you can try and change it. And I didn’t think anybody tried to change it. They knew what I was thinking during the game. They knew exactly what I was thinking during the game. That’s what comes out.
“There are times when you try to help them by not having batting practice on a day game but we seem to, as a group, have a day like that when you give them some rope to let them rest and it ends up going too far. And you can say it’s lethargic or, whatever, but I know what it feels like I’ve been on a team that it happens like that. It’s not like I don’t know from experience or know what it looks like.”
Catcher Tyler Flowers said he thought the White Sox looked flat in large part because of Anderson. But he also said he’s so focused on working with the pitcher that he doesn’t have time to take stock of the clubhouse and dugout as Ventura would.
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“He gets to oversee everything,” Flowers said. “He can take in everybody’s energy or their lack thereof. Kind of easy for him to see all that. … It seemed like he wasn’t pleased with that.”
Flowers said the White Sox have played with good energy this season, that it has consistently been good. While Ventura agrees for the most part he doesn’t want any lapses and chose Sunday to send a message.
“It’s your responsibility of showing up every day and what it’s supposed to be like every day,” Ventura said. “And that wasn’t there yesterday.”