Lame duck status not a concern for Ventura

Lame duck status not a concern for Ventura
December 31, 2013, 1:30 pm
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He has operated this way before so Robin Ventura said he won’t sweat it that he has only one year left on his contract.

Technically you could say the White Sox manager qualifies for lame duck status as his current deal ends at the conclusion of the 2014 season.

But Ventura -- who bypassed a chance before the start of the 2013 season to extend his current deal -- said earlier this month he has always dealt with the White Sox in this fashion and isn’t worried. He also reiterated he likes his job and would like to remain with the White Sox beyond 2014 earlier this month at the winter meetings in Lake Buena Vista, Fla.

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“I don't think about it,” Ventura said. “Again, I enjoy doing what I'm doing, I love who I work for. I'm just getting ready for the season. And whatever happens from here on happens. But I'm happy with what I do. I would like to keep doing it. But, again, that will be for later.”

Ventura carries a 148-176 managerial record after two seasons in the White Sox dugout. Since he assumed the title in 2012 Ventura has faced tons of speculation on whether or not he really wants the role. While Ventura sarcastically joked near the end of 2012 that he was just trying to get through one year, he has repeatedly made a point of it to note how much he enjoyed the job in 2013 despite the consistent chaos provided by a 99-loss team.

Late in the season Ventura said he hopes to stay with the White Sox beyond 2014.

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“I can envision doing more,” Ventura said in September. “I would like to do more. But again, we’ll get to that after next year. You enjoy (the teaching). You don’t enjoy the losing. But again, nothing’s guaranteed. If you like the job and like coming here every day and doing what we’re doing, take the winning and losing out of it, of liking the job, I like the job.”

White Sox general manager Rick Hahn said he enjoys the working relationship he has with Ventura. As Hahn notes, Ventura has faced a “wide spectrum” of situations in his first two seasons beginning with the death of batting practice assistant Kevin Hickey in 2012. Ventura, 46, and his coaching staff have handled everything in the manner the White Sox have wanted.

“He's met the challenges this team's put in front of him over the last two years, both the good and the bad, extremely well,” Hahn said in September. “Results matter, but it's also about communication, enthusiasm, the ability to get the most out of players. We certainly had some challenges here, but I think Robin's met all of them very well.”

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Ventura doesn’t see a contract extension as one of his obstacles for 2014. His focus will be on the field and helping to develop a now-inexperienced roster of position players. Then he and the White Sox brass can worry about the future.

“I’d like to fulfill what I’m doing and when we get done with three Rick and I will talk and I’m sure Jerry will be there and if they want me to do this I would like to do it,” Ventura said. “Again, both sides kind of have to be in agreement on that to make that happen. It’s fair at the end of three, you can look at it again and see if they still think I’m the right guy to do it.”