Chicago White Sox: Scott Powers

De Aza, Eaton take responsibility for loss

August, 2, 2014
Aug 2
10:28
PM CT
Powers By Scott Powers
ESPNChicago.com
Archive
Alejandro De AzaAP Photo/Nam Y. HuhAlejandro De Aza couldn't quite come down with Oswaldo Arcia's key two-run double in the eighth.

CHICAGO -- Adam Eaton and Alejandro De Aza each wished he could have had a play back from the latter innings of the Chicago White Sox's 8-6 loss to the Minnesota Twins on Saturday night.

For De Aza, it was a line drive to left field in the eighth inning, which he regretted he was unable to catch with two out. The hard-hit ball by the Twins’ Oswaldo Arcia turned De Aza around, but he still put himself in position to snatch it as he backpedalled deep in the outfield. The ball hit De Aza’s glove and fell to the ground. The two-run double put Minnesota ahead 7-6.

“It was a line drive over my head, and I just did two steps back and tried to jump and catch it,” De Aza said. “I think it hit the tip of my glove. I feel bad because I think I can make that play. Today it didn't happen. I'm going to try to work harder to not make that mistake again.”

White Sox manager Robin Ventura concurred with De Aza, but he didn’t blame him for the team’s loss.

“It’s one of those probably you look at it as he should make it,” Ventura said. “Tough play spinning around. He hit it hard. That’s the way it goes. We battled and did all the things to try to win a game, and you come up short. That’s it. There were a lot of other things that happened we could do better to win. I’m not pinning it on him. He had a good game. He could catch it, and most times he does. This time he didn’t.”

The play Eaton would rue came in the bottom half of the eighth. With the White Sox trailing by a run and a runner on first base with two out, Eaton smashed the ball off third baseman Trevor Plouffe's glove and into the left field. Eaton took off for first and never hesitated as he rounded the base and went for second. He already had three doubles in the game and a fourth was in sight.

Twins left fielder Eduardo Nunez was able to get to the ball quickly and throw. It arrived moments before Eaton, and he was tagged out to end the inning. Ventura asked for a video review of the play, but that also went against the White Sox.

Eaton blamed himself for not allowing Chicago a chance to make things interesting.

“It was stupid,” Eaton said. “Stupid on my part. I need to pick up the ball better. I saw it go off his glove and kind of thought it bounced a different direction. I thought it went toward more the warning track. It's stupid, unbelievable how dumb that was. You put your team in that position to maybe have first and third. Again, you don't pick up the baseball where it needs to be, and like I said, dumb play on my part. It was just stupid.”

As with De Aza, Ventura struggled with being upset at Eaton.

“Again, he did that earlier in the game, and it worked out great,” Ventura said. “He’s always aggressive and doing that. ... That’s the way it goes.

“Offensively, we’re putting some pressure on them and doing it. But they did the same thing. They swung the bats tonight. They did better than us tonight.”

Rapid Reaction: Twins 8, White Sox 6

August, 2, 2014
Aug 2
9:22
PM CT
Powers By Scott Powers
ESPNChicago.com
Archive

CHICAGO – Here’s a quick look at the Minnesota Twins' 8-6 win over the Chicago White Sox on Saturday at U.S. Cellular Field:

How it happened: The White Sox fought back from a two-run deficit in the seventh inning only to surrender a two-run lead in the eighth. After scoring four runs in the seventh, Chicago allowed the Twins to score three times in the eighth inning and once more in the ninth to go ahead for good. White Sox reliever Ronald Belisario was responsible for the team’s demise, as he allowed two hits and three runs and hit a batter while getting just one out in the eighth inning.

The White Sox offense appeared as if it might bail out the team again. It got rolling in the seventh, and Chicago took a 6-4 lead after scoring four runs. Adam Eaton provided one of his three doubles on the night in the frame and drove in two runs. He was 4-for-5 in the loss and has reached safely in his past 19 games. Gordon Beckham and Alexei Ramirez also contributed RBIs in the seventh, and each finished with two RBIs.

White Sox right-hander Scott Carroll got off to a rough start, but he improved with time. He allowed the game’s first four batters to reach base and gave up two runs in the first inning. He bounced back and gave up just five hits and two runs over the next six innings. He was replaced by Belisario to start the eighth inning.

What it means: Saturday’s defeat will be a tough one for the White Sox to swallow. They were so close to pulling out a win. Aside from Belisario’s struggles, Alejandro De Aza could have prevented the late White Sox collapse by catching a hard-hit ball to left field in the eighth inning. De Aza was backpedalling, and the ball went off his glove. It was ruled a hit and allowed two runs to score. Eaton also attempted to stretch a single into a double in the bottom of the eighth and was thrown out. If he had remained on first, the White Sox would have had runners on first and third with two out while down one run.

The White Sox fell to three games under .500 with the loss. They haven’t been a game within .500 since June 12 and haven’t been at .500 since June 11.

Jose Abreu went 0-for-3 in the loss to snap his 21-game hitting streak. He was walked twice, including once intentionally.

Off-beat: White Sox manager Robin Ventura had no plans to watch the replay of the gruesome leg injury to NBA player Paul George. Ventura suffered a similar serious injury in the spring of 1997 when he broke and dislocated his right ankle.

“I haven’t seen it,” Ventura said before Saturday’s game. “I’m not going to watch it. I don’t need to watch any of that. You feel sorry for him. It’s a freak accident, but I don’t want to see it. I’ve had enough. [It hits close to home,] but I still don’t want to watch it. I don’t like watching car wrecks or anything else. It’s just not something I want to see.”

Up next: The White Sox will start left-hander Jose Quintana (6-7, 3.15 ERA) against the Twins and right-hander Kyle Gibson (9-8, 3.94 ERA) in the final game of the series, scheduled for 1:10 p.m. CT Sunday.

Abreu letting others admire his streaks

August, 2, 2014
Aug 2
5:42
PM CT
Powers By Scott Powers
ESPNChicago.com
Archive
CHICAGO -- Chicago White Sox slugger Jose Abreu swore Saturday he doesn’t keep track of his hitting streaks.

“Not at all,” Abreu said through a team translator before Saturday’s game against the Minnesota Twins. “The most important thing for me is being satisfied with my level of effort and how hard I play and how I’m able to help the team. As far as numbers go, those things take care of themselves. I’m not someone who pays attention to those things.”

Jose Abreu
Leon Halip/Getty ImagesEntering Saturday's game, Jose Abreu is riding a 21-game hitting streak, has hit safely in 39 of his last 40 games and has reached base in his last 10 consecutive plate appearances.
Abreu may be the only one not paying attention at this point. Entering Saturday’s game, Abreu is riding a 21-game hitting streak, has hit safely in 39 of his last 40 games and has reached base in his last 10 consecutive plate appearances. Frank Thomas holds the White Sox’s record by reaching base in 15 consecutive plate appearances in 1997.

Abreu’s current hitting streak is the longest in the American League this season, the second longest in the majors this season and his second of at least 18 games this season. He also leads the majors with 31 home runs, 84 RBIs and a .639 slugging percentage. He’s also eighth in the American League with a .310 average.

Twins manager Ron Gardenhire had an idea Saturday on how to start containing Abreu.

“Well, we're thinking about trying to slip in a few more defenders in the outfield,” Gardenhire said prior to Saturday’s game. “He's on everything, inside, outside. We've tried everything. We've thrown breaking balls; we've bounced balls.

“The young man's a nice hitter. He's comfortable right now. Obviously he's swinging very good and you know what, you've just got to try to keep mixing it up. You can't get into patterns on him. You have to be able to pitch him hard in and you've got to be able to spin some away, but more than anything else, we've been kind of missing over the middle of the plate and every time you do that he whacks it.”

White Sox manager Robin Ventura thought part of Abreu’s recent success has been a result of him learning to be more patient at the plate over the course of his first season. Over the last 40 games, Abreu has 60 hits in 159 at-bats for a .377 average. He had 56 hits in 215 at-bats for a .260 average over his first 55 games this season.

“He’s getting better at understanding what people are trying to do to him,” Ventura said. “Not really chasing things either. I think early on he was maybe putting a little more emphasis on doing something instead of letting it happen. Now I think he understands it a bit more of what’s going on and how people are going to approach him instead of the other way around.”

(Read full post)

Konerko at ease with decision, new role

January, 24, 2014
Jan 24
5:21
PM CT
Powers By Scott Powers
ESPNChicago.com
Archive
CHICAGO -- The constant question of whether he’d return to the Chicago White Sox this season got to Paul Konerko over time.

It seemed like the only topic people sought to discuss with him. He recalled starting to deal with the inquiries back in 2012, and they only increased as his contract approached its conclusion after last season.

Paul Konerko
Kelvin Kuo/USA TODAY SportsPaul Konerko has made it clear that this will be his last season with the White Sox.
On Friday as Konerko prepared for his 15th SoxFest, he could feel the absence of that uncertainty and stress that came with those questions of his future. Since announcing in December he would return to the White Sox for one final season, Konerko now has an absolute answer for everyone.

“People say stuff like play a few more years,” Konerko said at the Palmer House Hilton in downtown Chicago on Friday. “This is it. My wife has laid down the law. This is it. But I’m clear about it.

“I’ve had people asking me about this since 2012. That’s a long time. You’re talking a year, two years of that nonsense of every conversation you had -- ‘What are you going to do? Are you going to stay? Are you going to go?’ It just gets old. It’s nice now if someone comes up, you can just be genuine and say, ‘Come out and see me because this is all there is. I won’t be here next year. If you don’t see me this year, you miss out.’”

Fans shouldn’t be surprised, though, if they come out and don’t actually see Konerko play on a given day. When deciding whether to return for the 2014 season, Konerko came to terms with not being an everyday player and accepting a different role than he’s been accustomed to throughout his career.

“What I’m preparing for is just be ready for anything,” Konerko said. “I don’t want a situation where I can’t go for Robin [Ventura.] If he says, play today or pinch hit here, the game’s 10-0 I need you to take this guy’s at-bat, whatever it is, I’m game for that.

“I went over all the scenarios in my head before I agreed to it. I don’t think there’s nothing that can’t be asked of me that I’m above.”

(Read full post)

White Sox season preview: Bench

March, 30, 2013
3/30/13
10:00
AM CT
Padilla By Doug Padilla
ESPNChicago.com
Archive
Dewayne WiseRick Scuteri/USA TODAY SportsDewayne Wise is the only experienced player on the White Sox bench.


The "savvy-veteran" tag won’t exactly qualify when talking about the Chicago White Sox bench this season.

Dewayne Wise, who will serve as the fourth outfielder and main left-handed bat off the bench, actually fits that bill, but it doesn’t really apply anywhere else.

Also in reserve roles this season will be Rule 5 pickup Angel Sanchez as the utility man, recently acquired Conor Gillaspie as the backup at third base and Hector Gimenez as a 30-year-old backup catcher with practically no major league experience.

With just two left-handed hitters in the starting lineup, Wise could see a decent amount of playing time as the fourth outfielder, but not if the starters are producing. At first glance, his best chance to play could come in place of left fielder Dayan Viciedo, who struggled against right-handed pitching last season.

Even though Sanchez can play multiple positions it’s actually Gillaspie that could see more playing time. The lefty-swinging Gillaspie could be used to give third baseman Jeff Keppinger a day off or when Keppinger slides over to second base to give Gordon Beckham a breather.

Sanchez is expected to primarily be used when Alexei Ramirez gets a day off. He better get used to sitting because Ramirez played in 158 games each of the past two seasons.

As a switch hitter Gimenez also gives manager Robin Ventura the potential to get a left-handed bat into the mix every once in a while. He doesn’t figure to play more than once a week, though.

KEYS TO SUCCESS

  • The challenge with having young players on the bench is getting them the consistent at-bats to keep them fresh and their swings in sync. Since Gillaspie is primarily a third baseman, with the ability to play some first base, getting him some playing time will be challenging for Ventura.

  • To be frank, not going to the bench much at all means things are going right with the starting lineup. Since Wise is the only true outfielder on the roster outside of the three starters, he becomes extremely important. His challenge will be to seamlessly transition into the outfield if and when the first injury arrives.

  • That player who can come off the bench and crush a late-inning home run isn’t available. That means the subs will have to contribute in other areas. The offense will be hit and miss, which is understandable, but the defense the bench guys give will have no margin for error. Gimenez figures to have the most defensive weight on his shoulders with the expectation that he gets on the same page with the starting pitcher on the infrequent days he is behind the plate.
  • Players give Dunn Comeback Player honor

    November, 5, 2012
    11/05/12
    9:11
    PM CT
    Powers By Scott Powers
    ESPNChicago.com
    Archive
    Chicago White Sox first baseman/designated hitter Adam Dunn was named the Players Choice American League Comeback Player of the Year on Monday.

    The Players Choice Awards are presented by the Major League Baseball Players Association and voted on by players.

    Dunn was also named the American League Comeback Player of the Year by The Sporting News on Oct. 23.

    Dunn, an All-Star selection, batted .204 with 41 home runs, 96 RBIs, 105 walks and 87 runs in 151 games in 2012. He led the majors in walks and strikeouts and finished tied for fifth in home runs. His 41 homers tied for sixth most in franchise history and were the second most by a left-handed hitter behind Jim Thome's 42 in 1996. Dunn also hit his 400th career home run and recorded his 1,000th career RBI during the season.

    Dunn increased his totals in every category last season after hitting .159 with 11 home runs, 42 RBIs, 75 walks and 36 runs in 122 games in 2011.

    Peavy's big day continues with Gold Glove

    October, 30, 2012
    10/30/12
    10:21
    PM CT
    Powers By Scott Powers
    ESPNChicago.com
    Archive
    After the announcement Tuesday of a two-year contract extension, Chicago White Sox pitcher Jake Peavy discovered he had won his first Rawlings Gold Glove Award.

    Peavy became the third pitcher in White Sox history to win the award, joining Jim Kaat (1974 and '75) and Mark Buehrle (2009, '10 and '11). Earlier Tuesday, Peavy agreed to a two-year, $29 million contract extension.

    Peavy committed one error in 37 chances in 2012, and opponents were successful on just 52.9 percent (9-of-17) of their stolen-base attempts when the right-hander was on the mound.

    The White Sox have had a Gold Glove Award winner the past four seasons, just the third time in franchise history that feat has been accomplished. The organization also had at least four straight years with a Gold Glove winner from 1990 to '93 and 1957 to '63.

    Dunn wins 'Sporting News' comeback award

    October, 23, 2012
    10/23/12
    4:56
    PM CT
    Powers By Scott Powers
    ESPNChicago.com
    Archive
    Chicago White Sox first baseman/designated hitter Adam Dunn was named "The Sporting News" American League Comeback Player of the Year on Tuesday.

    Dunn, an All-Star selection, batted .204 with 41 home runs, 96 RBIs, 105 walks and 87 runs in 151 games in 2012. He led the majors in walks and strikeouts and finished fifth in home runs. His 41 homers tied for sixth most in franchise history and were the second most by a left-handed hitter behind Jim Thome's 42 in 1996. Dunn also hit his 400th career home run and recorded his 1,000th career RBI during the season.

    Dunn increased his totals in every category after hitting .159 with 11 home runs, 42 RBIs, 75 walks and 36 runs in 122 games in 2011.

    “We had a number of guys mentioned throughout the season as candidates for this award, which is gratifying for us as a coaching staff,” White Sox manager Robin Ventura said in a statement. “Adam is one of the best clubhouse guys I have been around, and it’s nice to see that his hard work paid off. He is deserving of the honor.”

    Dunn is the fifth White Sox player to receive the award since its inception in 1965. He joined Thome (2006), Paul Konerko (2004), Frank Thomas (2000) and Bo Jackson (1993).

    2012 White Sox report card

    October, 7, 2012
    10/07/12
    7:42
    PM CT
    Powers By Scott Powers
    ESPNChicago.com
    Archive
    Check out our 2012 grades, then share yours for each player on the team.

    Grade the Sox.

    Disappearance of clutch hitting led to fade

    September, 30, 2012
    9/30/12
    6:43
    PM CT
    Powers By Scott Powers
    ESPNChicago.com
    Archive
    CHICAGO -- When the Chicago White Sox look back upon on their collapse in the final weeks of the 2012 season, they’ll likely point to their lack of clutch hits as the main reason why.

    On Sunday, it was more of the same story for the White Sox. They were able to put runners on against Tampa Bay Rays ace David Price, but they couldn’t capitalize on their opportunities and lost 6-2 at U.S. Cellular Field.

    [+] EnlargeAJ Pierzynski
    AP Photo/Nam Y. HuhIt's been a frustrating stretch for A.J. Pierzynski and the White Sox.
    Sunday’s low-scoring output marked the 12th time in 13 games that the White Sox scored less than five runs. Over that span, they have totaled 34 runs, were 12-for-90 with runners in scoring position, had a 3-10 record and saw their American League Central lead slip from a three-game advantage to a three-game deficit.

    Prior to their offensive slump, the White Sox scored 31 runs and won four out of five games from Sept. 12-17.

    “We haven’t hit at the right time,” White Sox second baseman Gordon Beckham said. “The effort was there and unfortunately it didn’t go our way the last couple of weeks.”

    For most of the White Sox’s hitters, September has been a frustrating month at the plate. Adam Dunn is hitting .204 with three home runs and six RBIs. Paul Konerko has hit .231 with four homers and 10 RBIs. Kevin Youkilis is hitting .218 with three homers and eight RBIs. Dayan Viciedo has a .227 average with three homers and 11 RBIs. A.J. Pierzynski is hitting .233 with three homers and five RBIs.

    Alex Rios has been the one hitter to really excel this month and has hit .320 with five home runs and 14 RBIs.

    “Scale 1-10? It’s obviously a 12,” Dunn said of his frustration level. “We played so well for so long and had ourselves in a great position. One of the things that got us here was doing the little things, hitting guys in, things like that. But when it came down to it late in the year, we couldn’t do it.

    “This game isn’t easy first off. When you are putting added pressure on yourself more than you can probably have to, I think you saw the result.”

    Price, a Cy Young candidate, didn’t give the White Sox many chances Sunday, but there were enough for them to feel they should have scored more runs.

    In the fourth inning with the Rays leading 3-0, the White Sox loaded the bases with one out. Dayan Viciedo then flew out to deep center field to bring in one run, and Alexei Ramirez grounded out to end the inning. The White Sox were 1-for-3 with runners in scoring position and left five runners on base.

    “We had our chance obviously with the bases loaded there and one out,” Pierzynski said. “Viciedo hit the ball real hard, and we were hoping it would get over his head and might score three, but it didn't. We fell behind early again, it seems to be a common theme here. We tried to fight back, just not enough.

    “We didn't play good enough. The effort was there, the work was there, everything was there. We just didn't get it done. It's one of those things, you can always look back and point at this or that. Like I said, I'm proud of this team the way they fought and the way they went about it every day. It's a sign of good things to come.”

    Youkilis said, “It’s part of the game. It sucks. It sucks collectively that we didn’t play as well as we could have. It’s an unfortunate situation.”

    Sox fail to draw two million fans this season

    September, 30, 2012
    9/30/12
    5:25
    PM CT
    Powers By Scott Powers
    ESPNChicago.com
    Archive
    CHICAGO -- The Chicago White Sox drew less than two million fans at U.S. Cellular Field this season, the first time they’ve been below that mark since 2004.

    The White Sox’s final announced paid crowd of 26,381 on Sunday gave them 1,965,505 paid tickets for the 2012 season. They drew 1,930,537 fans in 2004.

    The White Sox ranked 24th with an average paid attendance of 24,666 in 2012. They had 16 crowds of 30,000-plus fans and 14 with less than 20,000.

    “We’re happy they came out,” White Sox manager Robin Ventura said of the team’s fans after Sunday’s game. “When they come out, they’re very supportive and loud. We appreciate that.”

    The White Sox drew a franchise-best 2,957,414 fans in 2006. Last season, they welcomed 2,001,117 fans.

    Rapid Reaction: Rays 6, White Sox 2

    September, 30, 2012
    9/30/12
    4:18
    PM CT
    Powers By Scott Powers
    ESPNChicago.com
    Archive


    CHICAGO -- Here’s a quick look at the Tampa Bay Rays' 6-2 win over the Chicago White Sox at U.S. Cellular Field on Sunday.

    How it happened: The White Sox’s offensive woes continued against the Rays on Sunday. The White Sox haven’t scored more than four runs in 12 of their last 13 games. The Rays jumped on White Sox starting pitcher Jose Quintana with a two-run home run by B.J. Upton in the first inning. Ryan Roberts also homered off Quintana, who pitched four innings and fell to a 6-6 on the season. Alex Rios and Dayan Viciedo each had a RBI for the White Sox. Rays starting pitcher David Price improved to 20-5.

    What it means: The White Sox fell to three games behind the Detroit Tigers in the American League Central. The Tigers defeated the Minnesota Twins 2-1 on Sunday. Both teams have three games remaining.

    Outside the box: White Sox reliever Nate Jones had his consecutive scoreless innings streak snapped at 22 2/3 innings on Sunday. It had been the longest active streak in the majors.

    Up next: The White Sox begin a three-game road series with the Cleveland Indians on Monday. The White Sox have not announced a starter for Monday yet. Corey Kluber (2-4, 5.02 ERA) is scheduled to start for the Indians.

    Hudson not ready to hang it up yet

    September, 30, 2012
    9/30/12
    3:49
    PM CT
    Powers By Scott Powers
    ESPNChicago.com
    Archive
    CHICAGO -- Chicago White Sox infielder Orlando Hudson said Sunday he believes he has at least a couple of years of baseball left in him.

    The 34-year-old Hudson is in his 11th season in the majors. He began the year as the San Diego Padres starting second baseman and hit .211 in 35 games. He was released by the Padres on May 17 and signed by the White Sox to play third base.

    Hudson was the White Sox’s starting third baseman until they acquired Kevin Youkilis in late June. Hudson has played 48 games with the White Sox and is hitting .185 with them. He’s had three hits in 14 at-bats in September.

    “There’s definitely more things I want to do in the game,” said Hudson, a two-time All-Star and four-time Gold Glove winner. “I want to achieve some more goals, let’s leave it at that. Personally, I still think I have more years in me left to play every day, of course.

    “It’s part of the game (not playing every day.) I can’t sit there and worry about what goes on or what happened. It’s part of it. I came over here to try third base. I could have went other places to play second base every day. I wanted to try it out, and I’m glad I did. Now I have great guys over here that I never played with, and I got to really know them, and it’s good stuff.”

    Hudson wasn’t sure if the White Sox would attempt to sign him this offseason with Gordon Beckham starting at second base.
    “I don’t know if they would ever ask me to come back,” Hudson said. “Of course, I still want to play every day. We got a great second baseman in Beckham here and Youkilis at third. I tried it at third, but it just wasn’t the comfort zone. Whatever happens, happens. I do love it here. It’s a good place.”

    However it does play out, Hudson has enjoyed his time in Chicago.

    “This is a great group,” Hudson said. “We have a lot of fun on and off the field. It’s a great group of guys. I had a blast these two months, 2 months here. It’s the type of group that can definitely win a championship. We can’t talk about that, think about that right now. We just got to go out there and finish these last four (games) strong.”

    Pierzynski's farewell to Cell on Sunday?

    September, 30, 2012
    9/30/12
    2:52
    PM CT
    Powers By Scott Powers
    ESPNChicago.com
    Archive
    CHICAGO -- Chicago White Sox catcher A.J. Pierzynski said he’s prepared for Sunday to be his final home game with the team after eight seasons on the south side.

    Pierzynski has been with the White Sox since signing with them in 2005 and he and Paul Konerko are the only remaining players from the 2005 World Series team. Pierzynski is in the final year of his contract.

    “It’s definitely crossed my mind,” Pierzynski said prior to Sunday’s game. “My family flew in for the game today just because there’s definitely a real possibility this will be my last game here as part of the White Sox.”

    The 35-year-old Pierzynski has previously said he’d like to return to the team.

    “Of course, I’ve always said that, but at the same time, you know, like I said earlier in the season, I packed my house up once, I packed it up for a second time,” said Pierzynski, who has also played for the Minnesota Twins and San Francisco Giants. “It’s becoming old hat now. But I would love to come back and finish my career here, but at the same time I know how baseball works. I know the way things work and we’ll see.

    “Maybe we can work something out. If not, I’ll always look back fondly on my time here and appreciate it. I love the city of Chicago. I love the fans here. I love the people here. I love the organization and you’ll never hear me say anything bad about them.”

    (Read full post)

    Ventura feels good as first year winds down

    September, 30, 2012
    9/30/12
    2:31
    PM CT
    Powers By Scott Powers
    ESPNChicago.com
    Archive
    CHICAGO -- Robin Ventura said Sunday he’s enjoyed his first season as Chicago White Sox manager and plans to continue on for at least the next two seasons.

    [+] EnlargeRobin Ventura
    Jim McIsaac/Getty ImagesThe White Sox have been successful under rookie manager Robin Ventura.
    The White Sox’s decision to give Ventura a three-year deal to replace Ozzie Guillen in October of 2011 came as a surprise to most people as Ventura had no previous managerial experience. In Ventura’s first season, the White Sox have bounced back from last year’s 79-83 record and are currently 83-75 and are two games behind the Detroit Tigers in the American League Central. Ventura’s name was tossed around earlier in the season for American League Manager of the Year.

    “Yeah, absolutely, (I’ve enjoyed it,)” Ventura said prior to Sunday’s game. “It’s one of those I enjoy the people I work with, the guys on the team, what they’ve done, so that part’s been fun.

    “I plan on being here for two more years, yes. Unless they don’t want me to be here.”

    Being around the game for so long as a player helped Ventura in his transition to manager, but he found some parts of the job to be more difficult than others.

    “The hard part is you’re always thinking,” Ventura said. “If one guy’s doing well, somebody else might not be well. You’re always thinking that way. You’re thinking of 25 guys instead of just what you have to do and probably more than 25 guys since there’s more people here. That’s the hard part. The easy part is that you enjoy coming. It’s easy to get up and get ready to come to the ballpark.”

    Ventura acknowledged while some people saw this season as a transitional one, he never did.

    “It’s the end of something because it’s my first year,” Ventura said. “I didn’t come into it make it a transition for the players. Again for me, it’s the first year of doing something so you’re doing it the best you can without trying to rationalize it as a rebuilding, all the words that were used this year. I’m just trying to do my job and not try to look at it as a rebuilding or anything like that.”

    White Sox first baseman Paul Konerko remarked Sunday he’s been especially impressed by Ventura’s consistency all season.

    “He’s so steady,” Konerko said. “Since Day 1 of spring training, he never shows his hand. He just has a plan of how he’s going to do a day, a series, a week, a month. It’s just done the same way every time. You know what you’re going to get what when you walk in here. Everything kind of funnels down from the coaches to the players.

    “We’re really doing nothing different today or the last few days than we were doing in April, May. To me, that’s the biggest credit to a manager. When you have all the guys buying into 162 games, that’s hard to get 25 men on the same page for that along of time, let alone we’ve had almost 40 guys up here. To having everybody buying into something like that, it means you carry a lot weight. You have some respect.”

    SPONSORED HEADLINES

    TEAM LEADERS

    BA LEADER
    Jose Abreu
    BA HR RBI R
    .319 35 103 77
    OTHER LEADERS
    HRJ. Abreu 35
    RBIJ. Abreu 103
    RA. Ramirez 78
    OPSJ. Abreu .975
    WC. Sale 12
    ERAC. Sale 2.20
    SOC. Sale 198