Ventura managing expectations quite nicely

Robin Ventua led the White Sox to am 85-77 record in his first season as manager. AP Photo/Carlos Osorio

NASHVILLE, Tenn. -- Year No. 2 was supposed to be the one where Robin Ventura got a legitimate chance to show what he can really do as a manager.

He is not only well ahead of the curve, even the Chicago White Sox admit that they couldn’t have imagined things going this well so far.

Last season, Ventura not only had the White Sox in contention heading into the final month, he proved that lack of managerial experience isn’t as much of a hindrance when baseball savvy is at your beck and call.

“It’s been widely documented how great he has been for us, and in fact, he may have exceeded expectations,” general manager Rick Hahn gushed. “We knew he had the potential to grow into one of the finer managers in the league and I think he got there a lot more quickly than we even anticipated, whether it be communicating with the players to setting the tone to focus on what helps us win that night’s game to really his in-game management strategy to put his players in position to succeed.”

In jest, Hahn added that Ventura is now being looked upon as a veteran manager. The humble Ventura wasn’t about to say he has it all figured out.

“I think any time you go into something, (if) you think you know it all or are done learning, you’re going backwards,” said Ventura, who finished third in the American League manager of the year voting. “Getting better with in-game stuff, in-between game stuff and even after-game stuff with (the media), hopefully I would get better at.”

Hahn has talked about adding versatile players to the roster and the next challenge for Ventura is to push the right buttons when it comes to using what could be an ever-changing lineup.

“You roll with how it’s going and the emotions of the team,” Ventura said. “It’s not a script by any means. The season is different every year. It’s different game to game as far as what happens and moves you make. Attitude wise, I’d like to be the same every day. Everything is different all the time.”