Friday, June 1, 2012
Ventura keeps Sox forward-focused
By Scott Powers
CHICAGO -- Chicago White Sox second baseman Gordon Beckham's mouth began moving before his brain did Friday when answering a question about the impact of manager Robin Ventura on the team’s recent success.
“The only thing that’s different today that wasn’t here 10 days ago … I don’t know,” Beckham said. “There’s nothing. It’s always the same thing. You wouldn’t know it from Robin that we’ve won whatever we’ve won in a row and we’re playing well. He just keeps doing his thing and so do we.”
The on-the-field factors of pitching, hitting and defense are the obvious reasons the White Sox have been the hottest team in baseball with eight consecutive wins, moving into first place in the American League Central. But from a psychological standpoint, the White Sox’s players believe the daily even-keeled approach by their first-year manager has allowed them to relax and play as well as they have.
“He’s not going to let us get too high, and he’s not going to let us get too low,” White Sox designated hitter Adam Dunn said. “He’s been the same guy since day one when we weren’t playing too good to where we’re playing pretty well. He’s been the same guy. We know what we’re going to get from him every day.”
White Sox first baseman Paul Konerko felt that attitude was passed from Ventura to the coaching staff to the players.
“It’s just this team has been very one-day oriented,” Konerko said. “(Whether) we win a game yesterday or we go get killed yesterday, it was a bad loss, everybody shows up really positive.”
White Sox third base coach Joe McEwing said he hasn’t been surprised by Ventura’s managing ability.
“What we tend to forget is Robin played 15 years in the big leagues, and he’s been through every situation,” McEwing said. “He’s been a rookie who has failed when he first came up. He’s been a star in this game and later on his career he’s become a bench guy. He knows what goes into everyday activity from every angle.
“He’s got extreme patience for every situation that arises. He’s a great leader. He leads by example. It’s just a great atmosphere to come to come to a ballpark every day. Everybody’s pulling for each other.”
Being that same person on a daily basis isn’t difficult for Ventura. It’s who he was a player and now is as a manager.
“I don’t think I do anything,” Ventura said. “This has been going on since day one. They understand how I’m going about it. I think they realize the stretch they’re on eventually ends. Enjoy the good streak and don’t get too low in the low ones. I always feel that works.”