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Wednesday, February 13, 2013
Ventura's decision reflects uniqueness

By Bruce Levine

GLENDALE -- Ariz. -- There are very few people who have the conviction to turn down millions of dollars without batting an eye. Chicago White Sox manager Robin Ventura happens to be a one-in-a-million type individual who did precisely that last October.

The second-year manager told Sox officials he would rather wait for a year or two before talking about an extension.

"It's flattering and nice, but in talking to Rick (Hahn) we have two more years to do this," Ventura said Wednesday. "We have good communication and everything is fine. This is my contract and I was the same way when I was a player. I will worry about it at the end of the contract. I want them in two years to think I am still the right guy for the job."

Ventura signed a three-year contract worth close to $3 million in October, 2010 and then finished third in manager-of-the-year voting last season. The fact that he made more than $60 million during his playing career has nothing to do with turning down an extension at this point and time. Although the 46-year-old likes what he is doing, he might not be interested in managing for the next ten years. Remember, Ventura did not train for or seek out the job in the first place. Former GM Ken Williams and Sox advisor Dennis Gilbert brought the idea of hiring him to chairman Jerry Reinsdorf after Ozzie Guillen left to manage the Miami Marlins.

The Ventura family is very close knit and career decisions are not only up to Robin. His wife and three children certainly have input. The fact that Ventura excelled at managing surprised nobody who understood the leadership quality and toughness he displayed during his 15-year career.

"I am not holding out for anything or not wanting to stay here," he said. "Again I think at the end of that (contract), that is when you talk about it. I am more worried about what we are doing with this team, this spring training than I am about 2015."

This manager refuses to sell out his beliefs and ideals for anyone.

"I want them to think I am the right person in two years not right now," he said. "We will see how that goes, you never know in baseball."