Robin Ventura was made to manage
DETROIT -- Long before Robin Ventura even knew he wanted to manage, Chicago White Sox GM Ken Williams had written down his name as a possible candidate, among other names, in a folder that Williams updates and maintains.
Ventura is understated and even-tempered and cannot be any more different from the old-school Earl Weaver/Billy Martin/Ozzie Guillen model of what a manager should be: fiery, demonstrative, the loudest and most aggressive guy in the room. But Williams had thought that in Ventura's playing days, he had a natural leadership quality, because he was someone who other players trusted and relied on.
Williams also remembered how he had informally quizzed a doctor who specialized in giving personality assessments -- something like the test that's given to prospective NFL draftees -- and Williams had asked who had most impressed him, among all the people the doctor had spoken to through the years. The answer: Robin Ventura.
This is how it came to be that Williams met at his Arizona house with Ventura last fall, with White Sox official Buddy Bell.
To read Buster Olney's full blog every morning of the baseball season, you must be an ESPN Insider.
We see that you are not an ESPN Insider. Upgrade today and gain access to our exclusive coverage.