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Monday, June 6, 2011
Robin Ventura working with White Sox

By Doug Padilla
ESPNChicago.com

CHICAGO -- Robin Ventura is returning to the Chicago White Sox, accepting a job Monday as a special advisor to director of player development Buddy Bell.

Ventura will essentially be a roving minor league instructor, visiting each of the White Sox's affiliates in order to assess talent, work one-on-one with specific players and provide the organization with another set of eyes to do evaluation.

Ventura played 10 of his 16 major league seasons with the White Sox. He won six Gold Glove Awards and was a two-time All-Star.

"This is where I wanted to get back into it and Buddy and (chairman) Jerry (Reinsdorf) gave me the opportunity to be more flexible," Ventura said. "That was the part that intrigued me, that I could go for four or five days and be back home. It would have been a different sell if it was (being gone for) six months (straight)."

Ventura, who resides in Santa Maria, Calif., will still work as a color commentator for ESPN's College World Series coverage. He will begin working with the White Sox in July.

"I watched Robin play for a lot of years and I have a lot of respect for the way he played but also for the kind of person he is," Bell said. "We are looking forward to the relationship. (The role) is going to kind of evolve into whatever. Right now, I'm going to pick his brain. He's going to the affiliates to check the teams out. There will be special guys we want Robin to look at or bear down on. Either they need his help or we want another set of eyes to look at him."

Ventura said the time was right for this kind of a position because his kids were getting older. He has three daughters and a 12-year-old son.

As for where this position takes him, Ventura says he will think about that in the future.

"I have no plans of being president of the team," he said. "This is just a step of getting back within the organization and whatever happens, happens. I'm willing to put my foot in the water and see what happens. I don't really have any thoughts on what the future is. I like to be able to do this within the White Sox organization."

Doug Padilla covers the White Sox for ESPNChicago.com.