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Thursday, August 1, 2013
GM: Robin Ventura's job safe

By Doug Padilla
ESPNChicago.com

CLEVELAND -- Despite a brutal season for the Chicago White Sox that does not show any signs of improvement in the near future, manager Robin Ventura's job is not in jeopardy.

General manager Rick Hahn said Thursday the level of play on the field in no way matches the effort put in by the coaching staff.

"At this time, we don't feel changes are merited in the near future," Hahn said during an interview on 670 AM in Chicago.

The White Sox entered play Thursday against the Indians with a 40-65 record for a .381 win percentage. The poor play forced the White Sox's hand, and three veteran pitchers were sent away via trades in July with Matt Thornton, Jesse Crain and Jake Peavy all getting dealt.

Ventura's team was in the midst of a six-game losing streak when play began Thursday. The White Sox had also lost nine of their previous 10 games and 12 of their past 15.

The second-year manager had the White Sox in sync last season before a late-season collapse cost them a chance at the American League Central title. With plenty of optimism this year, the White Sox collapsed under the weight of a struggling offense, a poor defense and an inconsistent bullpen, not to mention a rash of injuries that hit all parts of the club.

"It happens," Ventura said. "That's just part of being in this job, and I think it's not easy. It's one of those that you just got to take it. I'm the one in charge, and you just have to take it. It doesn't change my focus on what we are trying to do or win games or teach or anything like that. It's just part of having the job."

Hahn agreed that Ventura probably got too much credit for what happened last season and is getting too much of the blame for what is going on this year.

"At the end of the day, for me, and as we look at our staff, we look at the amount of effort, communication and what they're doing behind the scenes," Hahn said. "It isn't always available to the media, to the fans, which is unfortunate because they don't see the anger, they don't see the high energy, they don't see the confrontations and communication with the players.

"And I think to Robin and his staff's credit, that stays behind closed doors, where the players and the staff would prefer that to take place."

Open lines of communication are always toughest when things aren't going well, and constructive criticism isn't as easy to take. The coaching staff doesn't seem to be taking the easy way out by limiting those lines of communication

"We are continuing to work at it," Ventura said. "You are trying to be positive, and that's probably the hardest part right now."

Hahn is appreciative of the coaching staff's efforts, even in the light of the struggles.

"The level of communication and energy hasn't changed," Hahn said. "If anything, it's increased as they attempt to stem this tide and improve the performance of this disappointing season. But to point fingers at the staff, myself included, is part of the gig, and we get that."