Let’s say that the worst-case scenario happens for the White Sox, and they get off to a terrible start this season. Chairman Jerry Reinsdorf, a turtle basking on a log, finally fires manager Robin Ventura, which, come to think of it, probably sounds like the best-case scenario to many frustrated Sox fans.
But then, quickly, back to the worst-case scenario: The Sox elevate new bench coach Rick Renteria to replace Ventura.
You’re probably dizzy from that string of hypotheticals. But these are the White Sox, and it could happen. In fact, the more uninspiring the option for this historically drowsy franchise, the more likely it is to occur.
I don’t know how they could sell Renteria to their fans base. A Cubs reject. A nice, calm gentleman to replace the previous nice, calm gentleman. There’d be an uprising on the South Side.
Renteria seems like a good guy. The Cubs didn’t treat him well when they canned him in 2014 after one season, but they had the chance to hire Joe Maddon, and how has that worked out? All’s fair in sports, and lots of it is dirty.
In the good cop/bad cop cycle of sports hirings, the Sox aren’t in line for another nice guy. They don’t need a manager who, when asked about the All-Star candidacies of Starlin Castro and Anthony Rizzo, insisted that all his players were All-Stars. That’s what Renteria did while the Cubs were busy going 73-89.
To his credit, Renteria is not politicking for a job that’s not open. He’d probably be the last person to do that. But he’s inside the belly of the beast.
“Make no mistake about it, Robin is the manager,’’ he told reporters Sunday. “If he needs something from me, I’m here to be a sounding board. If there’s something I see that he might be involved in something else, I might mention it to him. But for the most part, I’m just here to be a sounding board and give him some information.’’
As Woody Allen says, showing up is 80 percent of life. The other 20 percent is being the Sox’ bench coach.