Robin Ventura says he wants to be back as the White Sox manager next season but that “you have to have somebody ask you to do it.’’
If I were Ventura, I wouldn’t wait around for the Sox to pop the question. In fact, any time I saw general manager Rick Hahn or vice president Ken Williams heading in my direction, I’d run and hide.
In the real world, what the Sox have done this year and last would almost certainly call for changes throughout the organization. In that world, there wouldn’t be a question about the manager’s continued employment, but a declarative sentence from the front office: “Thanks for all you’ve done for us, Robin, but we’re moving in another direction. Hopefully up.’’
But as we all know, the Sox don’t live in the real world. They live in Jerry World, where loyalty between chairman Jerry Reinsdorf and his top employees is made of steel. Nobody gets fired, nothing changes and archeologists regularly conduct digs.
But I suspect that even the top brass, no matter how deep its oblivion, understands that something needs to be done, that some sacrifice has to be made in the name of progress or at least public perception. Having watched this same show drag on for years, I can’t tell you why I suspect this is the year the Sox will make a managerial change. Probably naivete on my part. Or low blood sugar.
In case I’m right, Ventura should forget about waiting around to be asked about a contract extension. He should make himself scarce. He should throw away his phone to avoid calls and texts of the “See me immediately’’ kind. He should avoid the Internet, the TV, the radio and the town crier. If Williams and Hahn can’t find him, they can’t tell him they’re going in a different direction.
Yes, it is within the realm of possibility in Jerry World that Reinsdorf’s two lieutenants would be looking for Ventura to deliver good news. But unlikely. Next to impossible. I think. Maybe.
Given all the bizarre things that have happened with the Sox this season, it would make perfect sense for them to open camp next year with a new manager and the one who never got the news he was let go.