GLENDALE, Ariz. — White Sox manager Rick Renteria will be a “tough love” kind of leader.
On the outside, his gentle, upbeat demeanor says “nice guy.”
Behind that lies a no-nonsense longtime baseball guy who wants things done his way. He wants the game played a certain way under his watch, and the task of making that happen begins this week with veterans and prospects alike.
“There are going to be times where my guys don’t like me very much, and that’s OK; there are going to be times when I don’t like them very much,’’ Renteria said Monday. “But I’m always going to love them.’’
As most parents can relate to.
“A priest told me, ‘Kids aren’t always going to love their parents, and parents are not always going to love their kids.’ But it’s the same thing, same approach.
“The reality is I have a line that I have to toe in terms of having the responsibility to lead these guys in a particular direction. So that is on me now, that is my law.’’
Renteria comes back to managing with a second chance after unceremoniously getting let go by the Cubs, while still under contract, when Joe Maddon was hired.
There may be some good in taking a step back despite the unfortunate circumstances.
“The first time around, I think it went fast for him,’’ a veteran scout said. ‘‘They asked him to babysit those kids instead of being a manager, and he got clipped.
‘‘But he knew what he was doing, and hopefully he’s seen things, and it has slowed down for him a little bit. And the American League game doesn’t come at you as fast. He may have a shot at it.’’
“Every year you learn something new,’’ Renteria said.
Charlie Tilson and Matt Davidson were among the early position-player arrivals.
Tilson, who suffered a season-ending hamstring injury his first day in uniform after arriving from the Cardinals for Zach Duke last season, stands a good chance to be the Opening Day center fielder.
He is ranked as the Sox’ No. 11 prospect by MLB.com.
Third baseman Todd Frazier is expected to arrive soon. The first full-squad workout is Saturday.
Playing for pay
Melky Cabrera ($15 million) is earning the Sox’ highest salary in 2017. James Shields, at $21 million, is the highest-paid Sox player, although the Padres are paying $11 million of that.
The Sox’ other top salaries: David Robertson, $12 million; Frazier, $12 million; Jose Abreu, $10.825 million; Jose Quintana, $7 million; Derek Holland,
$6 million; Miguel Gonzalez, $5.9 million; Brett Lawrie,
$3.5 million, and Avisail Garcia, $3 million.
Cabrera, Frazier, Holland, Gonzalez and Lawrie are eligible for free agency after the season.
Nick Capra is coordinating camp again this year. Capra, who took over for former bench coach Mark Parent in that capacity last year, is taking over as third-base coach after serving as the organization’s director of player development.
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