CLEVELAND – Robin Ventura is the anti-Ozzie, as opposite from his predecessor as the White Sox manager can be.
But Ventura was a teammate of Ozzie Guillen, so it wasn’t easy for him to watch Guillen apologize for saying he admired Fidel Castro at a news conference Tuesday in Miami.
“It’s a tough day for him, but he looked sincere and meant it,” said Ventura, who played alongside Guillen in the Sox infield from 1989 to ’97. “It’s one of those things he’ll have to get through. He’s a friend, so it’s not always easy to watch, either.”
When it was said that managers might do well to talk only about baseball in the media, Ventura said, “Yeah, that’s what I’m going to do.”
“All of the guys in this clubhouse knew what he meant when he said that,” second baseman Gordon Beckham said. “Sometimes Ozzie will say more than he should. That’s not a fun thing for anybody who’s Latin to go through.”
Ventura was going to rest center fielder Alejandro De Aza and catcher A.J. Pierzynski, each of whom homered Monday. Beckham was leading off, Alex Rios was batting second and Kosuke Fukudome was batting fifth and playing center field.
“The first 20-25 games, you’re trying to figure out more of a steady lineup,” Ventura said. “But this early, I feel like I can still move guys around, and I told them, ‘Don’t read into anything. There are no signs. We’re just trying to get guys in and put you in where I think you can be successful.’ ”
Viciedo on target
Ventura wants to keep Dayan Viciedo playing because he needs at-bats to find his swing. He has three hits in the last two games.
“He’s a typical big hitter. I’m not so sure he’s considered a home-run guy quite yet, but the more reps he gets, the better he’ll be,” hitting coach Jeff Manto said. “He’s not a guy who comes out of the gate hitting. Since the time we got him, April has always been an adjustment period. He’s right on target.”
Jake Peavy had a bullpen session Monday. The right-hander wasn’t physically strong enough all of last season to throw one.
â—† Paul Konerko had his right hamstring iced and wrapped after the game Monday and was receiving treatment on his lower back Tuesday. Konerko said both issues are lingering from spring training and are minor.
â—† The Sox acquired infielder Jose Castro in a trade from the Cincinnati Reds for cash considerations. He will be assigned to Class AAA Charlotte.