The final days of Robin Ventura's tenure as manager of the Chicago White Sox have provided perfect insight into the organization's dysfunction and why the team is doomed to mediocrity for years to come unless something changes in the way it operates.
Ventura has been manager of the White Sox for the past five seasons, and you'd assume that this would've been plenty of time for the folks making the decision to determine one way or another whether they want to buy in to his skill set for the years ahead. But on Wednesday, Bob Nightengale of USA Today reported that the White Sox had decided to bring back Ventura for one more season … if he wanted to return.
Ventura has a long history with the White Sox and knows how owner Jerry Reinsdorf runs the team, so he probably wasn't surprised. On one hand, Ventura's bosses were saying he could stay if he wanted to stay, but nobody was saying out loud how much the White Sox actually wanted him. This was Reinsdorf — the most loyal boss in baseball — being polite. Instead of forcing the change of managers themselves by making a hard decision and firing Ventura, they postured that it was Ventura's decision … without committing to him.
Ventura apparently took the hint and is leaving, and maybe something similar will happen with one of the two executives above him in the chain of command, executive vice president Ken Williams and general manager Rick Hahn.