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updated: 9/26/2013 10:28 PM

White Sox's Ventura eager to get back at it

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  • White Sox manager Robin Ventura says all the losing this season has motivated him to get back to winning in 2014.

      White Sox manager Robin Ventura says all the losing this season has motivated him to get back to winning in 2014.
    Associated Press

 
 

Robin Ventura played major-league baseball for 16 years, and he's nearing the end of his second season as White Sox manager.

He knows how the game/business works.

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"As a manager, you have to understand that they can come to you and say, 'We're going in a different direction,'" Ventura told the Daily Herald before the Sox played the Royals on Thursday night at U.S. Cellular Field.

"It was the same thing as a player, hearing things like that. That's just part of it."

It's the brutal part of baseball, and after such a bad season I'm hearing from more and more White Sox fans who want to see Ventura gone.

Ventura undoubtedly hears similar talk, and he gets it.

But barring an unexpected change of heart from general manager Rick Hahn, who will meet with the media Friday afternoon, Ventura is coming back in 2014 on the final year of his contract, and he hopes to be around even longer.

"Last year, you go through it your first time and you do fairly well, we're in the race, and then you have this year," Ventura said. "For me, there's more motivation with this year than there is the first one. This hasn't been acceptable.

"It's been one of those years, a tough year, but you just put it behind you and start working and try to make the right evaluations to get players in here that kind of mold together and mold together as a team."

When the season ends Sunday, Ventura is going to take a needed break from a long year of bad baseball. In time, he will be ready to focus his energies on next season.

"Losing's not fun," he said. "It's painful and it hurts. It does wear on you, but it hasn't gotten to the point where I don't enjoy what I do or have lost the motivation to do the job.

"This year, it's more of a challenge to get it turned around. When you have a really bad year, you look forward to bouncing back."

In spring training, Ventura made headlines after turning down a one-year extension. As he explained to me earlier in the season, Ventura decided to say no because he's comfortable working for White Sox chairman Jerry Reinsdorf and Hahn.

"It's probably different just because of the relationships I have here, who the owner is, who the GM is," Ventura said. "I don't think there's any pressure with that kind of stuff.

"I don't want it to be a thing like they owe me money so they have to bring me back or they want to make a change. We'll just get there when we get there."

That's how Ventura was as a player, and he hasn't changed much as a manager. He literally takes life day by day and never seems to waver up or down.

With plenty of money in the bank and an idyllic life waiting back home in Santa Maria, Calif., you have to wonder why Ventura doesn't just walk away rather than deal with the daily traumas he has experienced this season.

"Again, the losing is not fun, but it hasn't made me want to back off," Ventura said. "I haven't gotten any of those feelings like, 'I don't need this' or 'I don't want to be a part of this.'

"I don't like the way the season's gone, but I like what I'm doing, I like who I'm working for, all those things.

"People misunderstood when I didn't sign the extension. That's just the way I am, and if people want to look at that as I don't want to do this long term I wouldn't say I want to do it for 30 years, but I like what I'm doing and with my family life, it works."

sgregor@dailyherald.com

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