Chicago Sun-Times
with sports reporters Daryl Van Schouwen and Chris De Luca

Ventura formally introduced as White Sox manager

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Robin Ventura, who was formally introduced as the 39th manager of the White Sox on Tuesday, is exactly as you see him.

Down to earth, centered and steady. And not a single word bleeped out of your evening sportscast.

No bleeps, no tweets, and no looks of angst on the White Sox public relations staff.

As for his style of managing, no one knows because Ventura has not managed or coached at any level. What his players can expect from the two-time all-star, Ventura said, is a straight-forward and honest dude.

"Just being truthful, being upfront, honest and fair, really," Ventura said. "I think everybody's accountable and from being a player, guys like that. Guys know what to expect, they like that. As a manager, I don't change day-to-day, and I think that'd be part of the draw. I'm pretty much the same every day, and they'll know what to expect.''

Asked if he has the cure for what ailed Adam Dunn, Alex Rios and Gordon Beckham during their poor 2011 seasons, Ventura said knows what the the first step is. And they're all taking it now.

"Well, I think for right now they need a break," Ventura said. "The mental grind of baseball is probably the toughest of of any sport because it's daily. It's daunting, especially if you get yourself in a hole. I don't think it's anything I can do right away.

"For them, you come to spring training and feel fresh. You feel different as a player every year as a player when you go to spring training. There's no guarantee that any guy on our team is going to have a better or worse year than last year."

Ventura was an off-the-radar pick by general manager Ken Williams, who was thinking outside the box all the way. He revealed Tuesday that he thought about asking Paul Konerko to be a player-manager. But that's as far as it went.

Williams said the rest of Ventura's coaching staff will be announced soon. He also said that first-base coach Harold Baines will get more involved with hitters, particularly on the mental side.

Here are exerpts of what Ventura had to say Tuesday.

On whether he talked to Sox players: : "I talked to Paul and then have done a little phone tag with a couple of other ones. That will eventually happen but it's just nice to get in contact with them and just talk to them.

On the best piece of advice he received since hired:

"The best piece of advice is to be yourself. That's going to be pretty simple for me."

On what he's learned from former managers:

"For me, I think you take something from every guy you play with, every guy that coached you and managed you. I think everybody has that. I've played for a lot of great managers and I plan on - I don't know if it's stealing - but it's using a lot of their styles and philosophies and I think that makes me confident."

On being a good cop/bad cop:

"Just being truthful, being upfront, honest and fair, really. I think everybody's accountable and as being a player, guys like that. Guys know what to expect, they like that. As a manager I don't change day to day and I think that'd be part of the draw. I'm pretty much the same every day and they'll know what to expect.

On what he can do to fix Dunn, Rios and Beckham:

"Well I think for right now they need a break. The mental grind of baseball is probably the toughest out of any sport because it's daily, it's daunting especially if you get yourself in a hole. I don't think it's anything I can do right away. For them, you come to Spring Training and feel fresh. You feel different as a player every year as a player when you go to spring training. There's no guarantee that any guy on our team is going to have a better or worse year than last year. We're hoping everybody has a great year and that's what we're counting on."

On Williams "interviewing" him as a player:

"As a player, it's hard to sit there and think you're going to be a manager back when you're five years in the league.

"Granted I don't have that coaching or managerial experience officially but I think later in my career that was something that was evident that I felt I could do it and I felt confident that I could do it.''

On being an instructing manager:

"I would instruct on things that I'm stronger at. Obviously when we fill the staff there's going to be guys that are stronger in certain areas of the game and I'm going to let them do that.

"I think third base and maybe a little bit of second. Probably with Brent more than anyone else if he needs it. He had a great end of the year and we're going to have to play that by ear. But I think everybody instructs in one way or the other and we're just going to have wait and see in spring how that all comes out.''

On handling different personalities:

"Well I played for a lot of different personalities and got along with a lot of different people and become friends with a lot of people from the outside they look at my personality andtheir personality and not think that we would get along. It's finding a way to have common ground. Personalities are great on teams. As long as they're a good teammate, we're going to get along great as long as they're going toward a common goal. When it's about yourself there's going to be times for discussion.''

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This page contains a single entry by Daryl Van Schouwen published on October 11, 2011 1:45 PM.

White Sox coaching staff all but set was the previous entry in this blog.

Williams considered Konerko as manager is the next entry in this blog.

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