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White Sox give manager Ventura extension

KDWN

CHICAGO (AP) — As their win total plummeted last season, one thing remained steady for the Chicago White Sox – their faith in Robin Ventura.

The White Sox rewarded their manager with a multi-year contract extension Friday, announcing the move hours before their annual fan convention opened.

The terms were not disclosed.

The extension comes after the White Sox dropped from second in the AL Central in Ventura’s first season to last with 99 losses in his second year.

“You lose 99 games, there are going to be questions like that, about where this organization’s headed and why they think the people in charge are the right people to get them through their end goal,” general manager Rick Hahn said. “I would say we saw in 2012 and 2013 two extremes in terms of being a first-place club and being a club that was a disappointed in terms of performance. Throughout each of those extremes, Robin’s leadership was unwavering.”

Ventura’s contract was set to expire after this year. He turned down an extension before the 2013 season, leading to speculation that he might not want to stick around much longer, but he insisted that wasn’t the case. He wanted to give Hahn – then in his first season as GM – a chance to work with him before making a long-term commitment.

“I just felt it was important for Rick to have a full year of doing the job, us working together,” Ventura said. “Then, you have the ability and freedom to decide if I’m the right guy for the job. Nothing really changed in my mind of where I want to be and what I want to do. It’s just more of it being his first time going through, I just wanted to make sure he had the ability and the freedom to do that. Now with the way last year went, the offseason, a lot of communication, a lot of talks of where we’re headed, how we’re going to do it – I’m excited to just keep going.”

Hahn, who got bumped up from assistant GM in October 2012 to replace the promoted Ken Williams, called it a selfless act by Ventura.

“(It) allowed me the latitude to get comfortable,” Hahn said. “It speaks to what kind of good man he is and actually makes a decision like this all the easier because of it.”

A former All-Star third baseman, Ventura had never managed at any level when he replaced Ozzie Guillen. And the results his first season were promising.

The White Sox led the Central for much of 2012 before finishing second to Detroit with 85 wins, but there was a huge drop-off last year. Chicago wound up last in the division at 63-99, giving Ventura a 148-176 mark in two seasons.

The White Sox hit just .249 as a team and their home run total dropped from third in the majors at 211 to 19th at 148. With little speed, there was no way to make up for the drop in power, and compounding the problem was the poor play on defense.

They went from leading the majors in fielding percentage to ranking 29th, with Alexei Ramirez committing 22 errors and tying the Cubs’ Starlin Castro for the major league lead among shortstops.

“It’s imperative that we show improvement,” Hahn said. “It’s imperative that we show growth, especially on the position player side. We feel we have the ability to contend. But the most important thing for us is going to be allowing these young guys room to grow.”

Ventura’s steady hand, his ability to relate, came up over and over on Friday. It’s why the White Sox believe he is the right manager, particularly on a team with some key young players.

They signed Cuban slugger Jose Abreu to a six-year, $68 million contract, hoping he can add pop. They’ll have a full year with outfielder Avisail García after acquiring him from Detroit in the midseason deal that sent Jake Peavy to Boston, too.

They’ve added some youth, athleticism, to their lineup. They believe they have enough pitching to compete with Chris Sale leading the rotation, even if they didn’t land Japanese star Masahiro Tanaka.

And they insist Ventura’s the man to lead them.

“He just doesn’t miss on how to handle guys,” longtime star Paul Konerko said. “He’s stern with them, he gets his point across. But for a team of this makeup, Robin is such a good fit. I’m glad he would want to stay.”

White Sox give manager Ventura extension

KDWN

CHICAGO (AP) — The Chicago White Sox agreed to a multiyear contract extension with manager Robin Ventura on Friday, hours before their annual fan convention.

The terms were not disclosed.

Ventura turned down an extension before the 2013 season, leading to speculation that he might not want to stick around much longer, but he insisted that wasn’t the case. He wanted to give then-new general manager Rick Hahn a chance to work with him before making a long-term commitment.

“I just felt it was important for Rick to have a full year of doing the job, us working together,” Ventura said. “Then, you have the ability and freedom to decide if I’m the right guy for the job. Nothing really changed in my mind of where I want to be and what I want to do. It’s just more of it being his first time going through, I just wanted to make sure he had the ability and the freedom to do that. Now with the way last year went, the offseason, a lot of communication, a lot of talks of where we’re headed, how we’re going to do it – I’m excited to just keep going.”

Hahn, who got bumped up from assistant GM in October 2012 to replace the promoted Ken Williams, called it a selfless act by Ventura.

“(It) allowed me the latitude to get comfortable,” Hahn said. “It speaks to what kind of good man he is and actually makes a decision like this all the easier because of it.”

A former All-Star third baseman, Ventura had never managed at any level when he replaced Ozzie Guillen. And the results his first season were promising.

The White Sox led the AL Central for much of the 2012 season before finishing second to Detroit with 85 wins, but there was a huge drop-off last year. Chicago wound up last in the division at 63-99, giving Ventura a 148-176 mark in two seasons.

The White Sox hit just .249 as a team and their home run total dropped from third in the majors at 211 to 19th at 148. With little speed, there was no way to make up for the drop in power, and compounding the problem was the poor play on defense.

They went from leading the majors in fielding percentage to ranking 29th, with Alexei Ramirez committing 22 errors and tying the Cubs’ Starlin Castro for the major league lead among shortstops.

One thing that didn’t drop – the organization’s confidence in the manager.

“You lose 99 games, there are going to be questions like that, about where this organization’s headed and why they think the people in charge are the right people to get them through their end goal,” Hahn said. “I would say we saw in 2012 and 2013 two extremes in terms of being a first-place club and being a club that was a disappointed in terms of performance. Throughout each of those extremes, Robin’s leadership was unwavering.”

His steady hand, his ability to relate, came up over and over on Friday. It’s why the White Sox believe the 46-year-old Ventura is the manager, particularly on a team with some key young players.

White Sox give manager Ventura extension

KDWN

CHICAGO (AP) — The Chicago White Sox agreed to a multi-year contract extension with manager Robin Ventura on Friday, hours before their annual fan convention.

The terms were not disclosed. Ventura turned down an extension before the 2013 season, leading to speculation that he might not stick around much longer.

“We have been on the same page since day one, but I’m very happy to have this behind us so we can continue to keep our focus on the playing field,” Ventura said in a statement. “I’m excited about the direction of the club and the moves we have made this offseason, but there is still a lot of work to be done so I think we’re all ready to get to spring training and get started.”

He led the White Sox to 85 wins and a second-place finish in the AL Central, but they dropped to 63-99 while finishing last in his second season. Ventura, 46, is 148-176 in two seasons.

He spent 16 major-league seasons with the White Sox (1989-98), New York Mets (1999-2001), New York Yankees (2002-03) and Los Angeles Dodgers (2003-2004), hitting .267 with 294 home runs and 1,182 RBIs.

“Jerry (Reinsdorf), Kenny (Williams), Robin and I have had many conversations about our objectives in both the short and long term,” general manager Rick Hahn said in a statement. “We are in complete agreement with the direction and vision for this organization in 2014 and beyond. I have great confidence that Robin’s leadership and direction will help us reach our goals, and there was never really any question in our minds as to who we wanted in the White Sox dugout now and into the future.”

White Sox give manager Ventura extension

KDWN

CHICAGO (AP) — The Chicago White Sox agreed to a multi-year contract extension with manager Robin Ventura on Friday, hours before their annual fan convention.

The terms were not disclosed. Ventura turned down an extension before the 2013 season, leading to speculation that he might not stick around much longer.

“We have been on the same page since day one, but I’m very happy to have this behind us so we can continue to keep our focus on the playing field,” Ventura said in a statement. “I’m excited about the direction of the club and the moves we have made this offseason, but there is still a lot of work to be done so I think we’re all ready to get to spring training and get started.”

He led the White Sox to 85 wins and a second-place finish in the AL Central, but they dropped to 63-99 while finishing last in his second season. Ventura, 46, is 148-176 in two seasons.

He spent 16 major-league seasons with the White Sox (1989-98), New York Mets (1999-2001), New York Yankees (2002-03) and Los Angeles Dodgers (2003-2004), hitting .267 with 294 home runs and 1,182 RBIs.

“Jerry (Reinsdorf), Kenny (Williams), Robin and I have had many conversations about our objectives in both the short and long term,” general manager Rick Hahn said in a statement. “We are in complete agreement with the direction and vision for this organization in 2014 and beyond. I have great confidence that Robin’s leadership and direction will help us reach our goals, and there was never really any question in our minds as to who we wanted in the White Sox dugout now and into the future.”

White Sox give manager Ventura extension

KDWN

CHICAGO (AP) — The Chicago White Sox say they have agreed to a multi-year contract extension with manager Robin Ventura.

The terms were not disclosed. The White Sox announced the deal on Friday, hours before their annual weekend fan convention began.

Ventura turned down an extension before the 2013 season, leading to speculation that he might not stick around much longer.

He led the White Sox to 85 wins and a second-place finish in the AL Central, but they dropped to 63-99 while finishing last in his second season. Ventura, 46, is148-176 in two seasons.

He spent 16 major-league seasons with the White Sox (1989-98), New York Mets (1999-2001), New York Yankees (2002-03) and Los Angeles Dodgers (2003-2004), hitting .267 with 294 home runs and 1,182 RBIs.