By Brian Hanley-
(CBS) Jerry Reinsdorf is not anything if not progressive in his managerial thinking.
The chairman, who directed Kenny Williams to talk to Ozzie Guillen eight years ago when Williams was about to tab Cito Gaston next Sox skipper, was at it again last week.
According to Anthony McCarron of the New York Daily News, Reinsdorf gave Williams walking orders when it came time to start thinking about replacing Guillen.
Reinsdorf told Williams “to think outside the box on this one – no retreads.”
McCarron reported the two talked in early September as Guillen was letting anyone with a press credential know just how unhappy he was with his current contract, which ran through next season.
A week or so later, McCarron wrote, Williams came to Reinsdorf with two lists. One of those was what Reinsdorf termed “a lot of the usual suspects.” The other not only had Ventura’s name on it, but also that of Paul Konerko, who would have been a player-manager.
Paulie making pitching changes from first base would have been something to see.
When Reinsdorf saw Ventura’s name on the list, he told Williams it was “very interesting, but he’ll never do it.”
Credit Coop with an assist should the inexperienced Robin rock as Sox manager.
Reinsdorf told McCarron: “When we first approached Robin to offer him the job, he was stunned. But after we explained to him that we already had Don Cooper in place as his pitching coach to keep the continuity up there, he seemed very interested but still said he had to talk it over with his family. I think the single biggest factor in him taking the job was that his wife was all for it.”
Given Reinsdorf’s direct involvement in the hiring process which led to Ventura, one wonders if Williams will necessarily pay the price if this experiment ends up like Adam Dunn’s season.
Here’s hoping for Sox nation Ventura’s success make the point moot.
Hope you can join Mully and me when we kick off Bears Tuesday between 5 a.m. and 9 a.m.
As always, thanks for listening.