By Bruce Levine-
(CBS) — White Sox manager Robin Ventura was strangely energized by the teams 99 loss season in 2013. The 47-year-old former All Star Third baseman will be a fixture in the Sox dugout for at least two more seasons.
After agreeing to a deal past 2014, the last year of his original three year contract, Ventura explained his passion for the job and franchise.
“I knew I enjoyed it in the first year,” he said from Sox Fest. “There are not always aspects of it that are enjoyable but of course that is a part of the job. Last year, as difficult as it was, I still enjoyed doing my job and where I was working.”
In November of 2012 Ventura was offered a contract extension which he graciously declined. The Sox where so thrilled with his first year performance they wanted to reward the manager and at the same type get a commitment for the future. At that time many including this writer took Ventura’s non action as a sign of reluctance.
Robin set the record straight on Friday.
“I think a lot has been made of me not accepting the extension a year ago,” he said. “That was me just wanting Rick (Hahn ) to have a full year on the job. Also the way I got my job was different, so I just thought it was only fair to him to have a full year of being the GM and running it the way he wants. Then if he wanted me to continue we would have the discussion.”
Ventura was originally signed to a three year contract averaging a shade over $3 million according to an industry source. Hahn refused to divulge any details of the new deal other than to say it was a multi year agreement. Multi in this case could mean two up to five years.
“We do not give details of our management contracts,” Hahn said. “That is our continuing policy”
After losing 99 games in 2013 Ventura said the players can expect some changes in the spring training format next month.
“There are things that will be a little different,” Ventura assured. “I am not going to have them come out at 6 a.m/ to run four minute miles.There were some things that we missed on defense (drills ) the first year compared to last year (leading league in errors ) there will be some different things.”
Hahn and Ventura both stated that they will not be the favorites to win in 2014.That however does not mean the manager will concede on the first day of spring training.
“I am not going to limit them as to where their minds are at,” he said. “You don’t want to limit someone individually from what they think they can do. Spring training is not the time to squash anybody’s feelings. It will be a positive spin on possibly what they can accomplish.”
Ventura finished third in the’ Manager of the year’ award in 2012, behind Buck Showalter and eventual winner Bob Melvin.