By Bruce Levine–
CHICAGO (CBS) — The last several weeks of the baseball season can be a real grind for the teams and players out of contention. In the case of managers and coaches, it can be even worse.
As it pertains to the staff of the underachieving White Sox, there will be long days and evenings before they find out what their fate is. The White Sox front office is taking a long look at the entire organization, including manager Robin Ventura and his coaches. None of them have contracts beyond the end of this 2016 season.Ventura is finishing the fifth and final year of his deal as manager, and the team hasn’t been in contention in any of the last four seasons.
Despite speculation swirling that the White Sox won’t renew Ventura’s deal, he has handled the situation with the same class and professionalism that he has displayed his entire baseball career. Standing up and being counted upon is what the 49-year-old Ventura insists on as the season draws to a close with Chicago out of playoff contention.
“They understand that,” Ventura said about his staff’s situation. “You sit and talk about things. They get it, and that is just a part of the business we are in. That is not going to change any of the professionalism or the work anybody is doing. We will have to wait and see.”
Ventura insisted that not knowing your fate on the job isn’t just a baseball dynamic.
“There are a lot of occupations like that,” he said. “I don’t think (baseball) is unique in any way. Our jobs are a little more public than most of them. Again, that is part of the job. You understand it and deal with it. It doesn’t change what we are doing the rest of the way out.”
General manager Rick Hahn has said from midseason on that the coaching staff would have to wait until season’s end for a final evaluation.
“We are still going to wait until after the season,” Hahn said when asked for a timetable. “It’s not great (for them). No one enjoys that, regardless of the profession you are in. Nobody enjoys uncertainty about their own situation or security for their family going forward. At the same time, everyone knows here this is the business we have chosen. With that comes certain difficulties at times when a team does not achieve the level we anticipate. Again, it’s not a situation any of us wanted to be in or hoped for. This is where we are at. As a result, we are going to have to make some tough decisions over the coming weeks and months.”
Hahn is taking the same view of the entire organization from top to bottom.
“I will say with everything looking so dour, we are absolutely thrilled with our most recent draft,” Hahn said. “We saw our Great Falls team (in the rookie league) go to the postseason and have a 14-game winning streak to end the year, with five All-Stars. You do see areas you can be hopeful about. When things aren’t going the way you want in Chicago, everything is fair game.”
Bruce Levine covers the Cubs and White Sox for 670 The Score and CBSChicago.com. Follow him on Twitter @MLBBruceLevine.