(CBS) In what comes as surprising news after another disappointing season, the White Sox will retain manager Robin Ventura if he wants to return, USA Today’s Bob Nightengale reported Wednesday, citing a high-ranking front office official.
The fifth and final year of Ventura’s contract expires at season’s end. Ventura has previously indicated he’d like to continue managing but hadn’t fully committed to doing so.
Asked about his future ahead of Wednesday’s home game against the Rays, Ventura declined to go into details, saying the timetable for a decision about whether he returns is after the season concludes. He also didn’t say Wednesday whether he wants to return.
Given the White Sox’s continued struggles, it was expected by many that Ventura would be let go. Ventura, 49, has a 373-432 mark (.463) in his five seasons as Chicago’s manager, and the team has never made the playoffs in that span.
This 2016 season was marked by controversy from the outset. Spring training brought the Adam LaRoche drama, in which executive Kenny Williams asked that the time 14-year-old Drake LaRoche spent in the team’s clubhouse be severely dialed back. Adam LaRoche then abruptly retired, creating a saga that was a hot-button debate not just in the sports world but on national morning shows as well.
After a 23-10 start this season, the White Sox took a downturn and are 76-81 with five games left.
After a big free agency splash ahead of the 2015 season, the White Sox bombed, going 76-86.
The White Sox’s best season under Ventura was his first, as they went 85-77 in 2012 and spent 117 days in first place before fading late and finishing second in the division. They lost 99 games in 2013 and 89 games in 2014.
Ventura was hired as the franchise’s 39th manager in early October 2011, after former manager Ozzie Guillen had a falling out with management. The move was a surprise, as Ventura had no previous managing experience and admitted he was initially apprehensive about taking the job before further discussions with Williams.