White Sox postseason drought is fourth longest in MLB. After four consecutive losing seasons with Robin Ventura as manager, will White Sox fortune change for the better next season with new manager?
The Chicago White Sox are in dire need of a winning season. After its fourth consecutive losing season in 2016, the Sox will enter next season with a new manager. Robin Ventura only had one winning season during his managerial tenure on the South Side.
Although Ventura decided he didn’t want to manage any more after this past season, the Sox should have never hired him in the first place. The managerial experiment with Ventura was never going to work, and its one of the dumbest decisions made by the Sox in recent memory. When the Sox parted ways with Ozzie Guillen in 2011, they should have hired a qualified replacement.
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Instead, the Sox talked Ventura into becoming its next manager. This was doomed to fail from the start as Ventura had no previous coaching experience in MLB, let alone in the minors. Ventura went from a beloved former Sox player to its worst manager since Terry Bevington. Ironically, Ventura player under Bevington from 1995-1997.
After Ventura, the Sox made the logical choice at promoting Rick Renteria from bench coach to manager. The Sox could have interviewed other candidates, but with Renteria already in the organization they choose promote from within. Something they’ve done a lot of recently. Renteria does have previous managerial experience, but can he guide this team back to being contenders?
The Sox still have a lot of holes to fill in order to be contenders, but they’re not far off from being a legitimate threat to reach the postseason. Renteria could become a difference maker for the Sox, much like Guillen was in 2004. Despite the Sox not reaching the postseason in Guillen’s first season as manager, the team was noticeably different than those teams lead by Jerry Manuel.
Guillen would later wear out his welcome with the Sox, but the franchise hasn’t experienced much success since he was manager. Renteria could change this, and it could happen as soon as next season. This is if the Sox decide to add to its current roster, as opposed to starting a rebuild. If the Sox want to contend, they will have to spend money on quality free agents in the off-season.
The upcoming free agent class isn’t necessarily deep, but there will be players the Sox could sign to fill its needs. The Sox already have a solid core of players in Chris Sale, Jose Quintana, Jose Abreu and Adam Eaton. With solid young players in Tyler Saladino, Carlos Rodon and Tim Anderson, the Sox are a few decent players short of fielding a contender.
If the Sox can effectively sign or trade for players that will fill its needs, it would bode well for Renteria as manager in 2017. This will undoubtedly make Renteria’s job much easier next season. The Sox will certainly need to add depth if they hope to contend next season. A lack of depth in 2016 hurt the Sox as they couldn’t recover from injuries to starting players.
Renteria will definitely be a welcome sight for Sox fans next season as manger. He was able to do a solid job with the Cubs in his lone season as manager in 2014. If the Sox can provide Renteria with more quality players, expect this team to truly contend in 2017. It would be a shame if the Sox can’t experience postseason play with its current group of core players.