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White Sox: Rick Renteria Might Not Be Right Manager for Rebuild

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CHICAGO, IL - JULY 27: Rick Renteria #17 of the Chicago White Sox gets thrown out of the game after arguing with umpire Fieldin Culbreth #25 on July 27, 2018 at Guaranteed Rate Field in Chicago, Illinois. (Photo by David Banks/Getty Images)
CHICAGO, IL - JULY 27: Rick Renteria #17 of the Chicago White Sox gets thrown out of the game after arguing with umpire Fieldin Culbreth #25 on July 27, 2018 at Guaranteed Rate Field in Chicago, Illinois. (Photo by David Banks/Getty Images) /
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White Sox manager benches one of the team’s best player for not running out a grounder that was actually caught on a line drive for an out.

In the White Sox 4-2 loss to the Kansas City Royals on Tuesday night, manager Rick Renteria benched shortstop Tim Anderson after the sixth inning for not running out what appeared to be a groundball. However, it was a line drive hit by Anderson and caught by third baseman Rossel Herrera.

This was a bizarre decision on the part of Renteria because although Anderson didn’t leave the batter’s box, his line drive was caught for an out. However, Renteria later defended his decision after the game.

"“He didn’t try to do it that way. He hit what he thought was a line drive at the defender. He thought he genuinely saw the defender catch the ball. As much as we all want to take it all into account, you never assume the out.” Rick Renteria"

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Renteria has benched players before who didn’t show full effort in running out of the batter’s box. But this was a situation in which Anderson was right in assuming he was out. Lately, Renteria has started drawing the ire of more Sox fans. With the team being 32 games under .500, is Renteria the right manager for the current rebuild?

The Sox current record can’t be blamed on Renteria as they are in year two of their current rebuild. There’s not much major league talent on the team at the moment. However, some of the decisions that Renteria has made over the past two seasons have been frustrating for many Sox fans to watch. From an increasing reliance on bunting to questionable bullpen management, Renteria hasn’t grown confidence in many fans who want this franchise to turn its fortunes around.

Renteria was fired from the Cubs after just one season in 2014 and didn’t get to manage the team back to contention. He has been allowed to manage this Sox team for two seasons, but will he get the chance to remain as manager when this team is ready to contend? His hard stance on giving full effort is admirable, but it can cause a rift in the clubhouse if players are benched for not running hard on lineouts.

Many Sox fans are aware the organization has been loyal to its coaches as evidenced by Robin Ventura managing five seasons on the South Side. Ventura only managed one winning season with the Sox but wasn’t fired despite the team finishing under .500 in four consecutive seasons. This could mean the Sox most likely won’t fire Renteria anytime soon.

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If the Sox could find a manager that’s better equipped to lead the team when its ready to contend, they shouldn’t hesitate to hire him. Unfortunately, history has shown the Sox are a franchise that rarely gets out of its own way. Expect Renteria to be the team’s manager when this team contends again. Hopefully, he has better judgment by then on when to punish a player for not displaying effort on the basepaths.

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