The Chicago White Sox saw Robin Vent struggle as manager.
The Chicago White Sox’s hiring of Robin Ventura in the 2011 offseason was an exciting move for many fans.
While the team was coming off a rough year in which they went 79-83 and traded previous Ozzie Guillen to the Miami Marlins at the end of the season (Bleacher Report), there was no reason to believe this team couldn’t reach new heights with Ventura at the helm.
They were only a year removed from going 88-74 in 2010 and still had talented players like A.J. Pierzynski, Paul Konerko, Chris Sale, Jake Peavy, and Jose Quintana.
Ventura was also a familiar face in the South Side as the former All-Star third baseman spent a decade with the Chicago White Sox.
His first season showed growth, as he led the team to an 85-77 record that, unfortunately, would see him miss the playoffs in his first season by three games.
However, it still looked like a step in the right direction.
That would be the closest he’d ever get to his team making the playoffs, though, as they would fall into a period mediocrity while simply not coming close to making the playoffs at the end of the day.
For example, in his final season with the Chicago White Sox in 2016, the team made a deadly trade that saw them acquire James Shields in June that was done in order to stay competitive.
Of course, the team didn’t realize that they were giving up one of the best shortstops in the game in Fernando Tatis Jr. to get him. That deal will, hopefully, forever rank as the worst of Rick Hahn’s tenure.
The team wouldn’t even go on to finish over .500 that season, going 78-84 in what amounted to the Chicago White Sox second-best record in a season under Robin Ventura.
While part of the blame should absolutely fall on Ventura, the team’s lack of success cannot fall completely on him.
Nobody wanted to realize it, but that team was likely destined to fail under any manager during that time.
Much of the talent on those Chicago White Sox teams were carry-overs from their successful 2005 team and they were destined to regress with age and, eventually, retire.
The team’s failures during his tenure actually are what led the Chicago White Sox to where they are today.
His struggles helped them realize that grasping for straws to compete was a method that was simply going to lead them down the road of mediocrity over the long haul.
After that season, the team went full-force into their rebuild under Rick Hahn and have now found themselves in a position to compete again under Rick Renteria.
The Robin Ventura era will likely be remembered as a dark period of the team’s history, but it might have been necessary to get themselves on the path of success.