In addition to learning that Robin Ventura’s contract with the White Sox runs through 2014 another interesting tidbit from his introductory press conference as manager today is that general manager Ken Williams admitted he considered first baseman Paul Konerko for the job before settling on Ventura:
It was considered long enough for me to realize that Paul is a very cerebral person and he would probably drive himself nuts right now playing and managing at the same time. But that’s the kind of respect I have for him that, yeah, I did consider it. Then I thought I think I would rather him be focused more on hitting third or fourth in the lineup and driving in 100 runs rather than trying to worry about 25 other guys in addition to it. We are trying to win.
Suffice it to say Ventura’s lack of managerial experience didn’t really bother Williams if he was thinking about giving the job to someone who wasn’t even finished playing yet. Pete Rose was the last player/manager for the Reds in the mid-80s, and before that Frank Robinson and Joe Torre also filled the dual role.
Konerko is 35 years old and has two seasons and $25.5 million remaining on his contract, so if the Ventura gamble doesn’t pay off for the White Sox presumably Williams will consider him a whole lot more seriously come 2014 or so.