April 20 is awfully early for a manager to get a vote of confidence from the front office, but such is life in Chicago thanks to the White Sox’s slow start following a busy offseason that raised expectations.
Robin Ventura’s in-game tactics have been called into question multiple times recently and the White Sox are 5-7, but in speaking to reporters Monday general manager Rick Hahn made it clear that the manager is not on the hot seat:
I get it, it’s part of the nature of the gig. There’s an in-game strategy element that everyone–fans, and media–can have an opinion on and perhaps have a better point of view than the manager in the heat of the moment.
There is also a personnel-management side of the game that most people aren’t privy to. You guys as media members see some of it, but not all of it. And the strengths in that area are very high and very strong and something we are very pleased with.
Hahn quasi-admitting that Ventura’s in-game moves weren’t ideal is interesting in itself, but he’s certainly right about the importance of all the behind-closed-doors stuff that few people not on the team get to see. Of course, the end result is that Ventura has a 226-272 record as manager and Hahn made a bunch of moves this offseason clearly aimed at changing the team from last-place finishers to contenders.
Late last season Hahn also gave Ventura a vote of confidence and the primary message then was that the front office had not provided the manager with a roster capable of winning consistently. Obviously that’s no longer a potential excuse, or at least not an excuse Hahn is likely to believe in.