After a red-hot start to the season, the Chicago White Sox are 33-33. The team’s 10-23 mark over its last 33 games has reportedly landed manager Robin Ventura on the hot seat.
“As one White Sox-connected person put it, things are ‘not great’ regarding Ventura’s status,” Jon Heyman said on Today’s Knuckleball. “Ventura is well-respected within the organization, but as the team has imploded, going from its terrific 23-10 start to .500, there’s starting to be talk among those in the know that Ventura’s status could be affected.”
If the White Sox’ front office really feels that Ventura is costing the team games, then it needs to act soon. This is the last year of his contract and firing him now makes sense only if they feel that the season is still salvageable. Right now, it is. The Sox have fallen to 33-33 but are only 2.5 games behind the first-place Cleveland Indians and Kansas City Royals.
If the front office waits until the team is too far back, firing Ventura in-season wouldn’t make any sense unless they possibly see a permanent replacement who’s also available. Otherwise, the best action would be to let the manager’s contract expire and view the replacement options after the season.
While it would be overly simplistic to blame Ventura for the team’s decline, his record has been poor. Ventura’s tenure started strong in 2012 with an 85-77 mark, narrowly missing the postseason. From 2013-15, Chicago was never won more than 76 games.