Robin Ventura is not expected to return as manager of the Chicago White Sox, according to multiple reports.
The Chicago Sun-Timesfirst reported the news, adding that bench coach Rick Renteria will be Ventura’s likely replacement.
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Ventura, who is in the last year of his contract, has led the White Sox to a 375–434 record over his five years with the club. He declined to address the report after Chicago’s 6–0 loss to the Minnesota Twins on Saturday night.
“We’ve been over this,” Ventura said. “I’ll talk at the end of the year.”
General manager Rick Hahn also declined interview requests on Saturday night and relayed a message through a team spokesman that he would answer questions at a press conference Monday scheduled by the team. Players claimed they hadn’t heard the news.
“You guys are telling me something I haven't even heard about,” third baseman Todd Frazier said, adding that “I love Robin. I love him to death. He’s a good manager, for sure.”
Earlier this season, Ventura said he wanted to return in 2017 despite a fourth straight losing season and five years without a playoff berth. But Ventura then backtracked on that statement after USA Today reported Wednesday that the front office wanted to retain him but Ventura hadn’t committed.
Ventura sidestepped numerous questions about the issue after the game and said he hadn’t discussed his future with the players.
“No, I haven’t talked to them about anything. We’re still playing,” Ventura said. “All the conversations I have with them are about playing.”
Frazier praised the 54-year-old Renteria, who went 73–89 in one season with the Cubs in 2014. The White Sox hired him before this season.
“Rick’s a great guy, man,” Frazier said. “He’s bilingual, which is great. He’s been a manager before. But like I said, it’s not my right to say anything. I haven’t heard anything and that’s basically up to our brass so I’m not going to get in trouble.”
Saturday’s listless defeat continued a theme of inconsistency surrounding this year’s team, which started 23-10. They’re 55-73 since.
Information from the Associated Press was used in this report.