A to Z Challenge: R is for Ricky!

A to Z Challenge: R is for Ricky!

Honestly, better said, R is for Rick, the White Sox manager doesn't go by Ricky much these days. Rick, though, just don't track. Admittedly, this isn't much of a report card on Renteria because we are just 60 or so games into his tenure as White Sox manager.

Rather, it's first impressions, after the first couple of months in charge. Renteria seems like a good, decent guy. He is a baseball lifer who worked his way up through through the minor leagues in a number of different systems. Teams think highly enough of him that when he leaves the White Sox, which will happen as it always does for any manager, if he wants, Renteria will get another job. Will it be another managerial job? That I can't say, but if his past is any indication, he will be willing to take a different role, perhaps even a trip back to the minors.

Renteria isn't flashy or quirky. He won't be confused with the hippie savant of Joe Maddon nor the firebrand Ozzie Guillen. He won't be confused with Robin Ventura either. Unlike Ventura, Renteria actually likes the job, wants the job. He is doing a good job navigating a tricky season where the expectations are low (some of us want the team to do even worse :-) Renteria keeps talking about playing well, the team doing their best, putting in the effort. Being savvy enough not to get talking about playoffs or wild cards or some such. He's also not offering much in the way of discussing trade rumors.

If and when the trades come (they are coming right Mr. Hahn?) I'm sure he'll speak highly of the departed player and be properly enthusiastic about the incoming player(s.) If I went back and looked at some of his decisions I could find ones I don't agree with, but so far he doesn't seem out of his depth and like a good steward.

I don't know what would have happened if he would have stayed on with the Cubs. Maddon is folk hero and I don't think Renteria would achieve that. I also don't know however, what he would have done with all of the talent the Cubs have. Managing Kris Bryant, Anthony Rizzo and the rest of the ascendant Cubs of the last two years would make a lot of managers look good. So far we only have Renteria's seasons with a rebuilding Cubs team and rebuilding White Sox team. He kept it together with the Cubs and there is no reason to believe he won't keep that professionalism on the South Side.

It is that Cubs episode that demonstrates the most about Renteria. He hasn't spoken a great deal about it and I don't think he ever will. Maddon said things are fine, Epstein said things are fine, Renteria has too. The only one of the three who's voice matters is Renteria's. He's the Jennifer Aniston in this triangle. He's been a stand up guy throughout the whole thing. It might not be enough to keep his job, but it's enough to make him a good guy to cheer for.

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