It seems like I should be able to have a larger and more layered reaction to the White Sox making an out of left-field hire of an ex-player with no coaching experience.
Robin Ventura as a manager is such blank slate though, searching for more angles on him is like peering into one o those Magic Eye charts...well, at least for me. I'm terrible at those, and usually resort to guessing one of the few variations. Extrapolating from that simile, Robin Ventura will either be a blazing success, an ill-prepared failure, or the planet Saturn.
Looking for bits and pieces:
Mark Gonzales' article contained the nugget where Kenny Williams stated that Ventura filled his criteria of a manger who among many other things, would demonstrate "an open-mindedness toward sabermetrics in evaluations". As Wiz reminded at SBT, that's a lot friendlier than Ozzie's attitude.
It's pretty hard to imagine a Kenny Williams-led front office ever being on the cutting edge of statistical analysis, but any earnest efforts to turn the ship are welcome at this point.
With Ozzie gone, the Sun-Times' Joe Cowley's stance on the Guillen-Williams rift lost that one semblance of subtlety it had been clinging to, as he wrote a stinging column identifying Don Cooper as a Judas figure who masterfully orchestrated Ozzie's demise.
Jim said as much earlier, but Cowley's reliability for having reliable sources in the organization and breaking stories is matched only by his obvious bias for Guillen. The best approach with him has always been to parse out the cold-hard data, and that's getting pretty difficult now that he's off the beat
So while Cowley's anonymous sources deserve to be given credence, the portrayal of Guillen tanking the 2011 season as somehow justified, and nary a mention of him angling for Florida could only be the beginning of his angling
In response, Cooper and Williams both furiously called Cowley's claims false, almost to the point of alleging libel. This is a lot more aggressive than the two have been before to a columnist they don't care for in the least and have frozen out.
Cowley has other sports to write about nowadays, but it'll be interesting to see how the White Sox management responds to him going forward when there's no longer any risk in irking Guillen by refuting his most supportive newspaperman's claims.
Here, I might have to claim ignorance, or at least detachment from the feelings of a normal fan who isn't so obsessed about the White Sox as to write about them every day.
Daryl Van Schouwen puts together the pieces of the last few days to conclude that the White Sox look to be in a "re-building mode". It's a solidly-built article, but has a bit of a 'shocking expose!' tone that I found strange. The writing has been on the wall that such a process was on the way since Kenny made his statement about siding with youth, the only question is the extent.
Is re-building really that much of a dirty word to fans in the wake of the 2011 season? The Cardinals just gave a fine example of why it's important to make it into playoffs whenever possible, but is it truly preferable if the attempts are inept, and budgeted in a way that makes each succeeding one more so?
It's not as if the White Sox are a cheap organization that will abide spending a decade--or even half that--as doormats, but even the thought of a couple years in a malaise is generating a lot of fright.
Perhaps I'm a lot more willing to watch plodding, hopeless-looking development than most. I'm sure the 2012 attendance will make that very clear.
There was a lot of quality content from the blogosphere in the wake of the Ventura hiring, and it deserves notice. Almost everyone I've read made sure to note how impossible it is to make a firm conclusion.
South Side Sox had a roundtable discussion of the hiring. There's a desire to be cautiously optimistic, but it's hard to even take that firm of a stance.
Chris Jaffe of the Hardball Times tries to cope with his shock by searching out historical precedent. History majors (myself included) tend to do that.
Mike at White Sox Watch certainly isn't bowled over by his first impressions of the move, but admits the return of such a beloved player draws out some optimism.