Ventura feels good as first year winds down

CHICAGO -- Robin Ventura said Sunday he’s enjoyed his first season as Chicago White Sox manager and plans to continue on for at least the next two seasons.

The White Sox’s decision to give Ventura a three-year deal to replace Ozzie Guillen in October of 2011 came as a surprise to most people as Ventura had no previous managerial experience. In Ventura’s first season, the White Sox have bounced back from last year’s 79-83 record and are currently 83-75 and are two games behind the Detroit Tigers in the American League Central. Ventura’s name was tossed around earlier in the season for American League Manager of the Year.

“Yeah, absolutely, (I’ve enjoyed it,)” Ventura said prior to Sunday’s game. “It’s one of those I enjoy the people I work with, the guys on the team, what they’ve done, so that part’s been fun.

“I plan on being here for two more years, yes. Unless they don’t want me to be here.”

Being around the game for so long as a player helped Ventura in his transition to manager, but he found some parts of the job to be more difficult than others.

“The hard part is you’re always thinking,” Ventura said. “If one guy’s doing well, somebody else might not be well. You’re always thinking that way. You’re thinking of 25 guys instead of just what you have to do and probably more than 25 guys since there’s more people here. That’s the hard part. The easy part is that you enjoy coming. It’s easy to get up and get ready to come to the ballpark.”

Ventura acknowledged while some people saw this season as a transitional one, he never did.

“It’s the end of something because it’s my first year,” Ventura said. “I didn’t come into it make it a transition for the players. Again for me, it’s the first year of doing something so you’re doing it the best you can without trying to rationalize it as a rebuilding, all the words that were used this year. I’m just trying to do my job and not try to look at it as a rebuilding or anything like that.”

White Sox first baseman Paul Konerko remarked Sunday he’s been especially impressed by Ventura’s consistency all season.

“He’s so steady,” Konerko said. “Since Day 1 of spring training, he never shows his hand. He just has a plan of how he’s going to do a day, a series, a week, a month. It’s just done the same way every time. You know what you’re going to get what when you walk in here. Everything kind of funnels down from the coaches to the players.

“We’re really doing nothing different today or the last few days than we were doing in April, May. To me, that’s the biggest credit to a manager. When you have all the guys buying into 162 games, that’s hard to get 25 men on the same page for that along of time, let alone we’ve had almost 40 guys up here. To having everybody buying into something like that, it means you carry a lot weight. You have some respect.”