CHICAGO – Perhaps there wasn’t enough thrown equipment late in the season or a teeth-gnashing anger for one fan who wondered Saturday why there wasn’t more outrage over the Chicago White Sox falling short last season.
A September collapse put the Detroit Tigers in the postseason instead. Now the White Sox forge ahead with a similar roster to the one that couldn’t accomplish its goals after rebounding from a disappointing 2011 season.
Maybe it was the fact that the roster wasn’t torn apart. Whatever the reason, the fan asked about a perceived lack of outrage, prompting both general manager Rick Hahn and manager Robin Ventura to respond at a morning seminar at SoxFest on Saturday.
“There is simply no worse feeling that I have than watching another team celebrate at the end of the season,” Hahn said. “In terms of everything you said, we’re not trying to finish in second place. We’re not trying to win 83 games and miss the playoffs.”
At that point, Ventura took over the conversation.
“Contrary to popular belief, it’s not easy. I think a lot of people might think it’s easy but it’s really not that easy. That’s why it’s 162 games and that’s why you play. I played for 16 years and it’s not that easy, it never was. You never want to go home not making the playoffs. We’re just as disappointed as anybody else.”
Ventura said the experience gleaned from his first season as manager should help the team moving forward. But just because the team was better in his first season, it doesn’t mean he was satisfied.
“Again, I know there is no season that you prepare for that,” he said. “Any time you’re knocked down you have to get back up and go. I’m not going to quit. I’m not quitting. I’m getting everybody to be ready to win this year not worry about just falling down.”
At that point the audience broke into applause. Not seeing signs of the disappointment might have been confusing for some. Hearing about it earned some appreciation, though.