CHICAGO -- As the Chicago White Sox gather names for Mark Parent’s replacement as bench coach, former manager Ozzie Guillen will not be on the list.
In confirming that manager Robin Ventura would be back in 2016 and that Parent would no longer continue with the team, general manager Rick Hahn also said Friday that Guillen was not under consideration to return to the club in any capacity at this time.
The question was raised Friday since Guillen is a part of the White Sox family, he has his managerial experience, he seems to get along with Ventura, by all accounts, and that Hahn considers a Spanish-speaking coach a “positive.”
But just four years removed from parting ways with Guillen, the White Sox apparently weren’t ready to revisit the relationship on an everyday basis.
“I don't think [Guillen] is going to be the bench coach next year, no,” Hahn said.
Hahn suggested Guillen would be overqualified for the job.
“I don't know if you've heard it from me yet, but you've certainly heard it from others in this organization: Ozzie Guillen belongs somewhere in the big leagues managing,” Hahn said. “The game is better for it and he's already proven, in front of our own eyes, what he's capable of doing when at the helm of a club. That's the role he should be filling somewhere in the major leagues and hopefully some of these openings somewhere he lands there.”
While Hahn declined to get specific on why Parent was no longer a good fit, he did say the White Sox are looking to get better with in-game tactical decisions and to incorporate analytical data to a greater extent.
Asked about having “survivor’s guilt,” Ventura admitted it was awkward he will continue on with the White Sox, while his friend, Parent, was cut loose.
“Yeah, somewhat, because we came in together,” Ventura said. “I think that it being a friend is what makes it difficult, but you move forward. We’ve got somewhat of a list together. I’m sure it’ll get bigger in the next couple days. That process will continue.”
Hahn addressed the fact that Ventura is not without his positives.
“I feel Robin is a tremendous communicator, he creates the right environment; he gives the players the right information,” Hahn said. “I think any manager, no matter how strong or what the win-loss record is, you're going to have some tactical disagreements between 7 and 10 o'clock at night. Whenever there have been those disagreements, we've been able to talk through the specific issues and understand the rationale behind them.
“A big part of the managerial job, though, happens in those other 21 hours a day. And Robin's strengths is in that communication and in the environment he creates with those players, to allow them to maximize their abilities.”
How much longer he gets to prove it remains to be seen. He is signed through the 2016 season, but whether or not he lasts that long if the team gets off to a slow start next season is a topic sure to generate plenty of buzz. Ventura says his status is not something he will dwell on.
“You know what, right now we are just focusing on what we need to do in the offseason to get to that,” Ventura said. “I’ve always been a person that I honor that contract, and I’m not trying to force anything or do anything else. I would just get into that and go from there. I want us to win more than I’m worried about that.”
Also announced Friday is that assistant hitting coach Harold Baines asked out of his position and will become a club ambassador. Current hitting coach Todd Steverson will have a say in who will become his right-hand man.
“You continue to talk with your coaches and find a fit there that you want them to be able to work together and have the same philosophy as far as what they’re seeing,” Ventura said.
More significant changes will come with a roster that was retooled quickly last winter, only to underachieve as early as this spring.
“We tried to accelerate the process last offseason and it didn't work,” Hahn said. “That doesn't change the fact that the goal remains of putting ourselves in the position to contend on an annual basis and that we've been able to at least take steps towards that goal. We have a lot of work ahead of us to continue that, and we did not meet our own expectations. But we still feel we're in a position where we're headed in the right direction.”
Hahn wasn’t specific about any roster changes ahead, but he did give a general view about what the club’s thought process will be.
“We need to improve offensively, I can say that generally,” Hahn said. “We didn't get on base enough, we didn't hit enough home runs, especially when you consider this ballpark. Our defensive miscues, especially early on, were unacceptable. We've already taken some steps to tighten it up and we expect to continue to do that into the offseason.
“Our baserunning, the mistakes on the bases, are far, far too numerous and not the brand of baseball we want to play. In terms of how drastic the changes are, the direction or tenor of those changes, I don't think it's in our best interests from a strategic standpoint to lay out precisely what's going to happen over the next coming months.”