GLENDALE, Ariz. -- Manager Robin Ventura said the Chicago White Sox will not ban alcohol from the clubhouse and added that Boston Red Sox manager Bobby Valentine's decision to do so didn't come as a surprise, either.
"Bobby has always done that, even when I played for him with the Mets," Ventura said. "I don't see it as him changing it. For us, right now we're fine. If it needs to change, I'll change it."
Alcohol in the clubhouse became an issue with the Red Sox after last season when stories emerged that pitchers were drinking in the clubhouse on days they weren't pitching.
Ventura said he knows who will start the club’s first four Cactus League games, beginning on Monday against the Los Angeles Dodgers, but won’t announce them for another few days. Starter Chris Sale said he will take the mound next Friday, the Sox’s fourth game of the week, against the Cubs.
Ventura said he plans on getting closer candidates Matt Thornton and Jesse Crain some work during the ninth innings of Cactus League games in an effort to get them used to the feeling of entering games late, something that was rarely done last spring.
"They usually don't like doing that because they have to stay later in the game and face (the high numbers)," Ventura said. "I think later on in spring training you can do that, and we're going to end up getting more major league guys. But early, he wouldn't be facing guys going to face."
Representatives from the Major League Baseball Players Association spoke to White Sox players as part of their annual team meetings, and this one came on the heels of National League MVP Ryan Braun winning his appeal of a 50-game suspension after testing positive for a performance-enhancing drug.
Sale said that drug testing and the possibility of results leaking to the public is something he doesn’t worry about.
“My father said it best: 'That's the only test you don't have to study for, so you shouldn't fail it,' " Sale said. "But as far as all that stuff goes, obviously you need to look at what you're putting in your body. We have guys in here who know what you can and cannot do. You lean on them and that's something that I don't even pay attention to, obviously. I'm more worried about coming in and getting work done and starting the season than that other stuff."