Ventura turned down one-year extension
Two years left on contract, White Sox manager not concerned with job security
GLENDALE, Ariz. -- Robin Ventura turned down an offseason offer by the White Sox of a one-year contract extension, which would have been added on to the two years remaining in his managerial deal.
The news was first reported by CSN Chicago on Tuesday and confirmed Wednesday by general manager Rick Hahn and Ventura, who simply wants to focus on this season. It's the one-day-at-a-time philosophy put forth by Ventura that worked so well for him and the White Sox during last year's surprising run atop the American League Central.
"We still have two more years to go through it. I want to focus more on what we're doing right now than worrying about me having another year," said Ventura. "It's flattering and nice and everything. We have good communication and everything is fine.
"This is my contract. I was the same way as a player. I'll worry about it at the end of it. I want them to think that in two years I'm still the right guy for the job for that to continue to go.
"It wasn't anything that was a big deal so I'm not holding out for anything or disappointed in not wanting to stay here," Ventura said. "At the end of that, that's when you talk about it. I'm not worried about trying to extend anything right now. I'm more worried with this team in this Spring Training than I'm worried about 2015."
Hahn explained that the offer came during an offseason phone conversation in the context of talking about the new coaches and the structure of the deals and how it was going to fit in. First-base coach Daryl Boston and bullpen coach Bobby Thigpen were added to the staff this past offseason.
To Ventura's credit, his focus wasn't on what could be done for him in the future.
"He's been around long enough to realize that all of us in these positions have a certain shelf life and he just wants to make sure that when the time comes to sign the extension that he's confident he's the right guy at that time," Hahn said. "It's really just a testament to him, how special he is in terms of his approach to this position and his focus on the job at hand. He's the exception and not the rule in this game."
As for the perception that Ventura turned down the extension because he's some sort of fill-in manager for just the three years, Hahn termed it inaccurate.
"My hope is that Robin's here for a long, long time," Hahn said. "You can't obviously foresee the future, but I suspect when the time comes that there is a new manager, it's that Robin decided personally he's not wanting to continue or he's not the right guy or the best guy to lead the White Sox at that time. My hope is that's far into the future."
Ventura wouldn't go as far as to call himself a "lifer," as far as managing, but he's very happy with the job he has and feels more comfortable in starting his second season.
"Once you get a year under your belt and you're doing things, you look at it differently," Ventura said. "Last year, no matter what I would have said today in an interview like this, I still hadn't been in a game. It's different.
"Now, you've been through a season, been through a game, you have a better understanding of all those things and how you're going to do stuff. I don't want it to be about turning down an extension. We can still get to that. That conversation will come up again."