New White Sox manager Robin Ventura acknowledged in a conference call this afternoon that he's made quite a leap considering he has no managerial experience, but he said he's up to it: "I've jumped in the deep end, but I can swim" (Twitter link). Here are some interesting reactions, takes and analyses from the baseball community …
- Ken Rosenthal of FOXSports.com (video) heard the rumor of the White Sox's interest in Ventura on Wednesday but didn't relay it because it seemed so outlandish and he couldn't get it confirmed. Pretty ironic, right?
- "We don't have to react, just to react," opines Kevin Goldstein of Baseball Prospectus, who notes there's no way of accurately gauging whether Ventura was a sound hire or what the White Sox's motives were.
- Scott Miller of CBSSports.com commends the White Sox for thinking outside the box.
- "All we know is that it's somewhere between incredibly brilliant and ridiculously foolish," writes Rob Neyer of SBNation.com.
- Ventura, who was assisting a high school team in California the past couple years, has a "stunning feel for the game," one of his friends tells Tim Brown of Yahoo! Sports. Brown adds that the move looks like the work of White Sox owner Jerry Reinsdorf (Twitter links).
- Keith Law of ESPN.com is "shocked and pessimistic" (via Twitter).
- One of the reasons the White Sox chose Ventura is because he won't butt heads with GM Ken Williams, tweets Jon Heyman of SI.com. Former manager Ozzie Guillen, of course, didn't always have the best relationship with club brass.
- Count Jeff Passan of Yahoo! Sports among the skeptics (Twitter link), who points out that A.J. Hinch was the last manager to be hired without experience (by the Diamondbacks), though Hinch at least had worked in the front office.
- Finally, Dave Cameron of FanGraphs tweets that we should brace ourselves for an onslaught of jokes about an incident Ventura would rather forget.