Robin Ventura sends message to team, pulls Alex Rios for lack of hustle

  • David Whitlock

The Chicago White Sox have had a rough season to say the least.  Despite  being our blog’s vogue pick to win the AL Central, they sit in last place at 37-56, second worst record in the AL, and are widely considered “sellers” at the trade deadline.  One of those trade pieces is Alex Rios, who has double digit home runs and steals to go with 40+ runs and RBI.  However, Robin Ventura sent a message to his team yesterday by pulling Rios after failing to run out a double play.  According to Scott Merkin of MLB.com

With Alejandro De Aza on third and Alexei Ramirez on first, Rios’ hard-hit grounder to [Atlanta Braves] shortstop Andrelton Simmons looked like a surefire double play. Rios, in turn, did not break quickly from the box.

Simmons bobbled the ball twice as he moved toward second, but with Rios not hustling, the inning-ending double play still was turned. The game was tied at 2 at the time, and two innings later, Rios was replaced in right field by Casper Wells.

Ventura identified that play as the cause for the substitution (according to Merkin/MLB.com)

“That was very related. We expect more than that. It was simple. Nothing more than that.  There’s just expectations, and we’re not starting the second half off that way. He’ll be back in. But tonight, that’s what happens when you don’t run.”

 

The buck stops with Ventura Credit: AP/John Smierciak

The buck stops with Ventura
Credit: AP/John Smierciak

The Sox lost the hard-fought battle to the Braves 6-4 and Rios trade value probably took a bit of a hit as a result.  Robin Ventura was a finalist for Manager of the Year in 2012, his first season of leading the South Side Pale Hose.  It sounds like he’s making sure his team in flux know he’s in charge, and I think it’s the right move.

– David Whitlock (@lhd_on_sports)

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David Whitlock

David Whitlock - manager

David (a.k.a. Longhorndave or lhd_on_sports) joined the staff late in the 2012 season and moved to Site Manager in early 2013. A lifelong Houston Astros fan (and mini-season ticket holder for 9 years) he attends 20+ games per year. A statistics freak, David still keeps score the "old fashioned way" on occasion (and has kept manual score of World Series games since 1986 and retains the sheets). He was a featured guest weekly on the Phil Naessens Show. He is also a Texas Longhorns alumnus and huge football and baseball fan of his alma mater. When he isn't watching or writing about baseball, he works as a contractor at NASA Johnson Space Center. He lives by the mantra "a bad day at the ballpark is better than a good day anywhere else."

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