CHICAGO -- The bond of friendship between Robin Ventura and John Farrell dates back to their college days at Oklahoma St., although Ventura started playing with the Cowboys two years after Farrell departed.
So the White Sox manager was as shocked as the rest of Major League Baseball when the Boston manager announced at a Friday news conference that he had Stage 1 lymphoma and will be away from the team for the rest of the season.
"Any time you hear that news, it's always shocking and you feel for him," said Ventura prior to Saturday's contest with the Cubs. "I haven't gotten ahold of him yet, but it's, you know, I think you realize, I think you put things in perspective, what's really important.
"He's always done a great job wherever he's been. But it does affect you a little bit, of looking at perspective of the people you deal with every day and your guys in here, you know, real-life stuff."
Ventura had a chance to talk extensively with Farrell and Torey Lovullo, who will serve as the Red Sox's interim manager for the season's final seven weeks, when the White Sox picked up three wins during a four-game series played at Fenway Park leading up to the July 31 non-waiver Trade Deadline. He has known both of them since his teen years.
Farrell's diagnosis came after he had routine surgery to correct a hernia. Ventura seconded Farrell's comments that he was "fortunate and lucky that they found it when they did." Ventura, along with the rest of the White Sox, underwent skin cancer checks in the past week, and the White Sox manager had a few suspicious spots removed.
"We always get it done in Spring Training and then once during the year," said Ventura of the exams. "I'm always, I mean you're always protective of putting sunscreen on and everything else, but when you're a kid you probably didn't put it on as much as you should.
"Anytime we do it and they see something, I'm always, 'Go ahead and take care of it,' right when you do. You can see I got zapped pretty good. And there was a couple other spots you're not going to see."