Ventura delivers direct, fundamental message

Manager uses first meeting to set tone of camp

Ventura delivers direct, fundamental message

GLENDALE, Ariz. -- Robin Ventura didn't want to delve too deeply into the inner workings of the first full-squad meeting held Tuesday at Camelback Ranch. But he would acknowledge that his tone might have been a little bit different from the more low-key demeanor of previous meetings.

"That's about as far as I'll go, but they understood where I was coming from," the White Sox manager said. "You don't want to sit there and beat it into the new guys because they weren't here.

"You want to make sure they understand. We didn't enjoy the way we played the last couple of years. We have a group that can be fundamentally sound, and it's vital for us to be successful."

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So vital that the Royals' 2015 World Series championship was brought up in the meeting, with an emphasis on how it was accomplished.

"They hustled, they beat balls out, they didn't make any errors," White Sox reliever Dan Jennings said. "We would look at the end of the game and we punched them out one time in nine innings and they had zero errors and six walks or whatever it was. It was disgusting to watch because we are on the other side of it.

"But it's playing the game right. I think that's what they wanted to stress, that if you do those little things, it turns out to be huge. The Royals absolutely proved that all those little things combined can make a world championship."

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This direct and passionate tone set by Ventura certainly seemed to have the desired effect.

"Definitely got the wheels turning, got everyone excited," White Sox shortstop Tyler Saladino said. "Just everything like effort and expectations and just like desire through passion for everything we are doing out here. Just lit the fire, got us ready to go. I loved it. It got me going."

Scott Merkin is a reporter for Read his blog, Merk's Works, follow him on Twitter @scottmerkin, on Facebook and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.