Ventura not returning as Sox manager in 2017

Decision announced after Chicago's season finale Sunday evening

Ventura not returning as Sox manager in 2017

CHICAGO -- Robin Ventura sat down in the U.S. Cellular Field Conference and Learning Center Sunday evening following a 6-3 White Sox loss to complete the 2016 season and made official what had been speculated upon for at least the past few weeks.

There will be a new White Sox manager for the 2017 season, a decision initially made by Ventura well before this final week. On Monday, Chicago announced that Rick Renteria would be the new skipper. 

"I'm not going to be back as the manager next year," said Ventura, whose contract expired after this season. "I just feel it's the right time. It's more of a personal decision than anything.

"I love being here. The organization means a lot to me. You can go as hard as you can and really the only thing you know is how you conduct your business and how you treat people. I'm good with that. Talking to [general manager] Rick [Hahn] through September, you just realize right now is the right time to do it and you need somebody else."

White Sox react to news of Ventura's departure

Sunday's loss dropped Ventura's record to 375-435 overall. The team went from 63 wins in '13 to 73 in '14 to 76 in '15 and to a 78-84 mark in his final season. There was improvement but no playoff appearances and great disappointment over the last two years when the team considered itself a contender.

Ventura replaced Ozzie Guillen at the start of the '12 season and had the team atop the American League Central for 117 days before a September fade left the White Sox out of the postseason. This past season was a particularly tough one that included Adam LaRoche's surprise retirement in Spring Training, the jersey issue with Chris Sale and the good feeling of a 23-10 start that disappeared rather quickly.

"What's hardest is we started off so well, so you had the optimism that was there that you were going to keep that rolling, and then it didn't continue," Ventura said. "That's the hardest stuff. The other stuff, it just happens. There's probably stuff that happens all over the place that's like that. But that had nothing to do it with being tougher."

"He did a great job, and I think Robin was a great manager," White Sox closer David Robertson said. "For some reason, I can't put my finger on it, we couldn't get things done, we couldn't keep the ball rolling. We caught some tough breaks. We came out hot and kind of fell apart."

With his voice cracking a few times during an eight-minute postgame interview session, Ventura explained that he talked to the team before Sunday's finale. Sale said everyone paid attention and respected Ventura's words but did not share what was said.

There was no regret for Ventura in taking the job, despite having no prior coaching or managerial experience when he was hired. At this point, though, Ventura didn't sound as if he wanted to manage again any time soon.

"You never say never. But right now, no," Ventura said. "These are tough jobs. No doubt about it. I wouldn't say it's tougher. But if you win more games, it's easier. I do know that. You wish you just would have won more, but that's part of it. You'd say yes again."

It was important for Ventura to finish the job he started, and he admitted that some of this week's back-and-forth in the media came from choosing not to address his status until Sunday.

Scott Merkin has covered the White Sox for MLB.com since 2003. 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.