Facing Cubs, Renteria 'really happy' with Sox

Facing Cubs, Renteria 'really happy' with Sox

MESA, Ariz. -- Rick Renteria didn't make much of his return to face the Cubs as White Sox manager when asked about the topic prior to Monday's Cactus League contest at Sloan Park.

It was Renteria's first appearance as manager against the North Side team that dismissed him after his one season at the helm in 2014. He was replaced by Joe Madden, who guided the Cubs to a World Series title in '16. The easygoing Renteria talked with Maddon at the Cactus League media day last Tuesday.

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"I'd love to have a beer with him sometime," Maddon said. "He's been wonderful."

"I'm sure we'll have a beer sometime," the equally upbeat Renteria added. "Absolutely."

Renteria guided the Cubs to a 73-89 mark in the midst of their rebuild. He returned to baseball in '16 as the White Sox bench coach and took over for Robin Ventura as manager following last season. He joins Johnny Evers as the only other manager of both the Cubs and White Sox.

"I guess there is some irony to it, but it's all good. I'm happy," Renteria said. "I'm really happy to be here. I'm happy to be in the situation we're in.

"The organization is taking the step that is hopefully leading us, as many organizations have done over the last six or seven years, trying to create something more sustainable over time. The foundation is being laid both with the players and the way they're going about doing everything, so hopefully it will be something good for us."

Calling what happened to him with the Cubs "just baseball," Renteria looked at Monday as just another game for the White Sox.

"Baseball does what it does and I think we all have to take account of ourselves," Renteria said. "We keep perspective and we try to find some balance.

"There are worse things that have happened to people, and always in the initial you feel a sense of a little blow. But you put it in perspective and you realize things keep moving forward and here I am now with the Chicago White Sox."

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.