CHICAGO (AP) — As their win total plummeted last season, one thing remained steady for the Chicago White Sox — their faith in Robin Ventura.
The White Sox rewarded their manager with a multi-year contract extension Friday, announcing the move hours before their annual fan convention opened.
The terms were not disclosed.
The extension comes after the White Sox dropped from second in the AL Central in Ventura's first season to last with 99 losses in his second year.
"You lose 99 games, there are going to be questions like that, about where this organization's headed and why they think the people in charge are the right people to get them through their end goal," general manager Rick Hahn said. "I would say we saw in 2012 and 2013 two extremes in terms of being a first-place club and being a club that was a disappointed in terms of performance. Throughout each of those extremes, Robin's leadership was unwavering."
Ventura's contract was set to expire after this year. He turned down an extension before the 2013 season, leading to speculation that he might not want to stick around much longer, but he insisted that wasn't the case. He wanted to give Hahn — then in his first season as GM — a chance to work with him before making a long-term commitment.
"I just felt it was important for Rick to have a full year of doing the job, us working together," Ventura said. "Then, you have the ability and freedom to decide if I'm the right guy for the job. Nothing really changed in my mind of where I want to be and what I want to do. It's just more of it being his first time going through, I just wanted to make sure he had the ability and the freedom to do that. Now with the way last year went, the offseason, a lot of communication, a lot of talks of where we're headed, how we're going to do it — I'm excited to just keep going."
Hahn, who got bumped up from assistant GM in October 2012 to replace the promoted Ken Williams, called it a selfless act by Ventura.
"(It) allowed me the latitude to get comfortable," Hahn said. "It speaks to what kind of good man he is and actually makes a decision like this all the easier because of it."