Earlier this morning, the Chicago White officially named Rick Renteria manager for the 2017 season. There had been speculation that Renteria was going to be named manager even before Robin Ventura announced to the media yesterday after the Sox final game of the season that he was indeed stepping down as manager.
OFFICIAL: Rick Renteria has been named the new manager of the Chicago White Sox. pic.twitter.com/cRv7or3Icf
— Chicago White Sox (@whitesox) October 3, 2016
Renteria, 54, is now the 40th manager in Sox franchise history. He now stands as the only Latino manager in MLB and the Sox first Latino manager since Ozzie Guillen (2004-2011). Renteria was hired in the offseason of 2015 as the Sox bench coach to replace previous bench coach Mark Parent. There had been talk as early as spring training of 2016, that if the Sox had another underwhelming season that Renteria was the back up plan to Ventura. As of today, those rumors turned out to be true.
Renteria is handed a very difficult hand going into the 2017 season. The Sox have now had 4 straight losing seasons and have missed the playoffs for the last 8 seasons. GM Rick Hahn has stated that the Sox are on a “3 year plan” where Hahn devised that in those 3 years (2015-2017) the Sox would have a good shot of being a contender in each season. In 2015 & 2016, that philosophy did not go as planned.
It is a heavy burden to fall on to Renteria’s shoulders. General consensus of Renteria is that he is a “brilliant strategist” and a “good clubhouse guy.” Sox fans and media alike all knew that Ventura was a very personable manager, but the phrase “brilliant strategist” would never apply to Ventura. If that statement about Renteria is true, he just could be what the Sox need to go from pretenders to contenders in 2017.