Maybe I'm jumping the gun with this post. Robin Ventura, after all, is still gainfully employed. And the season is still young, with hope for a turnaround still alive.
Nonetheless, the White Sox's rough start has had many thinking Ventura's days are numbered. And if he's gone, who will be next?
Jerry Reinsdorf has picked two former White Sox players as his last two managers in Ventura and Ozzie Guillen. We're going to go ahead and assume Jerry will be Jerry and he'll go the same route, and there are plenty of obvious candidates. There's Paul Konerko, Jim Thome — some people are calling for Juan Pierre!
That's all hogwash, I tell you. Sure, Ozzie won a World Series, but Robin's shortcomings could be that he was too good of a player. Good players make lousy coaches. Just ask Magic Johnson. Here are some former White Sox players Jerry should get on the phone right away to see if they'd be willing to take over the reigns:
You might remember him: Franco spent one memorable season the the South Side, hitting .319/.406/.510 with 20 home runs and 98 RBI in 112 games, finishing eighth in MVP voting.
Why he'd be a great hire: Franco played in the majors until he was 48(!) and is apparently still playing baseball as a player-manager with the semi-pro Ishikawa Million Stars in Japan. He's 56 years old and still playing some form of professional baseball! I want Franco just so he can inevitably insert himself as a pinch hitter at the most opportune time possible. He'd be a better bench bat than Gordon Beckham, right?
You might remember him: Phillips spent parts of two seasons with the White Sox in '96 and '97 and had an OBP of .410 in 880 plate appearances with the team (and he was 37-38 years old at the time!). He was an on-base machine throughout his career, finishing with a career OBP of .374.
Why he'd be a great hire: I'll let his Wikipedia page explain this one to you. (You know this is a serious article because I cite Wikipedia a lot).
Phillips played third base for the Yuma Scorpions of the independent North American League until the team folded in 2012. He played alongside with former Athletics teammate Jose Canseco. In August 2011, 52-year-old Phillips was involved in an altercation with former Scorpions manager Mike Marshall, then with the Chico Outlaws. Phillips punched Marshall in the face during the incident, causing the latter to press battery charges against the infielder.
You might remember him: As a chubby dude who occasionally played third base for the White Sox in 2000 and 2001.
Why he'd be a great hire: Because we'd get to hear Hawk call him "The Milk Man" 800 times per broadcast. And according to his Wiki page, he's coaching high school ball in Florida. That's more experience than Robin had!
You might remember him: As a pretty awesome center fielder if you happen to be more than 100 years old.
Why he'd be a great hire: This one is tough. Not only is he banned from baseball for his part in throwing the 1919 World Series, but he's also been dead for 51 years. But when you're banned, you're banned for LIFE, right? It says nothing about being unable to coach in the afterlife. Sounds like a pretty legit loophole to me.
You might remember him: For his inside-the-park grand slam against the Twins in 1990. He was an awesome defensive catcher who was a mostly terrible hitter.
Why he'd be a great hire: Karko was the man. And catchers make great managers! Mike Scoscia, Joe Girardi, Joe Torre, Mike Matheny… umm, oh! Hey! His Wiki says he's coached before! Another one-up on Robin. And he'd be great with the media.
You might remember him: Caruso hit .306/.331/.721 as a 21-year-old rookie in 1998, and played pretty good defense if I remember correctly. He lasted only one more season in Chicago after that year and was out of baseball, save for a 12-game comeback stint with the Royals in '02.
Why he'd be awesome: Caruso supposedly hung around playing all the way up until '09, bouncing around Independent Leagues. That means he really loves the game, and probably has the passion and desire to lead a ball club to the promised land. Caruso's our guy.
You might remember him:
Why he'd be a great hire: He knows what it takes to perform in the thick of a playoff race, and he wouldn't be afraid to beat up Yordano Ventura.
You might remember him: Berg was a light-hitting catcher for the White Sox from 1926-30. Teammate Ted Lyons once said of Berg "He can speak 12 languages, but can't hit any of them."
Why he'd be a great hire: HE WAS A GOVERNMENT SPY. Seriously, he spied on other countries for the CI-freaking-A. If the White Sox want to go all New England Patriots on the world, he's our guy.
OK so Sheen never ACTUALLY played for the White Sox. But remember that Happy Felsch guy from earlier? Sheen played him in the cinematic masterpiece "Eight Men Out." Oh, and Parkman? His home runs in "Major League" were off Rick Vaughn, played by Sheen. Hey, the man knows the White Sox.