CHICAGO — Former All-Star 3B Robin Ventura, who was hired by the White Sox in June as a special adviser, agreed to a multiyear deal Thursday to replace Ozzie Guillen as manager.
A longtime star with the club and then an adviser to director of player development Buddy Bell, Ventura will become the club's 39th manager.
When GM Ken Williams asked Ventura whether he would be interested in replacing Guillen, Ventura said he was surprised, especially because he hadn't managed previously.
But after a couple of days of thought, he knew it was a move he wanted to make.
"I think there is a challenge there, getting back into the game," Ventura said. "I do have a passion for it. I do have a passion for this team and this city. I'm not one to really back away from a lot of things."
Guillen was released from his contract with one year left after eight seasons and immediately was hired by the Marlins as their manager.
Ventura, 44, was a first-round draft pick of the White Sox out of Oklahoma State in 1988 and spent the first 10 seasons of his 16-year career with Chicago.
Ventura's selection as manager came as a surprise. Most speculation had the top candidates as either Rays coach Dave Martinez or Indians bench coach Sandy Alomar Jr. Both are former White Sox players.
"We had to explain to (Ventura) exactly what the support system would be and exactly what our expectations were at the start," said Williams, who said Ventura was apprehensive at first. "I was very clear with him that I do not expect him to be Tony La Russa on Day 1. In our estimation, the fit is such that all of that will come together and we will ultimately be better off down the line than we could be if, in my opinion, we went in a different direction."
ONE AND DONE: Tigers manager Jim Leyland is not one to hide how he feels. So when he was asked what he thought about the possibility of adding another playoff round next year, he couldn't help himself.
"I'll get in trouble for this, because I am not in favor of a one-game playoff," Leyland said.
Leyland is a member of commissioner Bud Selig's special committee for on-field matters. One of the changes being explored is adding a wild-card team in each league, with the two teams with the best records after the division winners in each league meeting in a one-game playoff before moving on to the division series.
"I might not be on the committee tomorrow," Leyland said.
Lincecum suit: The former landlord for Giants ace Tim Lincecum, Mindy Freile, filed a lawsuit against the pitcher seeking $350,000 in damages, claiming he stole and destroyed items in the apartment he rented.