On Monday morning, White Sox manager Rick Renteria was a guest on MLB Network’s Hot Stove with Harold Reynolds and Matt Vasgersian. The skipper discussed the White Sox offseason plans, Yoan Moncada‘s development, the two superstar free agents, and more. In case you weren’t able to watch the segment, here’s a recap with quotes.
The interview began with Ricky being asked about the planning that goes into the 2019 season and when that actually begins. “I think it’s always on the back of your mind,” he said. “Once the season’s over, obviously, we talk to everybody in the front office, we get together. We evaluate where we’ve been, where we’re going, how things are evolving.” All in all, Ricky stressed that it’s about understanding the many aspects that are involved in building a winning organization and a large part of that is preparing and executing.
Following this question, Renteria was asked to provide a self-evaluation of his first two seasons as the White Sox manager. “Well, I think that everybody understands that any major league sport, whether it’s basketball, football, baseball, it doesn’t matter, it is ultimately about winning.” While it’s a process, Renteria likes the direction the organization is headed in thanks to the various trades that brought back young talent. “I think that all the men that play every single day and prepare every single day, look towards the goal of winning ballgames, as many as you possibly can. Ultimately, they’re experiencing new things at the Major League level and trying to learn from some of those experiences and continue to move forward.”
Ricky also addressed his ability to speak Spanish along with English to players within the organization. He said that when he speaks to players, he usually splits time speaking between the two languages. “Not that I don’t think that the men that are listening to the message don’t understand it, but I want to make sure that they do understand what we are trying to put together.” The skipper then acknowledged that even though you can speak two languages, you have to make sure that you are presenting the right message and concepts to the players.
The conversation quickly transitioned over to former top prospect Yoan Moncada and his development. Ricky believes that Moncada is “actually in a pretty good place.” He said that Moncada was in Arizona three to four weeks after the season ended and sat down with him and a hitting coach to examine his season. “He understands the talent that he has,” Ricky said. “Everybody would hope or want an individual of that talent to just, you know, come in and swing and do great. I think for us, it’s becoming upon us to understand that we have to be patient. Try to deal with all the things that he’s dealing with; try to help him through those obstacles that he might be facing.” Overall, Ricky believes that he is going to be taking “a big step forward” and has no concerns about his future. He thinks that Moncada will be an “impactful player” for the White Sox in the coming years.
Finally, it wouldn’t be an interview with a member of the White Sox without asking about Bryce Harper or Manny Machado. Ricky addressed the two players by saying, “Obviously, first and foremost, it’s a talent that’s actually… coming to fruition. They’re actually important. They’re doing things that are phenomenally impactive to any ball club.” He later said, “I think they probably, just by their nature, bring an energy to a ball club because everyone knows what they are capable of doing.” Ricky closed out by explaining that while they would obviously “ease the burden” on some of the younger guys, it takes a large collective group to come together and make a team great.
If you would like to watch Rick Renteria’s full interview, check out the video from MLB.com below.
Featured Photo: Chicago Tribune