CHICAGO (670 The Score) -- One of the subplots that White Sox general manager Rick Hahn has enjoyed in his team’s breakthrough season is manager Rick Renteria getting the chance to lead a winning club for the first time in his career.
Renteria is in his fourth season managing the White Sox, who went 67-95, 62-100 and 72-89 in his first three campaigns. Renteria also managed the rebuilding Cubs in 2014 before he was fired to pave the way for Joe Maddon. With that as context, it led to external questions about whether Renteria would be the right leader to direct a club in its stage of serious contention.
Renteria is doing just that now. Entering play Saturday, the White Sox were 28-16 and leading the Twins by one game in the AL Central. While Renteria has maintained an even-keeled demeanor about his personal satisfaction, Hahn couldn’t be happier for him, knowing well the tough times that Renteria helped lead the White Sox through.
Hahn also expressed full confidence that Renteria can manage a championship contender just as well as he helped the White Sox in the early stages of their rebuild.
"I don't know if you would call it Ricky having a chip on his shoulder per se," Hahn said. "Everyone around here was pulling on the rope in the same direction. We knew there was going to be a hardship on the front end of things. We also knew that if this thing (the rebuild ) worked, there would be some good times on the back end.
"Ricky had to bear the brunt of a lot of criticism and a lot of difficult personnel decisions on a nightly basis. That was predicated on how the roster was crafted through that rebuild. Now that we are getting toward the good times and that next stage, I hope he is getting an opportunity to savor and enjoy it. That is tough to do considering what lies ahead the next 17 nights. At some point -- and it may not be until the season is over -- I hope he can take some satisfaction in the fact he wasn't just some guy who was here to be the caretaker through the rebuild and not necessarily be the guy who could get us through the next step. We fully believe he is capable of taking us that next step.
Hahn was also asked how chairman Jerry Reinsdorf has viewed the team’s breakthrough in 2020.
"He is no different than any White Sox fan about being excited about what is developing in front of us,” Hahn said. “I think he has experienced that joy we all hoped would happen. At the same time, we had a 10-minute discussion today about what we can do offensively against Cleveland because of what their pitchers have been able to do against us. So he is still very focused on how this club can get better. It has been nice to see the joyous, victorious side of Jerry when things are going well. That had been missing during the time of this rebuild the last four years.”
Bruce Levine covers the Cubs and White Sox for 670 The Score. Follow him on Twitter @MLBBruceLevine.