Rios at odds with Ventura over benching
The obvious question is - did White Sox right fielder Alex Rios hurt his trade value by dogging it running to first base Friday night, a decision that prompted manager Robin Ventura to pull him from the game?
The obvious answer is - who knows?
Contending teams interested in Rios know what he can do when he is fully motivated.
But Rios' knack for slacking off when things don't go well might be a concern for teams that are focused solely on the playoffs.
We'll see what happens there.
At U.S. Cellular Field this morning, Rios said most of the right things when asked about being benched last night.
"Well it's a situation that none of us wants to be a part of," Rios said. "It's unacceptable behavior and there's a little bit of frustration in that behavior. I'm not using that as an excuse for what happened."
"It could've been managed in a better way, but it's something that shouldn't have happened," Rios said.
There's more, and these thoughts from Rios do not figure to go over well with most White Sox fans...
"I'm cool with him," Rios said of Ventura. "He has to do what he has to do, you know? But the situation could've been handled a little better. But he has to do what he has to do."
How should Ventura have handled the situation?
"If he wants to send a message to myself, it would've gone through better if he put me in his office and talked to me personally, you know?" Rios said. "If he wants to make a statement for the team, it probably worked. But I don't know what his intentions were. But that's what I wanted to see."
When told of Rios' thoughts on the benching, Ventura didn't fire back.
"I understand that, but again, you're handling it for 25 guys," Ventura said. "I get where he's coming from, but from where I'm coming he probably understands how I have to do it. That was just simple and it was handled and you go on from there."
Rios is back in the lineup today, but don't expect him to be in a Sox uniform much longer.
Ventura really has just one rule, and that's running hard to first base. He hasn't talked to Rios after pulling him from Friday's game, but Ventura made it clear that he has sent the message about running hard to the team on several occasions.
For Rios to question Ventura for pulling him from the game, that's a pretty good way to get yourself traded.
Rios is not a bad guy, but he has had some lapses in the past.
In June of 2011, former manager Ozzie Guillen pulled him from the game in Colorado for the same reason as Ventura.
“Rios don't run the bases; that's why I got him out of the game,” Guillen said. “It's not the first time it happened. I don't like the way he runs the bases. And that's a message for everyone. If they don't (bleeping) run the bases, their reputation comes on me, and I have a greater reputation in this (bleeping) game to do it that way.
“They don't run the bases, they're out of the game. I don't give a (bleep) if it's Paul Konerko or Adam Dunn or anyone. You don't run the bases, you're out of the game.”