White Sox’ success makes coaches Joe McEwing, Mark Parent attractive to others
BY DARYL VAN SCHOUWEN firstname.lastname@example.org August 23, 2012 9:04PM
Chicago White Sox v Kansas City Royals
MARINERS AT SOX
The facts: 7:10, CSN, 670-AM, 97.5-FM.
The starters: Jason Vargas (13-8, 3.53 ERA) vs. Jake Peavy (9-9, 3.11).
THE REST OF THE SERIES
Saturday: 6:10 p.m., Ch. 9, 670-AM, 97.5-FM. Blake Beavan (8-7, 5.00) vs. Jose Quintana (5-2, 2.76).
Sunday: 1:10 p.m., CSN, 670-AM, 97.5-FM. Kevin Millwood (4-10, 4.29) vs. Gavin Floyd (9-9, 4.56).
Updated: September 25, 2012 10:52AM
Success has its price, and for the White Sox and manager Robin Ventura, the cost of making the postseason could take a valuable piece out of a coaching staff that has played an important part in the team’s division-leading campaign.
Third-base coach Joe McEwing, who interviewed for the Cardinals’ managerial job last offseason, seems destined to become a major-league manager. Bench coach Mark Parent, who managed in the minor leagues before joining Ventura’s staff this season, could find his name on short lists when manager searches begin after the season. The higher the Sox finish, the better the chance McEwing and/or Parent will be gone.
Not that they’re positioning themselves for bigger and better things.
‘‘I’m in no hurry at all,’’ McEwing said. ‘‘I’m really enjoying what I’m doing and continuing to learn every day. This is a great staff to be on.’’
‘‘I didn’t go looking for this job, and I won’t go knocking on doors looking to become a manager,’’ Parent said.
McEwing, 39, an immensely popular player and former Mets teammate of Ventura’s, has an interview with Cardinals GM John Mozeliak last offseason under his belt. Mozeliak hired Mike Matheny, but Mc-Ewing learned from the interview process and came away knowing he’s on the list of up-and-coming managers.
‘‘It was a great experience,’’ Mc-Ewing said. ‘‘It’s something I would like to do in the future, but by no means am I in any hurry. I love this organization and the city of Chicago. If it happens, it happens. But I’m focused on now and not the future.’’
Like Matheny, Ventura stepped into the job with no managerial experience. But McEwing, while having some after managing one year at Class AAA Charlotte and two years at Class A Winston-Salem, has determined that experience is overrated after watching Ventura on the job. He says he has learned from his rookie boss.
‘‘A lot,’’ McEwing said. “I learned a lot from him as a player, and I’m learning so much more now — his patience with every single player, his focus on day-to-day activity and not looking ahead. His presence and demeanor. It’s amazing how much it rubs off on every single guy. They can just go out, relax, focus on competing that night and not worry about exterior distractions.
‘‘And so much in-game stuff. It’s great to pick his brain, stand next to him and learn from him.’’
Parent, 50, said he also is learning about patience. From his seat next to Ventura on the bench, he marveled at how Ventura stuck with Brent Morel while he struggled in April and May and how he has backed Gordon Beckham throughout his ups and downs.
“I don’t know if I could have done that,’’ Parent said.
The Seattle Mariners open a three-game series as the hottest team in baseball with an eight-game winning streak and 10 wins in their last 11 games. Friday starter Jake Peavy is 5-1 with a 2.21 ERA in eight career starts against Seattle.
◆ Addison Reed has successfully closed his last eight save opportunities. Having better command of his changeup, which Reed has worked on since the end of 2011, has made him a legitimate three-pitch pitcher.
‘‘That was the main thing I worked on this offseason, even up until today,’’ Reed said. ‘‘I’ll continue to work on it. It’s come a long way.’’
◆ Paul Konerko has hit safely (three home runs) in all six games since returning from a concussion.