Tuesday, April 10, 2012
White Sox Manager Robin Ventura Under Fire For Recent Comments
CLEVELAND, OH - Miami Marlins manager Ozzie Guillen isn't the only Major League Baseball manager who has his foot in his mouth these days. Chicago White Sox manager Robin Ventura, the man who replaced Guillen in Chicago, finds himself in some hot water as well.
When talking to the media in Cleveland on Monday before his White Sox played the Cleveland Indians, Ventura made a comment about NBA superstar LeBron James.
"I respect LeBron James," said Ventura. "He's one of, if not the best, basketball players in the world. He has that once in a generation kind of talent."
The comment on James did not sit well in Cleveland, as James notoriously spurned his hometown Cleveland Cavaliers to join the Miami Heat before last season.
The decision led to many Clevelanders throwing out their LeBron merchandise, with some even burning James' likeness in effigy.
Making matters more complicated for Ventura, James is one of the Chicago Bulls biggest rivals, as many believe the Bulls and James' Heat team will battle for the NBA's Eastern Conference title.
"This Ventura is an idiot," said one Chicagoan. "LeBron James sucks. Derrick Rose is the best player in the NBA and the Bulls are the greatest team of all time. Ventura should be fired."
Another fan, Jim Mackowiak from Oak Lawn, a Chicago suburb, found another reason to be upset with Ventura.
"LeBron is a once in a generation talent," asked Mackowiak. "Has this Ventura character ever heard of a guy named Michael Jordan? He needs to be fired for his insensitive comments. Bottom line."
For his part, Ventura seemed remorseful for his remarks.
"I apologize to the people of Cleveland and Chicago whom I may have offended with my remarks. I was only trying to say that LeBron James is a good basketball player. I meant no disrespect to the Chicago Bulls, the Cleveland Cavaliers, or the great Michael Jordan."
White Sox owner Jerry Reinsdorf, who also owns the Bulls, had no comment on the situation.
Protests are planned in Cleveland tonight. As many as 25 people are expected to show up.