Ever since the Sox surprised the baseball universe and hired Robin Ventura to be the face that replaced Ozzie Guillen as manager before the 2012 season, there have always been some lingering feelings that Ventura was a short-term replacement.
It was not because he wouldn't do a good job or the Sox wanted him to be a bridge to someone else, but more because Ventura has resisted leaving the lifestyle he had in California with his family for so many years. He had been asked numerous times to join the organization as a coach or special advisor before he finally did come on in a limited capacity back in 2011.
So, of course the conspiracy theories were again alive and well during the first few days of Sox pitchers and catchers reporting to Glendale, especially after it was discovered that Ventura had recently declined an offer from the team to have his contract extended. He said he would rather wait until his current three-year deal is over after the 2014 season to think about his future as the team's skipper.
"It was flattering and nice and everything, but in talking to (general manager) Rick (Hahn), we have two more years to do this," Ventura said. "This is my contract and I was the same way as a player. I'll worry about it at the end of it. In two years, I want them to think I'm the right guy for the job.
"It wasn't anything that was a big deal. I'm not holding out for anything or disappointed or not wanting to stay here. Again, at the end of that is when you talk about it. I'm not worried about trying to extend anything right now. I'm worried more about this team in spring training now than 2015."
When Ventura was hired and brought Joe McEwing onto his coaching staff, there was talk that McEwing would be groomed to take over after Ventura's three years were up, with Ventura staying on as an advisor and returning to his home life in California.
While Hahn could not predict the future, he painted Ventura's decision as more of a positive.
"To Robin's credit, he wants to make sure he's the right guy for the job," Hahn said. "It's a testament to how special he is with his approach to this position and the job at hand."
And as far as Ventura just keeping the seat warm?
"If that's the vibe people are taking, that's inaccurate," Hahn added. "My hope is that Robin is here for a long, long time."