When the White Sox stunned the baseball world by hiring Robin Ventura as their next manager (it’s not difficult to stun the baseball world), an interesting theme emerged:
“[Ventura is] honest, down to Earth and smart.” — Jon Heyman, Sports Illustrated
“His baseball knowledge and expertise, his professionalism, his familiarity with the White Sox and Chicago and his outstanding character make him absolutely the right person to lead our clubhouse and this organization into the seasons ahead.” — White Sox GM Ken Williams
“Ventura is a bright guy, by all accounts” — Morris Daily Herald
“Ventura’s smart and will be all class,” — David A. Haugh, Chicago Tribune
“Ventura is a nice, smart guy who may be a good manager, eventually.” — Dan Bernstein, CBSChicago
“He’s a smart person that I believe is the man we need for this position at this particular time.” — Williams
“He’s smart and has good people skills.” — Chris Jaffe, Hardball Times
“Robin’s really smart.” — Former White Sox manager Gene Lamont
You get the idea.
Hey, what are people saying about the Marlins’ hiring of Ozzie Guillen?
“Fiery and energetic” — Joe Frisaro, MLB.com
“Guillen spent his first 13 major league seasons as a fiery shortstop with the Sox” — Juan C. Rodriguez, Chicago Tribune
“Hurricane Ozzie” — Marlins Owner/Ringwraith Jeffrey Loria
“Both current and former players for the Marlins described Guillen as outspoken and feisty.” — Clark Spencer, Miami Herald
“It’s hard to think of fiery Ozzie Guillen ever lacking in the passion department.” — Chris Tomasson, FoxSports Florida
“Ozzie Guillen introduced by Marlins, praised for great passion” — Brian McIntyre, SB Nation
Look, I’m not saying that Robin Ventura isn’t smart. And I’m certainly not saying that Ozzie Guillen isn’t fiery and passionate. But…um…maybe there’s a little something else going into these descriptions beyond the managers’ respective personalities? Just maybe?
Do we have access to Ventura’s IQ or SAT scores? Or is it possible that Ventura is “smart” the same way that David Eckstein is “gritty,” and the same way that B.J. Upton is “toolsy”? Let’s just maybe choose our words a little more carefully out there, OK?