White Sox hire Ventura; field opens up for the Red Sox

The White Sox, in a bit of a surprise, have hired Robin Ventura as their new manager. That leaves the Red Sox as the only franchise — for the moment — with a vacancy.

Rays bench coach Dave Martinez was considered a prime candidate for the White Sox and may now emerge as a viable option for the Red Sox.

Obviously it makes sense to proceed judiciously and make sure you have the right man for the job. But the Red Sox also might be wise to make their move soon before there is competition for the better candidates.

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You can forget the idea of bringing Joe Maddon in. He told reporters at a team event today that he didn’t want to go anywhere else and would return to the Rays in 2012. Oh, and word out of Chicago was that Terry Francona was never a candidate for the White Sox.