Ventura vows to be himself as Sox skipper

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One of Ventura’s biggest challenges once his coaching staff is complete will be to work with two players who slumped badly last season _ Adam Dunn and Alex Rios. That will begin in spring training in February in Glendale, Ariz.

“I think for right now they need a break. The mental grind of baseball is probably the toughest of any sport because it’s daily, it’s daunting, especially if you get yourself in a hole,” Ventura said.

Ventura said he has talked with Paul Konerko, the White Sox's best player last season and a team leader who will make it easier for a rookie manager. Williams confirmed that he considered Konerko as a player/manager, but the two did not discuss that scenario.

Ventura said he has received a lot of advice since landing the job and the best he had heard was simple: be yourself.

He was considered a low-key personality as a player but also had a fiery side. He had a dugout confrontation with former teammate Frank Thomas in Yankee Stadium and will always be remembered for charging the mound after Nolan Ryan hit him with a pitch.

Ventura’s managerial influences are many _ Jeff Torborg, Gene Lamont, Jerry Manuel, Bobby Valentine and Joe Torre, among others.

“I played for a lot of different personalities and got along with a lot of different people and become friends with a lot of people,” Ventura said. “And from the outside they look at my personality and their personality and not think that we would get along. It’s finding a way to have common ground.

“Personalities are great on teams. As long as they’re a good teammate, we’re going to get along great as long as they’re going toward a common goal. When it’s about yourself, there’s going to be times for discussion.”

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