White Sox outfielder Alex Rios responded to his benching by saying that "the situation could've been handled a little better." (Kyle Rivas/Getty Images)
A day after he was benched by manager Robin Ventura for not running out a grounder, Chicago White Sox outfielder Alex Rios said he wished Ventura would have talked to him personally before making the move.
Rios failed to hustle on a fifth-inning ground-ball double play during Friday night's 6-4 loss to the Braves, which dropped the last-place White Sox's record to 37-56. He was replaced in right field by Casper Wells before the top of the seventh.
Rios, a trade candidate, was seen hugging teammates in the dugout after his removal, leading to speculation that he had been traded.
Instead, Ventura said after the game that his benching was "very related" to his lack of hustle and that there was "not a long explanation required."
Rios responded on Saturday by saying that he wished Ventura had handled the situation differently.
From CSNChicago.com's Alex Ruppenthal:
“I’m cool with him,” Rios said Saturday. “He has to do what he has to do, you know, but the situation could’ve been handled a little better … If he wants to send a message to myself, it would’ve gone through better if he put me in his office and talked to me personally, you know. If he wants to make a statement for the team, it probably worked. But I don’t know what his intentions were.”
As Rios guessed, Ventura wanted to make a point to the entire team.
"I mean I understand that, but you're handling 25 guys,” Ventura said. “I get where he's coming from, but from where I'm coming from, he probably understands how I have to do it."