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Baseball

White Sox extend Ventura contract

– As their win total plummeted last season, one thing remained steady for the Chicago White Sox – their faith in Robin Ventura.

The White Sox rewarded their manager with a multi-year contract extension Friday, announcing the move hours before their annual fan convention opened.

The terms were not disclosed.

The extension comes after the White Sox dropped from second in the AL Central in Ventura’s first season to last with 99 losses in his second year.

“You lose 99 games, there are going to be questions like that, about where this organization’s headed and why they think the people in charge are the right people to get them through their end goal,” general manager Rick Hahn said. “I would say we saw in 2012 and 2013 two extremes in terms of being a first-place club and being a club that was a disappointed in terms of performance. Throughout each of those extremes, Robin’s leadership was unwavering.”

Ventura’s contract was set to expire after this year. He turned down an extension before the 2013 season, leading to speculation that he might not want to stick around much longer, but he insisted that wasn’t the case. He wanted to give Hahn – then in his first season as GM – a chance to work with him before making a long-term commitment.

Ruth World Series watch on block

Babe Ruth’s 1923 World Series championship watch, believed lost to history, is coming to a New York City auction.

The pentagonal gold timepiece is expected to fetch at least $750,000 at Heritage Auction’s Feb. 22 sale.

Ruth had the gold timepiece until shortly before his death in 1948, when he gave it to friend Charles Schwefel. Two years later, the watch went to Lewis Fern, Schwefel’s nephew and Ruth’s golf caddy.

In 1988, the watch was sold privately to a sports collector, who’s now selling it.

Chris Ivy, Heritage’s director of sports auctions, says no one knew where the piece had been, since it wasn’t sold publicly.

Cubs sign Wood to 1-year deal

The Chicago Cubs agreed to a one-year contract with All-Star pitcher Travis Wood, avoiding arbitration.

A person familiar with the situation said the deal is for $3.9 million.

Wood was the Cubs’ most consistent starter last year and made the All-Star team, going 9-12 with a 3.11 ERA. The Cubs’ remaining arbitration-eligible players are pitcher Jeff Samardzija, second baseman Darwin Barney and outfielder Justin Ruggiano.

Around the leagues

Atlanta agreed to a minor league contract with right-hander Freddy Garcia and invited him to big league spring training camp. …

Right-hander Daisuke Matsuzaka agreed to a minor league contract with the New York Mets and was invited to big league spring training camp. …

The Los Angeles Dodgers signed infielder Chone Figgins to a minor league contract and invited him to spring training. The 36-year-old last played in the majors in 2012 with Seattle.

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