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Chicago White Sox great Bobby Jenks focuses on teaching as Windy City Thunderbolts manager

Chicago White Sox great Bobby Jenks focuses on teaching as Windy City Thunderbolts manager
Chicago White Sox great Bobby Jenks focuses on teaching as Windy City Thunderbolts manager 02:57

CRESTWOOD, Ill. (CBS) – The Windy City Thunderbolts, a minor league baseball team, has a new manager who is very familiar to Chicago baseball fans.

Bobby Jenks pitched in some of the biggest moments in White Sox history. He's now onto his next career working as a manager, which has brought him back to the Chicago area to lead the Windy City Thunderbolts in Crestwood. He's also brought with him another great MLB mind to help him out.

Jenks has instant credibility when it comes to managing players trying to make it to the big leagues.

"He's got the last out in a World Series," said Justin Miller, a Thunderbolts pitcher. "You just want to know everything about it, because that's where we want to be. We're just trying to all strive to get to that spot."

The manger has earned such respect, even if most of the players on the Thunderbolts roster probably weren't exactly big baseball fans when Jenks was pitching for the White Sox.

"These guys probably weren't even alive yet," Jenks said. "There might've been a couple here that were alive but definitely not watching."

Even back when he was playing, Jenks said he was thinking about a managing career. He comes to Windy City with experience as first a pitching coach in the minors and then winning Manager of the Year in the Pioneer League with the Grand Junction Rockies. He said he has a pretty simple style.

"I think I'm pretty easy to get along with," Jenks said. "As long as the guys are doing their job first, I'm pretty relaxed on how much fun they'd like to have."

If Jenks' pitching knowledge wasn't enough, he's got another guy on his staff who knows a thing or two about throwing a baseball at the highest level. Longtime MLB and Cubs pitching coach Larry Rothschild is helping out as a pitching consultant.

"It's nice to be able to teach again, which is what I'm interested in, so it's been fun," said Rothschild. "You know, I'm closer to home. Just the whole situation here, the front office and Bobby running the field staff, it's been a lot of fun."

Jenks said with all of Rothschild's experience, he hasn't even spent much time with the Thunderbolts pitchers because, "I know what we have down there and I don't need to worry about anything that's going on and it's fantastic." He said the team was "lucky and blessed" to have Rothschild.

"It's incredible, just the wealth of knowledge they have and just being able to pick both of their brains every day is insane," said Miller.

Jenks said for now, he's not thinking about any future managing goals. Rather, he's focused on coaching the team and doesn't look at the job as starting back at the bottom after reaching the mountaintop in his playing days.

"Oh, I love it here," Jenks said. "I don't consider it the bottom one bit. Where I am mentally and where the game is, this is fantastic. I absolutely love working with these guys because every single one of them are all trying to get there. It's just a great level of baseball to be able to teach them what you know and to be able to transfer that to the next stage of their career."

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