Wednesday, September 23rd
"I'm not the happiest camper here in Chicago."
Those were the words of a frustrated and, as he put it, "grumpy" Kenny Williams before Wednesday's game against the Twins. That's what happens to a general manager when he watches his team collapse under the pressure of a pennant race like the Sox have here in September.
What has disappointed him the most? Williams first mentioned the 67 unearned runs his team has given up this season (most in the American League), a plague he described as "disturbing."
His relief corps? "The names are good, but they haven't met expectations" said Williams. When asked about Bobby Jenks and whether he thinks Matt Thornton can become the closer if they don't bring back Jenks, Williams deflected the question, saying "Bobby Jenks is under contract" and claimed that his confidence in him "is still high."
Despite the Jake Peavy injury and the struggles of Alex Rios, he wouldn't take either of those trades back.
With Jim Thome gone, he's not sure if they necessarily need left-handed pop in the lineup. On-base percentage to him is more important now...not home runs. When asked if the team couldn't overcome the loss of Thome, Williams said "If they did, then we weren't strong enough to win the damn thing. We just weren't."
Kenny said he has also noticed "which players have quit and who haven't." Interesting.
When I asked him to elaborate on that, Williams would only say that when the team arrives in spring training, they'll all be on the same page in terms of fighting until the end.
Staying on that same theme, he added "I don't want to see anyone quit" the rest of the season.
So who will be here next year? Despite already being out of the race, Kenny is watching his team very closely.
A reporter asked if it's important to send the first-place Tigers a message. Said Williams, "It's important some guys send a message to me."
Auditions are underway.
Thats My Grandson
Last Sunday, my good friend Matt took his 5-year-old son Charlie to his very first White Sox game. One of the highlights of the day was taking Charlie into the gift shop to buy him a souvenir to commemorate the occasion.
While looking at a row of White Sox jerseys, Matt told Charlie he could pick one out. It was his choice. Whatever he wanted.
Charlie didnt know any of the Sox players by name, but one jersey immediately caught his eye.
I want that one, Charlie said.
You sure? Matt asked.
And with that, Matt grabbed the 15 jersey of Gordon Beckham and took it off the rack.
I really have no idea why he chose that one, Matt later told me. Five-year-olds are mysterious creatures.
As they walked over to the cash register to pay for the Beckham jersey, a woman with reddish-brown hair came over to them.
She seemed visibly moved. Matt wasnt sure why.
Excuse me, said the woman in a sweet, southern accent. I just want you to know that Im Gordons grandmother, and I am so pleased that your son chose his jersey.
Charlie isnt the only one. Gordons jersey has lately been the Sox 1 seller.
She just happened to be Gordons 1 fan.