Timeline of Kenny Williams' career

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Timeline of Kenny Williams' career

The White Sox officially announced today that Kenny Williams, who spent the last 12 seasons as general manager, will now serve as the organization's executive vice president. It's been a long journey for Williams, who made plenty of stops around the country before landing in Chicago. Here's a timeline of Williams' career in the sports world.

-- June 7, 1982 - Selected by White Sox in 3rd round of 1982 June Amateur Draft out of Fort Pleasant HS in San Jose, CA. He did attend Stanford, but played only football there, where he was a teammate of John Elway.

-- September 2, 1986 - Williams makes Major League debut, going 1-4, singling off the Royals' Danny Jackson. Ozzie Guillen, a man he'd later hire as White Sox manager hit ahead of him in the order that day.

-- March 23, 1989 - Williams traded to the Tigers for pitcher Eric King

-- November 18, 1991 - Williams released by the Montreal Expos. His final ML game was October 4, 1991. He played with both Canadian franchises; the Blue Jays and the Expos in his final big league season.

-- 1992-93 - Williams started his post-playing career as a scout with the White Sox

-- 1994 - Williams served the White Sox as a special assistant to Chairman Jerry Reinsdorf

-- 1995-96 - Williams earned a promotion to Club Director of Minor League Operations

-- 1997-2000 - Williams took the next step forward as White Sox Vice President of Player Development

-- October 24, 2000 - Kenny Williams named White Sox General Manager, replacing Ron Schueler

-- October 26, 2005 - Under GM Williams, White Sox win first World Series since 1917

-- October 26, 2012 - Kenny Williams promoted to White Sox President of Baseball Operations

Notable signings & trades

-- November 30, 2000 - Jose Valentin signs as Free Agent (spent 2000 with Brewers)

-- January 14, 2001 - David Wells acquired with Matt DeWitt from Blue Jays for Mike Sirotka, Brian Simmons, Mike Williams, and Kevin Beirne

-- June 21, 2001 - Jose Canseco purchased from Newark of the Atlantic League

-- January 15, 2003 - Bartolo Colon acquired with Jorge Nunez from Expos for Rocky Biddle, Orlando Hernandez, Jeff Liefer, and cash

-- July 1, 2003 - Roberto Alomar acquired from Mets with Cash for Andrew Salvo, Edwin Almonte, and Royce Ring

-- November 4 2003 - Ozzie Guillen named White Sox manager

-- December 2, 2003 - Juan Uribe acquired from the Rockies for Aaron Miles

-- January 22, 2004 - Shingo Takatsu signs as Free Agent (spent 2003 with Yakult Swallows in Japan)

-- June 27, 2004 - Freddy Garcia acquired from Mariners with Ben Davis for Mike Morse, Miguel Olivo & Jeremy Reed

-- July 18, 2004 - Carl Everett acquired from Expos for Gary Majewski and Jon Rauch

-- July 31, 2004 - Jose Contreras acquired from Yankees for Esteban Loaiza

-- December 9, 2004 - Jermaine Dye signs as Free Agent (spent 2004 with Athletics)

-- December 13, 2004 - Scott Podsednik, Luis Vizcaino, and player to be named later (Travis Hinton) acquired from Brewers for Carlos Lee

-- December 17, 2004 - Bobby Jenks selected off waivers from Angels

-- January 3, 2005 - Orlando Hernandez signs as Free Agent (spent 2004 with Yankees)

-- January 6, 2005 - A.J. Pierzynski signs as Free Agent (spent 2004 with Giants)

-- January 27, 2005 - Tadahito Iguchi signs as Free Agent (spent 2004 with Fukuoka Daiei Hawks in Japan)

-- July 31, 2005 - Geoff Blum acquired from Padres for Ryan Meaux

-- November 25, 2005 - Jim Thome acquired from Phillies with cash for Aaron Rowand, Daniel Haigwood, and player to be named later (Gio Gonzalez)

-- December 20, 2005 - Javier Vazquez acquired from Diamondbacks for Orlando Hernandez, Luis Vizcaino, and Chris Young

-- March 20, 2006 - Matt Thornton acquired from Mariners for Joe Borchard

-- December 6, 2006 - Gavin Floyd & Gio Gonzalez acquired from Phillies for Freddy Garcia

-- December 23, 2006 - White Sox acquire John Danks, Nick Masset, and Jacob Rasner for Brandon McCarthy and David Paisano

-- November 19, 2007 - Orlando Cabrera acquired from Angels for Jon Garland

-- December 3, 2007 - Carlos Quentin acquired from Diamondbacks for Chris Carter

-- January 3, 2008 - Nick Swisher acquired from Athletics for Gio Gonzalez, Ryan Sweeney, and Fautino De Los Santos

-- January 18, 2008 - Alexei Ramirez signed as an amateur Free Agent

-- June 5, 2008 - Gordon Beckham drafted 8th overall out of the University of Georgia in the 2008 June Amateur Draft

-- July 31, 2008 - Acquired Ken Griffey Jr. from Reds in exchange for Danny Richar & Nick Masset

-- December 12, 2008 - Dayan Viciedo signed as an amateur Free Agent

-- July 31, 2009 - Acquired Jake Peavy from Padres in exchange for Clayton Richards, Adam Russell, Aaron Poreda, and Dexter Carter

-- August 10, 2009 - Selected Alex Rios off waivers from the Blue Jays

-- October 21, 2009 - Alejandro De Aza selected off waivers from the Marlins

-- June 7, 2010 - Chris Sale drafted 13th overall out of Florida Gulf Coast University in the 2010 June Amateur Draft

-- July 30, 2010 - Edwin Jackson acquired from Diamondbacks for Daniel Hudson and David Holmberg

-- December 3, 2010 - Adam Dunn signs as Free Agent (spent 2010 with Nationals)

-- October 6, 2011 - Robin Ventura named White Sox manager

-- June 24, 2012 - Kevin Youkilis acquired from Red Sox for Brent Lillibridge and Zach Stewart

-- July 28, 2012 - Francisco Liriano acquired from Twins for Eduardo Escobar and Pedro Hernandez

Noise around QB Mark Sanchez misses bigger, far more important goal for Bears ’17 offseason

Noise around QB Mark Sanchez misses bigger, far more important goal for Bears ’17 offseason

The tumult around the Bears quarterback position this offseason – signing Mike Glennon, cutting Jay Cutler, not signing Brian Hoyer, now signing Mark Sanchez – was to be expected. (Well, not all the brouhaha around Sanchez; if there has ever been more hyperventilating around the arriving backup quarterback, it’s escaping my recollections of a quarter-century on the beat.)

All of that, and a lot of the noise around Mike Glennon is really missing a larger point. A couple, really.

GM Ryan Pace established fixing the quarterback situation as a top priority, something it has been just about since Jim McMahon left, with the exception of a few Jay Cutler years. Doing that to any meaningful degree with the castoff options available in free agency or via trades wasn’t ever going to happen. What Pace has done with the quarterback situation, however, is more than a little intriguing.

The quarterback additions and subtractions, coupled with also suggest a draft plan far from locked in on a quarterback. The signings of Glennon and Sanchez don’t mean the Bears have solved their quarterback position, but it does mean the Bears have positioned themselves with the distinct option of NOT taking a quarterback – this year.

But here’s the bigger point.

Even with the optimum quarterback solution unavailable – Pace arguably did go best-available in his and the coaches’ minds with Glennon and Sanchez, all derision aside – Pace’s goal needs to be building a team that can reach a high playoff level regardless of quarterback.

Meaning: defense. And while the 2017 free agent and draft classes did not offer must-have quarterbacks in most evaluations, there are those elite-level defensive talents, and every indication is that the Bears will look there, in the draft, and should be. It had that feeling when the Bears, with ample, money to spend, backed away from day one free-agency runs at a couple of pricey defensive backs. The Bears simply think they can do better for less in the draft.

A perspective: With a defense at its levels during the Brian Urlacher era, the Bears could reach the NFC championship game with what they have at quarterback now. They did, twice, with Rex Grossman and with Cutler. Sanchez got to AFC championship games in each of his first two seasons. The Bears reached a Super Bowl with Rex Grossman as their quarterback. They went 13-3 in 2001 with a solid-but-unspectacular Jim Miller as their quarterback. They reached the 2005 playoffs with Kyle Orton as their starter most of that year, and should have been in the 2008 playoffs with him as well. The Bears reached the NFC championship game in 2010 with Cutler.

There is a common denominator in all of these situations, and it is within Pace’s grasp, and that was an elite defense. Rex Ryan had one with the Jets and Sanchez, Grossman and Orton and Cutler had theirs with Urlacher, Lance Briggs, Mike Brown, Tommie Harris, Charles Tillman, etc.

Forget the quarterback situation for now. Nothing anyone, including Pace, can really do anything about it (other than land possibly Deshaun Watson, based on their turnout at his Pro Day).

But if Pace and his personnel staff do this right, they can lay in the foundation for something elite on defense that will transcend the quarterback, or at least allow the Bears to play more than 16 games in a season even if they do not have a great quarterback. With the Urlacher core defense, the Bears went to postseasons with four different quarterbacks.

The prime directive now for Ryan Pace is to create precisely that model again.

Johnny Oduya feeling better, more up to speed with Blackhawks

Johnny Oduya feeling better, more up to speed with Blackhawks

Perhaps the best thing about the Johnny Oduya trade back to the Blackhawks, for both parties involved, was that Oduya wasn't needed immediately.

It's not that the Blackhawks didn't want the veteran defenseman, who helped them win Cups in 2013 and 2015, back in the lineup as soon as possible. Oduya was coming off an ankle injury, one he re-aggravated and missed about a month when he was with the Dallas Stars. He needed time to fully heal and with the Blackhawks in good shape in the standings and with solid depth at defense, he could.

Now with the playoffs right around the corner, Oduya is feeling more like himself.

Outside of missing two games that were the second halves of back-to-backs, Oduya has been playing steadily since March 9. Oduya's minutes have ranged from around 16 to 21 in games. He said he's now 100 percent healthy from his injury and he's feeling the difference on the ice.

"It makes a big difference," Oduya said on Thursday, prior to facing the Stars for the first time since his trade back to Chicago. "I mean, obviously sometimes you get more or less lucky, depending on what you get and the style of play and what you do or not. Skating is a part of my game I try to use as much as possible to get in good position and try to take away time from the opposition as much as possible.

"Even with battling and things like that, of course it's nice to feel more confident," Oduya added. "In any situation, you're in you want to feel confident on the ice."

The Blackhawks have seen that confidence in previous postseason runs and are looking to see it again in Oduya. Coach Joel Quenneville considers Oduya, "Mr. Reliability."

"You look back at what he delivered for us, not just the regular season, but he's been solid and reliable in the playoffs. He's assumed some important matchups and important minutes," Quenneville said. "Last year, we didn't have him on the back end and watching him this year, it was the perfect fit him coming back."

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The Blackhawks' defensive group hasn't changed much since Oduya's first stint here. The system probably hasn't been altered much, either. Still, Oduya's not taking anything for granted and is trying to get back on the same page quickly.

"Same as the last time I came into a great hockey team and I really just want to get up to speed and up to date as quickly as possible," Oduya said. "Little things that may have changed. I want to fit in as well as I can. That's the idea anyone has coming in late in the year. The guys here make it pretty easy; the coaching staff is familiar with the way I play and helps speed up things a little more."

The Blackhawks are trying to be their best heading into the postseason. So is Oduya. He needed a little extra time to get back to health and he may still need a little time to get back to speed, but he's just about there. 

"I feel pretty good. Of course it's a lot easier when you have guys around you you've seen before, a coaching staff," Oduya said. "It's a work in progress, anyway. I want to be better, I want to evolve with the team and want us to be better, too. It's a work in progress."