When you're the general manager responsible for investing 127 million on a baseball team that wins only 79 games and finishes 16 games out of first place, you're not exactly going to be a happy camper. These are the facts Kenny Williams has to live with this off-season, how a team that had so much potential never came close to meeting expectations.
With the White Sox season now two weeks in the rear-view mirror, Williams is still digesting what happened, and it doesnt taste good.
"It's the most disappointing year that I've had in baseball," Williams said in an interview with Comcast SportsNet. "I thought we had another opportunity to position ourselves for another championship."
So what kind of position are the White Sox in now?
"We do have some payroll limitations. It didn't work out last year. That was the gamble by going out on a limb payroll-wise and it backfired. We lost money, bottom line," Williams said. "Are we going to now take the same gamble? The answer to the question is no. Weve got to take a step back, but that doesn't mean we're not going to try to win just the same."
Changes to the White Sox roster are coming. That's a given. As for who and how many?
"I can't even look at that until we sit down as a group. I don't want to do that right now because the wounds are still fresh. We are a very frustrated group, because we had expectations. Let's not be reactionary based on all of that disappointment too quickly, because these are players with track records. So let's take a deep breath, clear our heads, come back, and make some good solid decisions."
The biggest decision might be what do about free agent Mark Buehrle. He's prepared to test the open market, and with the Sox cutting payroll they might not be able to afford him.
"He's made no mistake about it, he wants to be back here," Williams said. "We would like him to be back here. Does it all fit together? I don't know yet."
With Theo Epstein headed to the Cubs, you can forget about assistant general manager Rick Hahn crossing over to the other side of town to fill the GM role. But the Angels and Orioles have openings. Others will pop up if not this year, then next year. Is Williams concerned he's going to lose his right-hand man?
"Sure, but if it happens I'm happy for him. He's one of the brightest minds in the game. He's been an asset around here for sure. I'd like to see him get an opportunity. If that comes now, great. It's coming. I know that."