Sox GM Williams refuses to backtrack on comments

Sox GM Williams refuses to backtrack on comments
February 22, 2011, 10:27 pm
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Tuesday, Feb. 22, 2011
4:17 p.m.

By Brett Ballantini

Kenny Williams further discussed comments first made to CSNs Chuck Garfien on Monday during a sideline session Tuesday, in which he refused to backtrack from the aggressive stance he took, in his eyes to preserve the integrity of the game.

Were just caretakers of the game, Williams said. All of us: You media, me, the players, were caretakers of this game to the next generation, and then the next generation after that.
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Williams baseball worldview doesnt begin in Chicago, where he now lords over a record White Sox payroll, but in the smaller markets, including the one in Oakland, where he grew up as a baseball fan.

I grew up in the Bay Area with the Oakland As of the 1970s, the Cincinnati Reds, the Big Red Machine, Williams said. In the late seventies 1979, who was it? The Pittsburgh Pirates. In the early eighties 1985, Kansas City won their first championship. These are all what? Small market teams, teams that at that time had a fighting chance because of their expertise, intellect, and how they put together teams.

These cities and the teams that they had are responsible for the great popularity that we now enjoy in the game. These people, these cities, and the baseball fans in these cities, should not be left out in the cold competing for a title. Its important that small-market fans have just as much chance to hope and dream about their team winning a World Series as anybody else, and right now thats not happening.

Williams mentioned to Garfien that a player lockout could be an element of changing the nature and context of spending in todays baseball, and he stood by those comments as well.

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I said what I said. I said what I felt, Williams said. Do I want a stoppage? Who does? This is a game where millions upon millions of people watch on television and come to the ballpark to get away from some of the things that are going on in life, to have a little bit of entertainment. Thats all Im saying: We have to protect that. We are stewards of the game and we have to protect it.

As for his record payroll, Williams responded hell, no when asked whether he was comfortable with the White Sox salary doles, which stand at 125 million and counting.

Were out on a limb, but thats our choice, the GM said. We made the choice in an effort to give our fans hope and give ourselves a chance to compete for the championship. If things dont fall our way, if we dont get the support, well lose money its a risky proposition.

Brett Ballantini is CSNChicago.coms White Sox Insider. Follow him @CSNChi_Beatnik on Twitter for up-to-the-minute White Sox information.