Monday, June 1, 2009

Special K, Big Z and The AL

Top Blogs If Kenny Williams had played baseball the way he runs his organization, the guy would have been a lock for the Hall of Fame. Alright.. let's just say he would have played more than seven seasons. Over the past decade, the White Sox GM has been as busy as any GM in baseball, investing in no namers such as Tadahito Iguchi, Alexei Ramirez and fellow Stanford alum Carlos Quentin---just to name a few. Oh..and he brought the first World Series title to Chicago in nearly a century. If you think a World Series ring would be enough to hush the critics, think again. And Williams would be the first to tell you he is his own harshest critic.

I would have to imagine that the past two weeks have been particularly exasperating for the 45 year-old Williams. It was two weeks ago that San Diego Padre starter Jake Peavy snubbed the White Sox in a potential trade that would have brought him to the American League. Peavy's agent Barry Axelrod recently issued a statement that Peavy has nothing against the White Sox and that his preference right now is to stay in San Diego. "That being said, he didn't say he didn't want to be on the White Sox. What he said was, 'Right now, all things considered, it is better for me and my family to stay in San Diego than it is to accept a deal to the White Sox. " Axelrod then reiterated Peavy's desire to stay in the National League. "Among the factors that are important to Jake are that he go to a competitive team that is going to remain competitive, or at least have a chance to remain competitive," Axelrod said. "He has a strong preference that it would be a National League team, and we have stated that from the beginning." Far be it from me to judge a Major League pitcher based on his desire to stay within the National League, but let me begin with the most obvious observation: seven of the ten league leaders in batting average are from the American League. Eight of the ten league leaders in hits are from the AL. In addition, eight of the ten league leaders in strike outs are from the National League. Simply put: the NL has nothing on the AL. Since 1970 the American League has won 22 out of 37 World Series'. During that same time, the AL has registered 21 victories in the All-Star game. Sox skipper Ozzie Guillen was asked by reporters earlier this week what his thoughts were on Roy Oswalt admitting he had no interest in being traded to the South Side. "Believe me, if I was a pitcher in the National League, I would think twice [before] coming to the American League because now you'd find out how to really pitch," Sox manager Ozzie Guillen said. "Every lineup in the American League is loaded." Wiliams backed up his manager by adding "That doesn't make them fearful or anything other than maybe smart," Williams said. "This is a tough league."

BTW: The balloon heads over at recently posted a piece entitled Does Anyone Want To Pitch On South Side? Answer: Carlos Zambrano

When Chicago Sun-Times reporter Chris De Luca asked Carlos Zambrano if he would pitch for any other team other than the Cubs:

”Well, if I do,” Zambrano added in a hushed voice, ”I want it to be in a White Sox uniform.”