Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Williams Hoping To Retire No.35

Top Blogs Kenny Williams and Frank Thomas. Two names, that when spoke in the same company, can ignite a whirlwind of commentary. As Scot Gregor from The Daily Herald is reporting, cooler heads may be prevailing among the heated rivalry. On Monday, Williams admitted to Gregor that the White Sox organization would be more than happy to retire the number 35 whenever the 41 year-old Thomas is ready. "My voice message to him was, our feelings for each other aside, if he wanted to retire as a White Sox, be it this year, next, etc.," Williams said, "I would not stand in his way, and in fact think that he deserves and our fans deserve to see him retire as a White Sox. He is the greatest hitter in Sox history, and that must be recognized." Thomas has not returned Williams' phone call.

Among all of the statues erected for former Sox icons, Thomas' will undoubtedly be the most labor intensive, and former teammate Ozzie Guillen says Thomas may not embrace the idea of a bronze icon. "If we try to do something for him, he might get offended, like, 'I'm not ready to quit, I still want to play.' That's why the White Sox have to be careful about what they want to do, what they say, and let Frank make the first decision."

Thomas is the all time White Sox leader in runs scored (1,327), home runs (448), doubles (447), RBI (1,465), extra-base hits (906), walks (1,466), total bases (3,949), slugging percentage (.568), and on-base percentage (.427). In total, Thomas is the all-time White Sox leader in 12 offensive categories.

Perhaps Thomas' best shot at Williams came on May 22, 2006 as a member of the Oakland Athletics. Thomas would hit two home runs against his former team that night. It was the first time in 16 years that Thomas would hit home runs at Comiskey and not set off fireworks.

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 wrigleyville23.com 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.”

Sunday, May 31, 2009

Brooms, Oswalt and Good Home Cooking

Top Blogs The Good: The White Sox accomplished something this weekend they have been waiting for since....well, the beginning of the season. Sweeping a series. An official series. Back on May 7th the Sox took a one game series from the Tigers at the Cell and then a two game sweep of Seattle at the end of April. Each series had one game called due to rain. This time against the struggling Royals in K.C., the Sox would get it right. More importantly, they took two of three in Kansas City without the help of the long ball. Heading back to 35th and Shields for an 11 game home-stand, the Sox will not only bring with them momentum, but the knowledge that their feisty GM is hard at work to bring another ace to their pitching staff.

The Peaved: Reports had surfaced over the weekend that Kenny Williams' assistant Bill Scherrer had been tailing the Houston Astros for the better part of two weeks. Sources close to the Williams' camp have indicated that the Sox have their sights set on Houston starter Roy Oswalt. It was just two weeks ago that the ever diligent Williams had Jake Peavy on his radar, only to get shot down by Peavy exercising his no trade clause. Oswalt, who signed a five-year extension in 2006 with an option year for 2012, is due to make $15 million in 2010 and $16 million in 2011. Any trade involving the Olympic gold medalist would have to get his approval. Regardless of what Oswalt does, one thing is unavoidable....Jake Peavy's decison to snub the Sox has lit a fire under Kenny Williams. Expect to see a new starter by the All-Star break. Case Closed.

Sweet Home Chicago: 23 of the Sox 28 games in June will be played at home, or within 90 minutes of downtown Chicago. The White Sox are 12-10 at home this season.

BTW: Scott Podsednik entered Friday's series opener at Kansas City batting .275. He will enter Monday's game against Oakland batting .297.

Up Next: Oakland (19-29 4th) at Chicago (24-25 2nd) - (7:11 PM) Trevor Cahill (2-5) Bartolo Colon (3-4).