Ken Williams, unplugged
The White Sox general manager talked for 17 minutes prior to Friday’s game, with the focus falling primarily on the Jake Peavy situation. But here’s a few other tidbits that didn’t find their way into the main story on the trade that never was or the story to come centered on Williams’ optimism for the team to shake off the doldrums from the slow start.
On Bartolo Colon:
“Well, Bartolo, you know, you can’t get away with fastballs all the time. He’s going to have to mix in some more breaking balls. He’s got some of the best movement on his fastball in the game, but unless you’re mixing it up, then you’re not going to have any success.
And he knows that. To a great degree, that reality has to kind of set in that he doesn’t have 96, 97 mph anymore where he can go out and throw 90 percent fastballs and get an out. He’s just got to mix it up more, and that’s just the bottom line. If he doesn’t mix it up, he’s going to get it handed to him.”
On the inconsistent 2009 mound work from young starters such as Gavin Floyd and John Danks:
“Here’s what I’ll tell you. There are a number of clubs that are trying to get ahold of our guys in the rotation, particularly our young guys in the rotation, and get me to move them now thinking that we might have soured on them because they’ve had a little bit of a tough stretch. It’s not happening. We’ve got faith in John Danks and Gavin Floyd. I’m not too worried about how they’re going to rebound this year.”
On young players such as Aaron Poreda and Clatyon Richard hearing their names in the Peavy trade rumor:
“I have a standing policy that no one in that locker room has to guess what’s on my mind, on any of the coaches’ mind. All they have to do is ask the question, and we’ll give them a straight answer. To this point, I have not been asked by anyone to expound. But I’ve given them all that right. The difficult part is when you are, when things come out, and it may not necessarily be as accurate as you’d like it to be, but you don’t want to expound on it because you don’t want to give any legs to it.”
On sending a message to the White Sox fan base that the team needs to improve:
“I’m very careful about saying, ‘We’re going to improve on this, we’re going to make the moves necessary,’ because you can have as many great ideas as you want. You can have as much aggressiveness or desire as you want. But if the players aren’t available or if the matchups don’t fit with other clubs, there’s some things that are just out of your control. The guys with the gloves and the bats and the balls have the control around here. The rest of us, we’re just along for the ride.”
On finding the money to pay for Peavy, if he agreed to the trade:
“We were going to figure that out along the way. That’s not too much of a stretch.”
On making more of a personal pitch to Peavy to join the White Sox:
“Well, I made the offer. I had a flight scheduled to go out a couple of days before you guys even knew about it, or at least a day and a half before you guys even knew about it. So I was certainly willing to do so.
But it was very quickly articulated to me that this was not about his respect for the White Sox, the city, Ozzie as a manager, what we’re about, our aggressiveness in trying to field a competitive team every year. This wasn’t about any of that.
When you get a guy that has a no-trade clause in his contract, do you know what that means? It means he’s earned it. And when you earn that right, just like any of us would like, when you earn those certain rights, you’d like to be able to dictate and plot your own course. There’s nothing wrong, I don’t begrudge him or anyone else.
Years ago, I forget who it was, [Carlos Delgado]. Yeah, who expressed some of the same things, as well. It is what it is. You move forward. You find another way.”
On Plan B after Peavy:
“Usually I have a Plan B. At this stage, this pretty much was a Plan A kind of thing. I didn’t have anything really backing this one up right now. We’ll work on it.”