Ken Williams, unplugged
Here’s some extra Ken Williams to fill your evening, making up for lost time, especially since the Chicago media didn’t hear from him for a few days.
–On still being in contention for the 2009 American League Central title, despite sitting seven games behind Detroit and one game behind Minnesota.
“We’ve got unfinished business here, and I’m hoping like hell we can get to within four, 3 ½ games going into the games against Detroit because Detroit’s got to play us six times, and if I’m not mistaken, they’ve got to play Minnesota seven times. So there’s a lot that can happen here this month of September, and no, there’s no quit or giving up.
“You know me. I can get awfully stubborn. What I do know is we have the talent. We have the talent to run off a streak. We have not done that all year seemingly, but we certainly have the talent to do that.
“So, what’s so implausible about us going 8-2 over our 10 next games and one of the other clubs or both of the other clubs going 5-5? What does that do for the perception of what we’re going to go down to when we face them six times at the end of the season, and they’ve got to beat up against Minnesota? We’re still in it to win it.
–On being excited to see in action prospects such as Dan Hudson, who worked two scoreless innings on Friday.
“No. Because the more they play, the more they’re in there, that means the more we have fallen back. So, I don’t care if they get an at-bat or throw a pitch.
“Well, you know when I’d like to see them play? When we’re way ahead. I would love giving young guys an opportunity to get their Major League shoes on for the first time and get that adrenaline out because then when you need them for the next year, they’ve got that experience to draw from.
“They’ve got an understanding of just how fast the Major League game is. I keep trying to tell people, we try to develop people in the Minor Leagues to be prepared for this level, but you can’t. Until you step out on the field and you realize, ‘Oh my God. Those two-hoppers that I used to get to very quickly defensively are now through the infield and into the outfield,’ or every pitch is a little bit sharper or a little bit quicker. It’s a different game. So anytime you can do that, great. But maybe when we’re way up we’ll give them an opportunity to play, but not now.”
–On the coaching staff taking the brunt of the blame, if the players are in place to win the division.
“I support Ozzie and the coaching staff, and they know it. When you get to a position like this, you can point fingers very easily. You can point them at the players, you can point them at the coaching staff or an individual coach or the general manager who puts everything together.
“However, as soon as you start to do that, the worse you become. And I’m not going to let anyone fall into that trap. If I ever get to the point where I have lost faith and lost confidence in anybody out here, you’ll know it pretty quickly.”
–Finally, Williams on the memo he sent out Monday stating selected veterans were available and his displeasure on that news being made public.
“Sure I got calls. And it was an e-mail. An e-mail that should be, all these things, all the waiver claims that get out, all the contact from club to club that gets out. It’s a serious confidence breach and players don’t understand, fans and you guys to a large degree, don’t understand that these things go on all year long because you have to gauge the value of your players, because you can be too close to the situation, too close emotionally and too close physically to the situation.”