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Kenny Must Go!

Kenny Williams must go.  With the latest little "mix-up" the White Sox general manager has proven that he is the most incompetent person to hold that position since Ken "Hawk" Harrelson.  It's not so much the magnitude of his latest blunder, it's just that it happened.

When the Sox announced the trade of James Baldwin to the Los Angeles
Dodgers Thursday afternoon, the Sox issued a press release stating that the Sox had obtained three minor league pitchers in the deal:  Onan Masaoka, Gary Majewski, and Jon Berry.

Now it's bad enough that the Sox are getting Majewski back after three months or so after the player they traded him for, Antonio Osuna went on the disabled list for the rest of the season, but what made this whole thing intolerable is the press release that followed.  After telling the world about how they liked Berry's arm and how he was a good young prospect, the Sox announced that they hadn't traded for the pitcher at all.  Instead, the Dodgers had traded Jeff Barry, a 32-year-old outfielder who was last seen in Japan before coming to the Dodgers farm system.

Williams acknowledged that there was a mix-up.  The Sox had been looking at
Berry's stats and assumed that's whose name was on the table, not Barry.  Williams said, "The deal stands."

Or as Bud Selig said to Gord Ash about the David Wells deal:  "Caveat

In perhaps his gutsiest performance of the year, James Baldwin pitches in Game 3 of the American League Divisional Series at Seattle.

The problem here is that this is one of a string of very strange deals involving the White Sox GM.  It began with the Mike Sirotka for Wells trade.  Gord Ash complained mightily that Sirotka was damaged goods, but the travesty is really that Williams knew that Wells had a herniated disc and still made the $9-million gamble that Wells would remain healthy enough to pitch.

Next Williams made the Majewski for Osuna deal with the Dodgers.  Reports
from Dodgers camp were that he was suffering from tendenitis early in spring training, but Williams went ahead with the deal.  He then signed Osuna to an extension to his contract before Osuna had thrown a single pitch.  Naturally, Osuna went on the disabled list within a few weeks of the start of the season.

Then there was the Royce Clayton signing.  The Sox have a perfectly good
major league shortstop in Jose Valentin.  Thirty-six errors you say?  Look
at his double plays.  Look at his range.  Now look at what Clayton has done.  It was a signing that shouldn't have been made.

Of course there was the deal in which we picked up Julio Ramirez and played him regularly for about a month even though he was hitting below .100.  Williams wasn't responsible for Ramirez playing every day, but he was responsible for not sending him to Charlotte when he showed beyond a
shadow of a doubt that he was incapable of hitting major league pitching.

There was the signing of Harold Baines, and his retention on the squad until he was injured, despite the fact that he was hitting below .150.  Instead of shopping for a left-handed DH/pinch hitter who was less than 42 years old, Williams did nothing.

So far the only signing that has panned out in Williams' brief tenure as GM is that of Jose Canseco, and he is one injury away from that being a flop.

And now this.  Williams doesn't even know which of two players he is talking about when discussing a trade.  I can just hear the discussions between Williams and former White Sox executive Danny Evans, now with the Dodgers.

Evans:  And we'll throw in *mumble* B*rry.

Williams:  Great.  We love his arm.

Evans:  Yeah, he has a great arm.  So it's a deal?

Williams:  Deal.

[Sox then put out press release.]

[Telephone rings.]

:  Hello?

Evans:  Kenny, about that trade.  Um, it seems you named the wrong
guy.  We were talking about Jeff Barry with an "a," the outfielder who
played in Japan last year, not Jon Berry, the young pitcher.

Williams:  Oh, okay.  No problem.

[Sox send out revised press release.]

In a perfect world the script would end this way.

[Rioting Sox fans storm Williams' office.]

Roland Hemond:  Oh, my God!  They've killed Kenny!

Jerry Reinsdorf:  You bastards!

But I guess that only happens in cartoons.  Come to think of it, the Sox
front office does resemble a cartoon....

Editor's Note:  Hal Vickery has been a White Sox fan since 1955 when he was five years old.  For much of that time he also had a secondary rooting interest in the Cubs, which he has shown the good sense to abandon. When not cheering for or writing about the Sox, Hal teachers chemistry and physics at North Boone High School, in Poplar Grove, IL.  Hal commutes there daily from Joliet, where he lives with his wife Lee, their son Jeff, and Buster T. Beagle.


Have a Thought about
Kenny the Klown!

You Can Put it on the Board -- Yes!