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WSI News - WSI Spotlight

Further thoughts on Kenny!
by Hal Vickery

A week or so ago I was interviewed by a writer from Chicago Magazine who is doing a story on Sox GM Kenny Williams. After what a Reuters reporter omitted from what I told her, I think perhaps it is best to make a pre-emptive strike in case the entirety of my opinion somehow doesn’t make its way into the article.

Rest assured that when the magazine hits the newsstands I will let you know whether or not I was both accurately and fairly quoted.

I was asked by the writer if my views on Kenny Williams had changed over the course of the last four years or so. My initial response was, “I’ve done a complete 180-degree turn on him.”

I then went on to explain my reasoning. A lot of fans, including myself thought his early deals were pretty bad. The first one that came to mind was trading three major league (Kip Wells, Josh Fogg, and Sean Lowe) for Todd Ritchie. Longtime readers of this column will remember my reasoning: “You never trade three major league arms for one.” I listed a couple of exceptions to that, and you can fill in the names of the few pitchers who are worth that price.

I also mentioned the deal that brought David Wells and his bad back and big mouth to the Sox in exchange for Mike Sirotka. I initially opposed that deal, but was convinced that it would work out. As it turned out, it wasn’t as bad as it could have been because Sirotka has never pitched in a major league game since that deal.

I then explained why I did the one-eighty. The big move for me was the acquisition of Bartolo Colòn. Again, the move didn’t work out, but it was the right one. I was less sure of Billy Koch, but based on Koch’s previous performance, it really wasn’t a bad acquisition.

Since then most of what Williams has touched has turned to gold. Around the time of the Ritchie deal, I gave Williams the nickname “Prof. Chaos,” after a character invented by a character on South Park. I nicknamed Jerry Manuel “Gen. Disarray,” after the sidekick of Prof. Chaos on the show.

After the Colòn acquisition, I dropped that nickname for Williams. I came close to returning it to him once or twice, but he always did something to renew my faith that he would do the right thing. I never dropped the nickname for the general.

Kenny Williams built the current Sox team, based on the type of players that Ozzie Guillen said he wanted. He must have done something right because in mid-August the Sox still have the best record in baseball.

That’s essentially what I told the writer (except that it was early August when I was interviewed). We’ll see how much of that makes it into print.

--------

For those of you who frequent WSI and would like to meet some of the folks who hang around here, you have an opportunity to do so, but you have to act quickly.

A few weeks ago I received an email from Brooks Boyer suggesting that it might be fun for people from a couple of the fan-operated Sox-related web sites to get together for a patio party. The idea originally came from Scott Reifert the Sox Vice President of Communications.

The result of this will be a “Core of the Core” patio party on Thursday, September 8, when the Sox play the Royals. The Sox have reserved five hundred seats for us, but the number actually attending seems to be a lot lower. (The good news for us is that WSI users seem to have purchased the vast majority of the tickets so far.)If you are interested, in attending (and we’d be glad to have you if you enjoy WSI) you can either call Kurt Hasenbalg of the Sox at (312) 674-5187 or print out this order form to fax (using the fax number on the form) or mail to the Sox with your payment:

https://netfiles.uiuc.edu/bschalle/www/core.pdf . If you call, let them know this is for the “Core of the Core” patio party.

The price is $28.00 for the patio party and $13.00 for a lower deck reserved seat (Section 105). If you have a seat for the game and wish only to attend the patio party, you may do so by paying for only the party. You may also purchase a parking pass for and additional $17.00.

One word of warning: if you’re interested you’ll have to act quickly. Reservations with the group in Section 105 will only be guaranteed through this Friday, August 19, so you have to have your order in by then.

We hope to see you there.


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, and their dog, Buster T. Beagle. Hal's opinions are not necessarily those of North Boone High School, his wife, or Buster T. Beagle. You can write Hal at hvickery@svs.com.

More features from Hal Vickery here!

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