View Full Version : 'No negativity' theme put to test

03-02-2002, 11:30 AM
By Joe Cowley
White Sox general manager Ken Williams may want to call another team meeting.
The second-year GM addressed the squad Feb. 21, when position players joined the pitchers and catchers who had already been in camp. Williams' message was a simple one: avoid negativity.

"The general theme was that we must stick together," Williams said. "We're a team with a lot of upside. We have to battle the outside forces that surround the club, whether it be the media or perceptions."

At the time, Williams was reacting to stories about Ray Durham's contract and teammates anonymously attacking shortstop Royce Clayton through the media.

Since Williams' speech, both Frank Thomas and pitcher Mark Buehrle have mentioned displeasure with their deals. While Thomas' concern is understandable he's a 12-year veteran with a unique contract Buehrle has played just one full major league season.

Sox manager Jerry Manuel is tuning it all out.

"I don't even get involved with that," Manuel said. "That's not my area. Just keep it away from the field. If it's affecting the play on the field, then it becomes something I'll have to deal with."

For now, it appears Williams' top priorities are Durham, who is headed for free agency after the season, and first baseman Paul Konerko, whose two-year contract extension runs out at season's end.

"As far as contracts, I don't get into other peoples' business," Konerko said. "I do know that we don't need any type of distractions. We don't want to go through what we did last year."

Last year, in addition to Thomas walking out of camp for six days over his contract, pitchers Keith Foulke and Bob Howry and outfielder Magglio Ordonez all went public with their desire for contract extensions.

"Sometimes you deserve negative media," Konerko said. "If you have a bad week or don't play to your abilities, you're going to get it. You just don't want to create it for yourself. We did enough of that last year.

"Guys are going to say things and demand things. That's the nature of this business. As long as we play and don't open our mouths we should be fine."

03-02-2002, 11:38 AM

Man that is one crappy piece of journalism, IMO. I don't normally rip the media, but that is exactly the type of press that KW was warning about. Intended to do nothing but sow the seeds of unrest. Another fine example of the media keeping the little man down...