There Chicago White Sox general manager Kenny Williams goes again, attempting to build a team of which, um, the President of the United States can be proud.
Yes. But unlike his campaign ads, Barack Obama was not asked for approval before the White Sox agreed to send pitcher Javier Vazquez to the Atlanta Braves on Tuesday, a deal that is expected to be formally announced on Thursday.
|The Sox will part with Javier Vazquez while he has value. (Getty Images)|
"It's Joe in Section 105, Seat 38 who's more likely to write a letter or send me a bad voice mail."
Obama wasn't consulted when the Sox shipped outfielder Nick Swisher to the New York Yankees earlier this winter, and neither is Williams expected to run any potential trades -- Jermaine Dye? Bobby Jenks? -- past the President-elect.
"He's got a lot of power and influence in the world now, but I think it stops at our door," Williams said, before pausing, and then quipping, "I probably shouldn't say that, or they'll be a new law put in."
As the Most Recognizable White Sox Fan in the Free World prepares for the daunting task ahead of him, the White Sox GM is well into one of the more fascinating baseball jobs of the winter. The South Siders are coming off of their second AL Central title in four years, yet Williams, as aggressive and creative as any GM in the game, is re-making the Sox yet again.
The goal is to emerge from this winter younger and more athletic, and it's a plan he's had for months.
And that might be understating it.
There was a day in late September when Williams was sitting in the Metrodome's visiting dugout during the series in which his team was getting hammered. The Twins were driving him nuts. By comparison, the White Sox looked old, slow and unsure.
"I know what I want to do this winter," the GM said then, sitting on the bench that evening. "I have a plan."
In fact, Williams said while sitting in that dugout, he couldn't wait to get started.
"I guess I could take you back (two) years before that, to a discussion we had right after we moved Freddy Garcia," Williams said Wednesday, referring to the December 2006 deal that brought pitchers Gavin Floyd and Gio Gonzalez to the Sox. "Everyone has their style of management, baseball management in particular. Some prefer to take a veteran team and the window of opportunity as far as you can take it. And others do complete rebuilding projects and overhauls. And some try to do it on the fly.