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Fan Forum

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Ken Williams Q&A
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Ken Williams
White Sox General Manager Ken Williams answers fans questions.
In late April, White Sox General Manager Ken Williams answered a number of questions submitted by whitesox.com registered users. Read Ken's views on the team, the 2008 season, being a GM and more.

Thank you to everyone who contributed a question, and we look forward to more Q&As in future White Sox Wires and other whitesox.com e-mails.


You always seem to acquire solid character guys. Are there certain things that you look for in every player?

Leo L.
Chicago, IL


Yes. That's why I have referred to a "Chicago toughness" combined with high-character guys who provide you with a solid presence on and off the field.



What inspired you to go after guys like Nick Swisher?

Dan S.

Well, number one, he can play. He provides us with energy, he provides us with the ability to get on base. He drives in runs. And he's young. He adds to the core, both for the present and down the road.



With the way that Danks and Floyd have performed, does that give you optimism that this staff has the depth to take the Central Division?

Gene G.
San Jose, CA

That's our goal. That's what we set out to do in the offseason: put a product on the field that we believe in, the players can believe in, and ultimately that the fans can believe in, as well.



I was wondering if you are thinking about making any trades before the deadline this year.

Matt L.
Oak Lawn, IL

It's a little premature to even get into that. I hope I don't have to make a personnel move all year. I want these guys to get it done. That would be wonderful. I don't remember ever going into a season looking to replace guys right off the bat. I'm optimistic about everyone we have on the roster right here.



Are you surprised by the White Sox offense so far this year? What has your staff done differently this year to get these guys ready, as opposed to last year?

Steve M.

We're scoring runs, but they haven't gotten it going just yet. I guess that's the good news - we have now created something where guys are grinding out their at-bats. We've added three pieces to the lineup that know how to work a count, creating more base runners and more scoring opportunities. I think we've also got the flexibility, if we want to, to go to a speed lineup in times when the big boys are struggling. Once Jerry Owens gets healthy and going, he could add to that speed lineup that Ozzie will have a choice to put out there.



Is there any one position that might be prone to weakness in the event of injury?

Don J.

Yeah, everything worries me, day-to-day, hour-to-hour, minute-to-minute. But what you try to do is build a roster that's talented enough and flexible enough where if somebody does go down, you're filling in with someone who has the capabilities to help. We've had a lot of talented players sitting on the bench, so much so that it's a little difficult to get them playing time, and that's a very good problem to have.



In your opinion, what is the best acquisition that you have made in your tenure as general manager for the White Sox?

James R.
Washington, D.C.

Wow. There have been a lot of deals. I probably take more pride when we used our scouting methods, combined with our teaching methods, to get something out of a player that others did not. Esteban Loaiza, Jose Contreras. Sticking with guys like Joe Crede, Jon Garland and Aaron Rowand, when much of the media and some of our fans wanted them out of here. Those kinds of the things, the "under the radar" things. I think Carlos Quentin would be one of those guys.



How do you cope with the intense fan and media scrutiny of your every move with the team?

Timothy T.

Most times, I'm too busy to listen to it. All the time, I'm too busy to pay attention to it. After seven years, I've learned that virtually everything I do is the wrong move. Now, I'm surprised when people actually agree with me. That's when I start to really worry.



What influences your final decision on a player – statistics or your gut?

Pat H.
Chicago, IL

It's a combination. I think at the end of the day, though, my scouting instincts take over. We've tended to acquire quite a few guys over the years who statistically didn't fit the profile, but from a scouting perspective, an element perspective, they have performed very strongly.



Will you be growing a blonde goatee this season?

Ryan R.
Schererville, IN

If that's what the boys want for solidarity, then I'm in.