Raznor's Rants

Costarring Raznor's reality-based friends!

Tuesday, January 21, 2003

Will the real Kenny Williams please stand up?

As a lover of the White Sox, the actions of General Manager Kenny Williams have long disturbed me. In his two years or so on the job, he had firmly established himself as the worst GM of any team at any level in any sport ever! He took a great, young White Sox team that had led the American League in wins in 2000 and transformed them into an old, bad team packed with overpriced undertalented veterans, capping off his tour de crappe with a trade that sent Kip Wells and Josh Fogg to the Pirates for Todd Ritchie. Ritchie did nothing spectatular, meanwhile Wells and Fogg performed extremely well in their rookie seasons in Pittsburgh. Then his trade that sent Keith Foulke, the best relief pitcher in the majors for the past 3 seasons, to Oakland for Billy Koch, a good, overrated closer whose value exists solely in the save column, I thought, damn, here we go again.

Then everything changed.

First Williams orchestrated the trade that sent Bartolo Colon to Chicago and now he's strengthened the White Sox bullpen with the acquisition of Tom Gordon. My God, Williams is building a possible powerhouse!

Okay, that maybe overstating the claim, but here's the thing. Colon isn't as good a pitcher as everyone thinks, the odds that he'll repeat his 2002 season are slim at best. But he's still good. And while Gordon had only 42.2 innings last season with the Cubs, he had an excellent 48 to 16 strikeout to walk ratio, which gives him 10.1 k/9 innings while giving up only 3 homeruns. Those are good numbers, and seem to indicate that Gordon will be effective for the White Sox in 2003.

Plus, now is the time to try to take the division. Cleveland doesn't seem poised to contend until 2004 at the earliest, whereas Detroit and Kansas City don't seem to be ready to compete this decade. The Twins are a good team, but they're young, and they got extremely lucky last season, going 29-16 in one-run games. They're vulnerable. If Chicago can compete right now, they could win the division next season, and then come postseason, who knows?

If Kenny Williams can continue to show the ability to make good moves as he has done recently, the Sox could emerge as the powerhouse of the AL Central for the next two seasons. Anyone in Chicago should be glad for that.

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