White Sox VP Ken Williams: Rebuild gave me ‘needed jolt’
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GLENDALE, Ariz. — White Sox vice president Ken Williams oversaw the team’s 2005 World Series championship. He says his goal 12 years (and just one playoff appearance) later is to see general manager Rick Hahn and manager Rick Renteria win executive and manager of the year awards.
That likely would happen only in the event of another title, which the Sox are far away from in their current rebuild mode.
Hahn has wanted to rebuild for some time — it’s not Williams’ customary way of doing things — but Williams said Tuesday he’s not only on board but feels rejuvenated by it.
“Oh, absolutely,” he said. “Me personally, I have not been this excited about the White Sox’ future in a long, long time.”
Williams has kept a lower public profile than usual during camp, leaving Hahn to be the point man in the rebuild and the public face of it as well. Williams did venture out Tuesday to talk about the passing of Jerry Krause, who scouted him as a player, and was then asked about the rebuilding plan, which has stocked camp with an influx of exciting young talent not seen in these parts for some time.
“It’s been personally invigorating to see these guys in this clubhouse and on the back fields, to see the second wave of guys that will be coming after this first wave of prospects,” Williams said. “To talk to Rick about the possibilities trade-wise we may have out there in the future, free agency, international signing wise . . . we’re in full-go mode. And it’s exciting. A lot of us around here needed this kind of jolt.
“So, yes, we were full-go in terms of all being on the same page wanting to get this done. We still have a ways to go.”
Williams said Renteria deserves high praise for creating a teaching environment in camp.
“I sat both he and Rick Hahn down the other day in Rick’s office and shook both of their hands because this is one of the best environments I’ve been in since I’ve been in professional baseball since 1982,” Williams said.
He said he told chairman Jerry Reinsdorf that Hahn’s and Renteria’s ways of doing things are “as professional and first-class as can possibly be.’’
“And I’m going to aid in any way I can as far as talent acquisition and be helpful along those lines,” Williams said. “At the end of the day, the only goal that’s left for me is to bring the White Sox fans another championship.’’
If it happens, it likely won’t happen the way it did in ’05.
“I can look at our success of 2005 and say, ‘This is how you do it, this is the mold, the formula of how you put together a winning team,’ but things change. Things evolve,” Williams said. “You have to evolve along the way to make sure you’re all moving in the right direction.’’
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