Every general manager makes mistakes. It doesn’t mean that they’re not good at what they do, it just means they’re human. Kenny Williams has made a mistake by not stepping up and doing what it takes to sign Johnny Damon .
This offseason Williams has shored up the bullpen, acquired veteran role players, and overall assembled a division champion quality team. However he’s neglected to fill a gaping hole at DH. It started by letting Thome go, and not wanting to bring him back because Ozzie didn’t feel he could get him meaningful at-bats—fine.
However, all of a sudden, Johnny Damon (along with White Sox nemesis Scott Boras ) showed up on the White Sox proverbial doorstep. Here’s a player who can rotate into the outfield, allow Ozzie to move forward with his rotating DH idea, and will settle for a one-year deal. All the White Sox have to do is come CLOSE to what Detroit was offering (one year, $8 million).
Kenny’s response to this? A one-year, $4.5 million deal. Take it or leave it. Well Damon left it, and instead will play for divisional rival Detroit. Meanwhile the White Sox still have no adequate solution at DH and very few options left to address the hole.
Are the Sox really so cash strapped they another $3-4 million would have ruined their budget? Damon made it clear that he and his wife liked Chicago more than Detroit, but Kenny didn’t or couldn’t offer him enough to even come close to Detoit’s offer.
The reason this is so frustrating is that a player like Damon who can hit, steal bases, and play adequately in the field (being generous on the fielding part) will be exactly what the Sox will be looking for at the trading deadline this year. Yet for whatever reason, Kenny would rather trade for a player like that than sign him directly .
My high school baseball coach used to yell at me and a couple of the other team leaders for any little mistake we made. Afterwards, he’d remind us in his thick Hispanic accent, “If I wasn’t screaming at you, that would mean I didn’t think you had the ability to do better.”
I believe Kenny can do better, and that’s why at times like this I feel like I have to yell at him.