LAS VEGAS - Day 2 of the Winter Meetings left general manager Ken Williams feeling very calm and very left out.
He met with the media, along with Ozzie Guillen and the Mount Rushmore of the Dodgers' front office on Tuesday, to discuss the move to Glendale for the spring training facility the two organizations will share, and then huddled with the Chicago media alone to let them know that there was nothing to see here.
"Other than general pleasantries, I haven't had any conversations with anyone,'' Williams said. "It's early in the day and I'm sure I'll run into some guys. I don't expect that anything will materialize.''
There were still Jermaine Dye rumors floating around throughout the afternoon, with Atlanta now the strongest suitor for the outfielder's services, but Williams was one again thumping his chest about the in-house youth that will be handed legitimate shots at starting jobs.
On Jerry Owens:
"Listen, the fact of the matter is this: I have confidence in the players we're bringing back. Obviously, a couple of them had setbacks. But in my opinion, Josh Fields, Jerry Owens - we're talking about those two players in particular. It's very simple - they were battling injuries. I'm not going to hold that against them. I know the type of talent that they have, possess. And I think they're going to be assets to us. It's just that simple.''
On Brian Anderson:
"We can go round and round about this stuff every day. I'm going to keep saying the same thing I've always said - I believe in Brian Anderson. The talent and the ballplayer is there. Now he's got an attitude as such that he gets it now. He's working hard. He had a great attitude last year, and I think performed. I think if he had a full season of at-bats underneath him last year, he'd had hit you 25 home runs and driven in 80-plus runs. On the average side, you guys know I'm less concerned with average than on-base percentage. I'd like to see him cut down on strikeouts and pound the ball to right center a little more. Other than that, we're talking about some talented players that I'm not going to give up on. I believe in that.''
On payroll constraints:
"I think it has a great affect on it. It is what it is. I've used the line before you can't give someone a dollar when you don't have 50 cents. And we're in a position where I don't want to minimize any of the support we get because we've come a long way from where we were in fan support, and the last number of years we've been a top tier payroll team. So it's not a matter of our willingness to spend money. It has to come within a consistency with a plan of winning, that it will help us take the next step. And in this particular point in time, we're in a state where we have to give some of these young players an opportunity, assess where we are, and if there's opportunity, we're in position where we have enough support, we'll take advantage of it when the time is right. Don't worry about that. The aggressiveness has gone anywhere to how we're going to operate.''
The bottom line so far:
"Not too many people talking to us, so there's not really a need for me to do too much listening.''