INDIANAPOLIS - In a perfect world, the Air Force would call Ken Williams and let the White Sox general manager know that they were unveiling a new fighter jet called the "Williams'' because of its ability to fly so low under the radar it borders on invisibility. If one did happen to somehow get a glimpse of it in flight, it would simply glare at them in a menacing fashion, as if the jet was saying, "Nothing to see here, now stay out of my business.''
In the real world of the Winter Meetings Day 1, however, just a lot of rumors and false hustle.
Here's a summary:
--Williams said the Sox are still talking to free agent Scott Podsednik, but warned, "We don't allow any player to hold us hostage and wait around for them to get on their timetable. We operate on our own timetable. Obviously, we still have roster spots to fill and he's still out there. If he is sincere about fit and about dollars then it's time to get serious.''
--The Sox and Juan Pierre ... again? Don't laugh. The holdup on those talks, however, is the well-publicized divorce involving Dodgers owner Frank McCourt, especially because the Sox would want Los Angeles to pick up a good amount of Pierre's $18.5 million he's owed the next two seasons.
--Manager Ozzie Guillen was told by Andruw Jones that he wants to be an everyday starter. Guillen told him if he hits he will be.
--Williams on being in the Roy Halladay sweepstakes: "No comment.''
--Williams on the Jake Peavy Factor: "I talked to him a couple of weeks ago and he was fired up already. He got my juices going a little bit, and I told him, 'This is way too early for that, so take it easy.' Listen, there's a reason we went out and were as aggressive as we were, and gave up some good ballplayers to get him, and that's because we believe in him. Even though I would have preferred he didn't pitch at the end of the season, he wanted to. And I think it was good for all of our fans to see and for his teammates to see, because there's a different kind of energy behind him and in that dugout when he's pitching. As well as showing what he can do on the field, he's also going to be a positive role model for what we think our guys - like Gavin Floyd and John Danks - that can be No. 1 guys. Mark Buehrle is Mark Buehrle, and he's a No. 1 on any given day. But he goes about his business in a different way and you can't emulate what Mark Buehrle does. For these type of guys that are more high-intensity-type guys, to see that and push the limits of that intensity, but yet have a controlled aggression is something they can learn from Jake Peavy.''
--Guillen declared that if the season started today, Rios would be in center field, Quentin in right and Jones in left, along with Kotsay. As far as who his leadoff hitter would be: "The one, and he's not a typical leadoff hitter, is Gordon [Beckham],'' Guillen said. "Gordon takes a lot of pitches there, he knows what he's doing, he's not going to panic. He can run a little bit, but I don't think he can steal bases the way we want him to, but I always say, the leadoff hitter, I don't care how many bases you can steal, you've got to be on base. I'd rather have a guy get on base than a guy that steals 100 bases, but is never there.''
--Guillen on the Hideki Matsui to the Sox rumor that won't go away. "I like what I see in the World Series, yeah,'' Guillen said. "He's got to play the outfield for a little while. I never tell Kenny who to sign and who to release - well a couple guys to release. I told Kenny, 'Hey, I don't want this guy at the ballpark.' And there's one guy where I said to Kenny, 'Hey, can we keep this guy?' And that was Kotsay.'' According to the Japanese media, however, Matsui is looking for a multi-year deal that will pay him $10 million a year. Next.