It's time to stop the disappointing state of underachieving baseball being played on the South Side, be grateful that the AL Central lead is within reach and start making a run at it, White Sox general manager Ken Williams said Wednesday.
"We are licking our wounds too much,'' Williams told reporters at the Double Duty Classic youth baseball event at U.S. Cellular Field. "At some point you have to say to hell with it and whatever you've done to this point in the season you have to wipe it away and get after it. We have a chance to still win this thing. The individual numbers may not be what they are accustomed to but we still have a chance to collectively have a celebration at the end of the year. And I'd like the focus to be on that and less on the individual numbers. But it's hard to look up at that scoreboard and see numbers you're not used to seeing when you're a player who has achieved a lot in this league. I get that. But what I get also is it's time. It's time to wipe that away because we're better than this.''
The morning after manager Ozzie Guillen labeled a 3-2 loss to the host Colorado Rockies in 13 innings as the worst defeat of the year, a game in which he benched center fielder Alex Rios for not running hard, Williams said he hadn't discussed it over the phone with Guillen but wholeheartedly supported the message Guillen sent.
"Well I completely support it and Ozzie knows without even having to ask the question he knows I support moves like that, decisions like that and I'm certainly not going to take an exception to it,'' Williams said. "Those types of moves and actions send a message to everyone else and are a little bit of a reminder.''
"Rios don't run the bases, that's why I got him out of the game,'' Guillen said after the game. "It's not the first time it happened. I don't like the way he run the bases. My players can be very bad. And that's a message for everyone: If they don't f---ing run the bases, their reputation comes on me and I have a greater reputation in this f---ing game to do it that way. They don't run the bases they're out of the game. I don't give a s--- if it's Paul Konerko or Adam Dunn or anyone. You don't run the bases you're out of the game.''
The Sox start the day trailing first place Detroit by five games in the AL Central.
"We're very fortunate to have a chance to win the division without playing even close to our capabilities,'' Williams said. "That I can be thankful for, but I'm certainly not happy. And we're going to have to start to turn this around quickly.''