07.31.08

Kenny Williams: An Enigma Concealed In A Puzzle Wrapped In A Desperate Need To Bench Paul Konerko

Posted in Baseball at 11:10 am by

(Above: White Sox GM Kenny Williams evaluates lunch options)

As Paul Konerko’s lineup position falls faster than the S&P 500, Kenny Williams knows he has to put an end to his jobs program for the fastball-impaired. Hampered by the .214-hitting, wild-throwing first baseman’s no-trade clause, Kenny’s justified in contemplating some oblique machinations. But…really, Ken Griffey Jr.?

Intriguing. Early in ’05 Williams came close to getting Griffey, which proves that at least one World Championship didn’t hinge on Junior’s input. But the bulk of the mystery lies in what his role would be. The White Sox are more than set at left and right, and while Griffey would bring a welcome on-field impatience with irritating broadcasters, Ken Harrelson’s not the Ken that matters. Getting Konerko out of the lineup probably means putting Swisher at first and Griffey in center, but that’s a lot of gap for the creaky 38-year old to cover. A reconstituted Jim Thome means Kenny can’t clear out left by moving Jermaine Dye to DH. So, Dye to CF? Quentin to CF? Dye to first? What’s he building in there?

Then there’s the small matter of who is being shipped to the Reds. Late word names Nick Masset and Danny Richar, which leaves serious holes in a Scott Linebrink-deprived bullpen. Beyond lending even more credence to the notion of Kenny grabbing Huston Street from the A’s fleamarket, involving the pen means the final price for Griffey isn’t in yet. Outside of OF Chris Young, I can’t think of anybody Kenny’s let go that resulted in regret. In fact, if it was announced that Carlos Quentin was to be shipped to Oakland for Street or Ducscherer, I would merely tell myself (after emerging from a three-day bender) that Q was about to fall apart. In Kenny We Trust.

3 Responses to “Kenny Williams: An Enigma Concealed In A Puzzle Wrapped In A Desperate Need To Bench Paul Konerko”

  1. tbl says:

    According to an old UZR spreadsheet I downloaded at some point and dug up on the occasion of this trade, from 2003-07 Griffey’s defense was 46 runs per 150 games worse than the average centerfielder. I can’t imagine his range has improved with time. If the White Sox play him in center for any length of time, (apologies for getting all Vegas Watch here) one would have to make an investment in the Twins to win the Central. Especially if they should ever deign to call up Liriano.

  2. GC says:

    and I’m curious why Liriano hasn’t been called up. Do they want him to win 20 games in the International League or something?

  3. kt says:

    no matter how much ground griffey can’t cover his ops is +103 over konerko (who looked HORRIBLE last night swinging at pitches bouncing in front of the plate) which should make up for it.

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