(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.