White Sox

Sox Drawer: Williams Made Play for Halladay

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Sox Drawer: Williams Made Play for Halladay

Monday, Feb. 22, 2010
5:09 PM

By Chuck Garfien
CSNChicago.com

The White Sox already have a starting rotation considered by many to be one of the best in the majors.

Mark Buehrle, Jake Peavy, Gavin Floyd, John Danks, and Freddy Garcia. Not too shabby.

But in an interview with Kenny Williams on Monday here in Glendale, the Sox general manager revealed to CSN that he came close to making the staff even better. Much, much better.

Who is this mystery person?

Although he wouldnt come out and actually say it, you can bet that his first name is Roy, his last name is Halladay, and the Sox would have had a starting rotation for the ages.

Williams admitted that the Sox were close to acquiring a big-time player this off-season (a player other than Johnny Damon). Pressed about who it was, Kenny first said, I dont think I should go down that road.

Was it a pitcher?

Williams paused. Paused again. And then made the most profound statement of 2010:

It may have given us a chance to have the best rotation maybe in the history of the game.

The history of the game?

Kenny back-tracked a bit saying, The best 5-man rotation, but he was clearly doing his best to go down the road I was trying to take him without having to say the name Roy Halladay.

Its a guy. Just a guy, Williams answered with a grin that traveled from Glendale to Tucson.

When the Blue Jays put their ace on the trading block this winter, the Sox tried to put a package together to lure Halladay to Chicago. But after shelling out roughly 100 million for Jake Peavy and Alex Rios the previous summer, finding enough money to pay for Halladay was likely the biggest stumbling block.

That wasnt a problem for the Philadelphia Phillies, who acquired Halladay from Toronto in a 3-team trade and proceeded to sign the All-Star pitcher to a 3-year, 60-million extension in December.

Other highlights from our interview:

When I brought up the expiring contracts for A.J. Pierzynski and Paul Konerko, two White Sox icons as I called them, Kenny interrupted, saying, Youre calling A.J. an icon? Im going to give Konerko the icon line. With A.J. I cant.

He was joking.

So why dont you give him a contract extension?

Number one, thats none of your business when and how we sign guys, Williams said.

He wasnt joking.

What makes you think we havent talked about it?

Okay, Ill ask. Have you talked?

Thats none of your business, Williams said with a smile. When we have something to announce well announce it. Im going to ask him, ask what his expectations are, and match them up with what I see our future roster looking like, budget issues looking like, minor league guys coming up, a guy right behind him in Tyler Flowers coming up, and how that would work in the overall grand scheme of things, because were always trying to win.

Williams continued, The good thing about all of this is that weve positioned ourselves to where there are younger players that are knocking on the door, just like (Konerko and Pierzynski) were younger players knocking on the door. With that weve got options now.

But the Sox general manager is prepared to have those good-bye conversations to both Pierzynski and Konerko. Its just a matter of when.

Theres going to come a time whether its this year, or the next year where Ive got to tell an A.J. or a Konerko (goodbye) if Im here, so its going to be hard either way.

Chuck Garfien hosts White Sox Pregame and Postgame Live on Comcast SportsNet with former Sox slugger Bill Melton. Follow Chuck @ChuckGarfien on Twitter for up-to-the-minute Sox news and views.

Omar Vizquel will reportedly be a minor league manager for White Sox in 2018

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AP

Omar Vizquel will reportedly be a minor league manager for White Sox in 2018

Former White Sox shortstop Omar Vizquel is reportedly about to become current White Sox minor league manager Omar Vizquel.

According to a Sunday report, Vizquel will be the manager of the Winston-Salem Dash in 2018.

Vizquel spent 24 seasons in the big leagues, most of those with the Seattle Mariners, Cleveland Indians and San Francisco Giants. But two of his final four seasons, 2010 and 2011, came on the South Side, where he appeared in 166 games over those two campaigns.

Vizquel is considered one of baseball's all-time great defenders and has 11 Gold Gloves to back that up. He batted .272 with a .336 on-base percentage over a nearly quarter-century major league career that saw him play in four different decades with six different big league teams.

Vizquel has spent the past five seasons as a major league coach. He was an infield coach with the Los Angeles Angels in 2013, and he was a common sight for White Sox fans during his four-year stint as the Detroit Tigers' first-base coach.

Vizquel also interviewed this offseason for the Tigers' open managerial position that eventually went to former Minnesota Twins manager Ron Gardenhire. Vizquel was not retained by the Tigers to be a part of Gardenhire's new coaching staff.

Vizquel managed the Venezuelan team in this year's World Baseball Classic. His team advanced to the second round of the competition, losing all three games in that round.

Last season, Winston-Salem was a focal point for those watching the White Sox bevy of highly ranked prospects develop in the minor leagues. Another former White Sox player, Willie Harris, was the manager at Winston-Salem last season.

White Sox Talk Podcast: 1-on-1 with Frank Thomas

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AP

White Sox Talk Podcast: 1-on-1 with Frank Thomas

White Sox Hall of Famer Frank Thomas came on the podcast to talk with Chuck Garfien about his past, baseball's present and the future of the White Sox. He talks about his first major league hit (a stand-up triple!), how fame affected him when he was a player, his appearance on David Letterman in the 1990s and more. 

Plus, what was wrong with the baseball this past season? Thomas has some ideas and tells Garfien how many home runs he would have hit with that baseball in his prime. He talks about working with Alex Rodriguez at FOX and what it was like whenever girlfriend Jennifer Lopez came to visit in the studio.

Thomas praises the White Sox rebuild and reveals an idea he presented to GM Rick Hahn about where all the top prospects should play this upcoming season. He describes what it was like going to Roy Halladay's funeral, if he sees the White Sox signing Manny Machado in 2019 and much more.

Listen to the full White Sox Talk Podcast right here: