He remains focused on the White Sox, but it sounds as if Kenny Williams would — at the very least — consider any potential job opportunities if they were to arise.
In addressing recent rumors that have attached him to the Toronto Blue Jays and Seattle Mariners, Williams said Monday afternoon there’s nothing to talk about at this point.
Eight months after reports surfaced that he had interest in succeeding now-retiring Blue Jays CEO Paul Beeston, Williams, the club’s executive vice president, doesn’t refute the idea he misses some of the day-to-day nature of the general manager’s role. At the same time, Williams appreciates other aspects of his current position and remains committed to the White Sox.
“It’s useless to even have the discussion,” Williams said. “I don’t know how many times I have to say it: My focus is right here on the White Sox and hoping we can make a run here and make it interesting.
“I won’t deny there are times throughout the year where you sort of (miss the action), but there are other advantages to the role I play now. I’m focused on the job at hand and if (chairman Jerry Reinsdorf) ever comes to me, and he hasn’t, and said someone has asked for permission for X, Y or Z job then I deal with that when it comes. Till that point it’s a moot conversation.”
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Last December, Toronto’s interest in both Williams and the Baltimore Orioles’ Dan Duquette surfaced weeks after the fact, according to Williams.
Calling it a timing issue because it would have interfered with an important offseason for the White Sox, Reinsdorf denied permission for Williams to speak to the Blue Jays, who had intended to move on from Beeston at that point. Beeston returned to the Blue Jays, and he’s set to retire at the end of the season.
Williams continues to be attached to the position, according to USA Today’s Bob Nightengale. Williams said to hear his name attached is gratifying and the appreciation he’s felt from people both inside and out of the organization has been nice. But at the same time, Williams plans to follow his advice for his players and focus on the final 40 games here. He’d worry about the rest only when it arises, which would likely come after the season anyway.
“It’s flattering when these possibilities come up and your name is in the mix,” Williams said. “After the experience of last winter, the last thing you want to do is be hypocritical of the things you’ve preached over the years. If you’re a player in Charlotte, make sure your head and your ass is in Charlotte and not just your ass.”