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posted: 7/21/2012 9:12 PM

What do Williams' moves mean in big picture for Sox?

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  • White Sox general manager Kenny Williams made another in-season move Saturday, acquiring reliever Brett Myers from the Houston Astros.

      White Sox general manager Kenny Williams made another in-season move Saturday, acquiring reliever Brett Myers from the Houston Astros.
    Associated Press

 
 

Kenny Williams did it again Saturday.

The White Sox general manager made another impressive trade, this time acquiring relief pitcher Brett Myers from Houston.

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"It's time to make a push," Williams said after the deal was announced.

This move comes three weeks after Williams traded two expendable pieces to Boston for third baseman Kevin Youkilis, whose hitting kept the Sox on top in the American League Central.

The Tigers just took over first place from the Sox with a 7-1 victory in Detroit, but the Sox could regain the lead with a victory Sunday.

The moves for Youkilis and Myers fortified Williams' reputation as one of the most aggressive GMs in the major leagues.

The question that needs to be asked and answered is, so what?

It's frustrating right now that Williams always seems to be operating out of weakness in financial resources and from behind the competition in organizational assets.

Being aggressive means little if the results in the standings aren't correspondingly positive.

I suppose an evaluation of Williams' style of generally managing lies in the mind of the evaluator.

Many Sox fans will give him a grade of "A" if for nothing else than he delivered Chicago's only World Series title since 1917.

Others tend to look at Williams' entire tenure as general manager since he took over a playoff team from Ron Schueler in 2001.

During the subsequent 11 years the Sox qualified for the playoffs twice -- in the glorious 2005 championship season and thanks to a one-game playoff victory over Minnesota in 2008.

Otherwise the Sox have been somewhere in the middle of the American League, lukewarm contenders some seasons and not even that in others.

So, is that record good enough? Again, it depends on who is judging Williams.

To me, the White Sox aren't close to being all that a sports franchise in a market like Chicago should be.

One possibility is that Williams is the wrong person to be scrutinized. Maybe the ever fragile state of the Sox is more club chairman Jerry Reinsdorf's fault.

Williams certainly doesn't have the resources enjoyed by the Tigers, who are sixth in major-league attendance. Reinsdorf hasn't established a marketing department or marketing strategy that prevents people from complaining about the Sox ranking only 25th in average gate.

Still, part of the plan has to be an appealing product on the field, and Williams hasn't been able to provide one consistently enough since that '05 championship season.

Twelve years is long enough to build a quality organization, including a farm system full of legitimate prospects drafted and developed to sustain a serious contender most years.

Instead, Williams always seems to need to mix from here and match from there in an effort to keep the Sox relevant.

This month the Tigers are going to make moves that add to their core. The Sox already have made moves, but to fill out their core.

Without Youkilis, the Sox wouldn't have had a viable offense this month. Without Myers, the likely wouldn't have a viable bullpen the next couple of months.

The hope is that these deals, along with perhaps one or two more, will be enough to regain first place, eventually win the division or a wild card, and make a run in the playoffs.

That all depends on whether Kenny Williams has left himself too many holes for even his aggressiveness to fill.

mimrem@dailyherald.com

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