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posted: 1/28/2014 5:35 AM

Williams still in charge of the White Sox

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  • While he spends much of his time evaluating talent, Ken Williams, the executive vice president of baseball operations for the White Sox, also has final say in key decisions with Sox GM Rick Hahn.

      While he spends much of his time evaluating talent, Ken Williams, the executive vice president of baseball operations for the White Sox, also has final say in key decisions with Sox GM Rick Hahn.
    Associated Press/2012 file

 
By Mike North
The Rebel Inside

I'm hearing and reading that Kenny Williams, the White Sox executive vice president of baseball operations, is telling people that he is still the man in charge.

I also keep reading that general manager Rick Hahn is making moves and had a great off-season.

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Maybe the reports that the Sox had a great off-season prompted Williams to make his declaration. Did his ego need feeding because Hahn had convinced some media members and fans that he was in charge?

I wasn't fooled, because it's basically the same business plan Jerry Reinsdorf has with the Chicago Bulls. Gar Forman is the GM but John Paxson is really calling the shots.

To me, calling the shots is one thing and making the final decision is another.

I don't believe Hahn makes any important moves without Williams having his say. So let's drop the charade folks, and give credit and blame to the one-hit wonder, Williams.

The latest shrewd move was to keep Robin Ventura as the manager with a two-year extension. The remarks made by Hahn were superficial. The toughest question at Sox Fest last weekend reportedly came from a fan asking Robin Ventura if he had a pulse, and Ventura was actually good-natured with his response.

The fan base is split on Ventura, and for now Sox fans are stuck with him.

I don't think there was any accountability last year for the team's poor season. A manager is judged by wins, but also how his players improve. Is Alexei Ramirez what we expected? What happened to Dayan Viciedo, who was going to be the next big thing? How could we replace A.J. Pierzynski with Tyler Flowers? We know how that worked out. Can Ventura handle a pitching staff? I still can't tell you exactly what his baseball philosophy is.

Ventura is back because he's safe, corporate and nice. He's the anti-Ozzie. The front office returns intact after another so-so season, but we'll always have 2005.

Look, maybe Kenny Williams and the White Sox will surprise their fans, but all I see is a scattergun approach -- no real plan.

The Sox have a stud pitcher in Chris Sale. But what else is there to be excited about?

Well, at least we know Williams is in charge. It remains to be seen how great the off season really was.

Program notes:

Follow me on Twitter@ north2north, and listen to Fox Sports Daybreak with Andy Furman and myself from 5-8 a.m. Monday through Friday on Fox Sports radio, and from 7-11 a.m. Sundays. Check me out on iHeart radio or Foxsportsradio.com.

• Mike North's column appears each Tuesday and Friday in the Daily Herald, and his video commentary can be found Monday, Wednesday and Thursday at dailyherald.com. For more, visit northtonorth.com.

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