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By George Ofman
White Sox General Manager Ken Williams is an astute fellow. Dummies do not attend Stanford. Williams is also a tough-talking, no-nonsense guy who strongly believes the teams he puts together every season should compete for a division title and more. His mantra is, win the whole thing or the season is a failure.
I don't ascribe to that theory but this is Williams-speak, not mine.
He's blaming this year's team for underachieving. He's not blaming himself, just the team . . . the team he put together which did not underachieve. Paging Mr. Colon and Mr. Contreras! Yes, Jermaine Dye disappeared in the second half, Mark Buehrle won only one game after being perfect and both Alex Rios and Jake Peavy have been non-factors. But youth was served and the way Williams sees it, it may have been wasted a bit.
So 2009 will be a failure as was 2008 even though the Sox made the playoffs. I'm going to give the GM a pass here because you have to make the post-season to win it all, and last season's squad was a surprise to many, except Williams. 2007 was a failure. And so was 2006, 2004, 2003, 2002 and 2001, Williams first season at the helm.
The year 2005 was a winner, the big winner. The White Sox won the World Series.
Let's add up the scorecard. Since Williams replaced Ron Schueler, the major market Sox have been to the playoffs twice in nine seasons.
Eleven teams have been there more, including the Cubs! This would be tantamount to insults from the loony bin that runs Iran!
The dreaded Twins have made four appearances and if they catch the fading Tigers, five!
The Oakland A's have been there four times. The Stinkin' Oakland A's!
The Yankees will make it eight out of nine. The Angels will advance for the sixth time; so will the Cardinals and, likely, the Red Sox. Even the Astros and Diamondbacks have been to the playoffs more than the Sox since Williams has been at the helm.
How come 11 teams have made more playoff appearances than the White Sox?
Ask yourself this question. I'll wait for your answer.
* * *
Milton Bradley apologized to the Cubs, not his mother. Said his frustration and disappointment boiled over and he did things he regrets. There are a lot of folks behind bars who have said the same thing.
"In hindsight," Bradley said, "I wish I handled certain things differently and I apologize for those things that did not work out for the better. "
We now await Jim Hendry's apology to Cubs fans for signing Chicago's answer to the loony bin in Iran.
* * *
The Cubs, by the way, cleared the first hurdle in bankruptcy court. And surprisingly, Milton Bradley apologized for stealing some of the team's money. So did Alfonso Soriano, Kosuke Fukudome, Geovany Soto, Kevin Gregg, Aaron Miles and Carlos Zambrano. Lou Piniella declined to admit anything.
* * *
Will someone please tell me why there are those who actually believe Michael Jordan is snubbing the city by not traveling to Copenhagen to help lobby for the 2016 Olympic games? Since when does Jordan owe the city anything? Last I remembered he rewarded us with six trophies courtesy of some of the most thrilling displays of athleticism we're likely ever to see again. Jordan put our city on the map of fame when it was the city of infamy since many outsiders still thought Al Capone owned a downtown condo.
Oprah's going to Copenhagen. So is Michelle Obama. And her husband just might show up, too. And the mayor will be there and if anyone could shake down the stodgy IOC bosses, it's Hizzoner, himself! Perhaps he'll offer the IOC a stake in the city's new parking meters.
* * *
Charlie Weis is in a you better win at least nine games situation, or else. Notre Dame is 2-1. It opened the season with a 35-0 win over Nevada. But since then, it has yielded a whopping 68 points in splitting games against Michigan and Michigan State. The offense is thriving, having put 102 points on the board in three games. But the other side of the ball? Jimmy Clausen's right arm might fall off if he's forced to save the season and Weis' job.
How do you say defensive sieve in Irish?
* * *
Do you get the feeling there will soon be a section in Soldier Field called Knoxville? The rookie Johnny Knox was impressive in last Sunday's win over the Steelers proving, at least for now, a very good quarterback can make receivers better. This is not to say the Bears couldn't use a veteran wideout but Jay Cutler has the deft touch if not just a plain old shotgun arm to turn rookies and afterthoughts into relevant if not quality pass catchers.
And that's all she wrote.
George Ofman, an original member of The Score and a veteran of NPR, has covered more than 3,500 sporting events over the course of his career. Comments welcome.More from Beachwood Sports »
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