Kenny Williams Has Lost His Mind
The last week+ has been rough for fans of the Chicago White Sox, a point that has certainly been accentuated by Executive Vice President Kenny Williams. First, we had the news of Manny Machado signing with the San Diego Padres. That was certainly a gut punch, I mean I couldn’t even put my thoughts into print for that debacle and disappointment. I did, however, make my thoughts on Kenny Williams, Rick Hahn, Jerry Reinsdorf, and the organization as a whole clear on last week’s LMBF Podcast. The pain is audible, folks.
Then there were the injuries, with Luis Basabe and Dane Dunning going down with injuries, joining the parade of injured Sox prospects. And now finally today, we have the Phillies signing Bryce Harper to a 13 year, $330MM deal with ZERO opt outs. Sure, like the meatball Sox fan I am, held out hope that Kenny and co. would take the fan outrage over Machado and throw a mountain of money at Bryce to pull it off. But, as a realist, I knew that was unlikely. So, this signing didn’t sting too much – it was inevitable Bryce wouldn’t be coming to 35th and Shields.
That was, until I read this gem from our own EVP Extraordinaire, Kenny Williams himself:
What in the actual hell?????? For a man who has been around baseball his whole life, these comments are next level. Like, someone who is running a major league baseball team is thinking these thoughts, processing how they sound, and putting them into words without a second thought. This is absolute nonsense, and has me more fired up than the Machado news. For the sake of the franchise, Kenny needs to have his public platform taken away before he makes this any worse.
Let’s break some of these statements down one by one:
“It’s a shame if it’s being portrayed that we were on the cheap on this thing. That’s really interesting because, holy s—, that’s a quarter of a billion dollars we offered with a chance to be higher than what he’s getting.’’
Yeah, real shock you’re being portrayed as cheap here Kenny. I mean, it’s not like everyone knew these guys were going to run $300MM+. And I mean everyone. But no, we get the franchise drawing a line in the fiscally responsible sand at $250MM. Heros.
“Whomever you’re speaking of, there is nothing I can say that will make them feel better,’’
Whomever would be the fans, Ken, whatever amount of us is left. And yes, all of us except for the Kool Aid drinking losers who believe you. As for the second part – Hat off to Kenny here, he’s 100% right. Just stop talking for the love of God and we wouldn’t feel as bad. What a concept, you don’t dump salt in the wound and it won’t hurt as much!
“Our fans would have been much more disappointed in our inability to keep this next core together,’’ he said. “We would have overextended ourselves had we gone to an uncomfortable level.’’
I, for one, would never forgive this front office if Manny Machado or Bryce Harper led a White Sox World Series team and we couldn’t resign Lucas Giolito or Carson Fulmer or Steele Walker in 2026. Would have been an absolute tragedy. Thank God we have our financial flexibility now. I mean, we’re basically paying $1MM per win in 2019 with a $60ishMM payroll, so that’s remarkable. I think we as a fanbase that hasn’t seen a playoff game in 11 years certainly value financial flexibility over, you know, having generational talents.
“People are lost on the fact that on a yearly basis our offer was more than San Diego’s. The average annual value was 31 [million] and change. So it was about years guaranteed. So there is an argument that could be made that our offer was the better of the two. It certainly had more upside for him. All he had to do was basically stay healthy.’’
Yeah, you’ve made this point abundantly clear Kenny. We get it, you made the better offer, Manny just inexplicably took the guaranteed $300MM THAT HE WANTED with an opt out after 5 over you giving him the chance to make $320. No idea how he came to that decision. Shocking, really.
And ah yes, health. If only Manny stays as healthy as our prospects (cough, Kopech, Dunning, Burdi, Basabe, Adolfo…), he’d be in to make the money we could have just guaranteed him. But luckily, Kenny and our brain trust are savvy, and decided to try to get Manny and Bryce on their own terms. Something that seems logical for a team in the middle of a rebuild asking a super star to commit to 2 years of losing. Such a selfish player that Machado.
“I believe we got in the room with Manny Machado and Bryce Harper and if we were able to afford, they absolutely wanted to come here,’’ he said. “That was expressed to us. That’s all I can go by.’’
Now this is wild. Yeah, if only we had the money, then they both would have come here. If only we had $300 or $330MM available, and didn’t offer MORE THAN THAT in a cutesy incentives deal. Too bad our team isn’t owned by a billionaire who owns two franchises. And we have $50MM or whatever on the book for this year. Which begs the question – if you KNEW WHAT THEY WANTED, and never gave it to them, can you really say we were in the room? Kenny can spew whatever garbage he wants, but those two things cannot be true at the same time. So we were either in the room, knew the cost, AND STILL weren’t willing to do what it took, or we were never in the room for a serious offer. Too bad we’re not all morons and can logically decipher that, otherwise Kenny’s Kool Aid just might work.
Like many White Sox fans, I am extremely frustrated. We’ve been loyal, trusted the process, bought into the rebuild, hyped these prospects, and given our unconditional support to the Front Office. A front office that has never spent more than $68MM on a contract. We’ve played our part, despite not seeing a playoff team in 11 years and besides a flash in the pan in 2005 have seen just overall bad baseball. This franchise has made the playoffs in 9 of 119 seasons. 9!!!!!!!!!!! That’s 7.56% for you analytics nerds.
So when we get this promise of a new era, a front office that’s willing to break the mold and spend, it hurts to see this promise broken. It is infuriating having Kenny act like a clown and get out there spewing absolute nonsense to rationalize how they failed. If he just left it alone, maybe the anger would die down soon. But this? These comments a week later serve no purpose but to try to save face, but ultimately show a man who gravely misreads how upset the fanbase is about this offseason.
We were promised an aggressive front office, and now all we’re getting are excuses, and statements about how they did the best they could and the fans need to be patient.
You know what, Kenny? We’ve given you patience and the benefit of the doubt for 11 years. It’s time to repay the favor, or you’ll have worse than a complaining fanbase. You want to lose what’s left of the 600 fans that go to games? Keep this shit up and you got it.