By Chris Zois
Kenny Williams of the Chicago White Sox has always been a general manager with the mentality of go big or go home. Never has he been afraid to pull off a big trade or gamble on a free agent signing. This off-season has been no different to Williams very aggressive style. Going after some of the top free agents and re-signing core players the White Sox look to be the front runners to win the American League Central title for the 2011 season.
The 2010 season for the White Sox was a roller coaster ride. Things started out with controversy as Oney Guillen, Ozzies son, resigned from his White Sox job as controversy surrounded comments he made on his twitter page. The season got even more heated as Williams and Guillen were at the center of the drama with rumors circling that Williams wanted to fire Guillen midseason. It also did not help the team started off poorly. But things picked up mid-season as the White Sox went on a 25-5 run form June 8th to the All-Star Break and finished in second place this year.
Williams looked to improve a team he thought underachieved, so he started off the 2010-2011 offseason with a bang. They signed OF/1B/DH Adam Dunn to a four-year, $56 million dollar contract. Dunn had been a hot topic for the White Sox for the 2010 season, as many thought Williams would trade for the big bat during the season. That trade never materialized and Williams waited till the off-season to get his man.
One of the big questions going into the off-season was whether the White Sox were going to bring back veterans Paul Konerko and A.J. Pierzynski. Both were member of the 2005 championship team and vital components of the clubhouse. Williams was always mum on whether or not he would bring either of the players back. Williams attitude was all smoke and mirrors as he signed Konerko to a three-year contract and Pierzynski to a two-year contract.
The White Sox also did not tender a contract to longtime closer Bobby Jenks. Jenks had been on hot seat by Guillen and many other White Sox front office members after having a few up and down seasons with the team. Jenks then signed a two-year deal with the Red Sox and created controversy by questioning Guillen’s managerial style. The White Sox looked to improve on a bullpen that ranked 5th in ERA in the American League by signing relievers Jesse Crain to a three-year deal and Will Ohman to a two-year deal.
After a 2010 season that seemed to concentrate more on drama than baseball, White Sox fans can be ready to see an improved team that looks to be the frontrunner for the 2011 American League Central title.
Check back again next week for another column on the 2011 White Sox. Follow me on twitter at zoischicago
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