But the most influential change that Williams has made would have to be traced back to before the 2004 season began. That's when Williams hired Ozzie Guillen to be Chicago's new manager, and it started a series of events that changed the look and approach of the White Sox club.
After a disappointing 2004 season in which a team filled with power hitters was unable to score runs, Williams and Guillen got together and decided to build a club based more on speed, quality pitching and players that could do the little things to make a team successful.
Some of the pieces were put into place with trades during the 2004 season, like the ones for Freddy Garcia and Jose Contreras, but most of the moves took place once the season finished. The moment that signaled the true change in the organization's philosophy came when Williams acquired speedy outfielder Scott Podsednik, along with reliever Luis Vizcaino, from Milwaukee in a deal for slugger Carlos Lee.
There was a lot of head shaking around Chicago as Williams went after players that others had disregarded. It was all part of the plan to create an "us against the world" type attitude. Williams succeeded in doing that by adding catcher A.J. Pierzynski, who had developed a reputation in San Francisco as a clubhouse cancer; pitcher Dustin Hermanson, who was perceived as not having much gas left in his tank; and reliever Bobby Jenks, whose Minor League career had been marred by off-the-field issues.
The new additions, along Williams' confidence that key returnees such as Jon Garland, Aaron Rowand and Paul Konerko could produce big seasons, helped to create a club that stormed off to the best record in baseball during the early months of the 2005 season.
Both Williams' and Guillen's fingerprints are all over these current Sox, and though it has taken Williams almost five years to finally get the club to the postseason, it appears that he has done so in a way that no one expected.
3B Joe Crede: Selected in the fifth round of the First-Year Player Draft
OF Aaron Rowand: Selected with a sandwich pick between the first and second rounds (35th overall) in the First-Year Player Draft
LHP Mark Buehrle: Selected in the 38th round of the First-Year Player Draft
RHP Jon Garland: Acquired from the Chicago Cubs for RHP Matt Karchner on July 29
1B Paul Konerko: Acquired from Cincinnati for OF Mike Cameron on Nov. 10
INF Willie Harris: Acquired from Baltimore for OF Chris Singleton on Jan. 29
LHP Damaso Marte: Acquired from Pittsburgh, along with INF Ruddy Yan, for RHP Matt Guerrier on March 27
RHP Brandon McCarthy: Selected in the 17th round of the First-Year Player Draft
LHP Neal Cotts: Acquired as a player to be named later from Oakland in a deal that sent Keith Foulke, Joe Valentine and Mark Johnson to the A's on Dec. 3
SS Juan Uribe: Acquired from Colorado for INF Aaron Miles on Dec. 2
RHP Cliff Politte: Signed as a free agent on Jan. 8
OF Timo Perez: Acquired from the New York Mets for RHP Matt Ginter on March 27
RHP Freddy Garcia: Acquired from Seattle, along with C Ben Davis and cash considerations, for C Miguel Olivio and Minor Leaguers Michael Morse and Jeremy Reed on June 27
OF/DH Carl Everett: Acquired from Montreal with cash considerations in exchange for Minor League pitchers Gary Majewski and Jon Rauch on July 18
RHP Jose Contreras: Acquired from the New York Yankees with cash considerations for RHP Esteban Loaiza on July 31
RHP Dustin Hermanson: Signed as a free agent on Dec. 8
OF Jermaine Dye: Signed as a free agent on Dec. 9
OF Scott Podsednik and RHP Luis Vizcaino: Acquired from Milwaukee, along with player to be named Travis Hinton, for OF Carlos Lee on Dec. 14
RHP Bobby Jenks: Claimed off waivers from the Los Angeles Angels on Dec. 17
INF Pablo Ozuna: Signed as a free agent on Dec. 20
RHP Orlando "El Duque" Hernandez: Signed as a free agent on Dec. 22
C Chris Widger: Signed as a free agent on Dec. 23
C A.J. Pierzynski: Signed as a free agent on Jan. 6
2B Tadahito Iguchi: Signed as a free agent from Japan on Jan. 27
INF Geoff Blum: Acquired from San Diego for minor league pitcher Ryan Meaux on July 31.
Kelly Thesier is a contributor to MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.