CHICAGO -- Categorically stating that White Sox general manager Ken Williams fell short in adding a left-handed run producer to the team's lineup would not be an accurate assessment.
According to Williams, the White Sox had a Friday deal in place to acquire first baseman Lance Berkman from the Astros. The only problem was Berkman used his no-trade veto power to nix Chicago's overtures.
"I guess the most frustrating part is that we actually did get something done and unfortunately the player had other ideas and wanted to be somewhere else," explained Williams on Saturday. "But we did come to an agreement on a deal, and we were just at the mercy of contracts sometimes."
Berkman would have been a good fit as primarily a designated hitter for the White Sox. His outgoing personality also would have meshed in a very loose and laid-back White Sox clubhouse.
Williams got an up-close look at the class act that is Berkman, who sent Williams a text Friday through a White Sox player. Berkman gave his reasons to Williams for turning down the White Sox but waiving his no-trade clause to join the Yankees.
"Yeah, because he sent me a message saying it wasn't personal," said Williams of Berkman, who spoke about his decision in St. Petersburg, Fla., on Saturday, after joining the Yankees, just moments before Williams' media chat. "He already had conversations with Andy Pettitte. They are best friends and that's what was in his mind and his family's mind.
"He had no qualms about our situation here. If circumstances were different, he would have accepted it."