GLENDALE, Ariz. -- On Tuesday, White Sox general manager Ken Williams stood by his comments -- made during a Monday interview with Comcast SportsNet Chicago -- that the possibility of Cardinals first baseman Albert Pujols earning $30 million per season would be bad for baseball.
"All I'm interested in is the game," said Williams, sitting in his golf cart following White Sox workouts at Camelback Ranch. "We're just caretakers of this game, all of us: you guys, me, the players. We're caretakers of this game to the next generation. And then the next generation after that."
Williams, who made clear that his comments were not in any way a shot at Pujols, went on to note past examples of small-market success stories such as the A's and Reds of the 1970s, the Pirates of the late '70s and the Royals in the '80s to support his argument.
"These are all what? They are all small-market teams," Williams said. "Teams that, at that time, had a fighting chance or greater than a fighting chance because of their expertise, because of their intellect -- how they put together teams.
"These are cities and these are teams that are responsible for the great popularity, to a large degree, that we now enjoy in the game. Well, these people, these cities and the people in these cities, baseball fans, should not be left out in the cold. That's all I'm saying.
"It's important that the people and the cities that I just mentioned and many more have just as much chance to hope and dream about their team winning a World Series as anybody else," Williams said. "Right now, that's not happening."
This concern comes at an interesting time for Williams, whose White Sox enter 2011 with a franchise-record $125 million payroll. Although Williams is comfortable with the team assembled, he's not comfortable with that lofty total of money spent.
"We're out on a limb, but that's our choice," Williams said. "We made the choice in an effort to give our fans hope and give ourselves a chance to compete for a championship.
"If things don't fall our way, if we don't get the support, we'll lose money. We're going to lose money, but we've gone into this knowing how long can you do that, how much can you absorb? Well, I don't have the answers to those questions just yet. We made this decision, but it's a risky proposition."