Williams counting on strong stretch run

Williams counting on strong stretch run

CHICAGO -- During his pregame session with the media on Wednesday, Ozzie Guillen categorically stated that the White Sox were not built to simply be a .500 team, and the skipper was "embarrassed," not happy, to stand at that break-even point this late in what was thought to be a promising season from the outset.

On Thursday, general manager Ken Williams echoed his manager's sentiment with a bit more displeasure.

"Go get the inspirational speeches from someone else. I'm [angry]," Williams told MLB.com, responding to a question concerning the White Sox chances to claim an American League Central over the final 40 games. "This team should be 10 games over .500 right now.

"That's the bad news. The good news is we still have time to right the ship. But if you are looking for inspiration, or anyone is, or pats on the back from this recent surge, you are looking at the wrong person. I'll give you a pat on the back if you end up in first place."

Williams said that anything short of winning the division would be an obvious disappointment, adding that winning the division really isn't even good enough in the White Sox championship-oriented minds. He acknowledged, as an example, being impressed by Alejandro De Aza's play since called up to the big league club, as the outfielder is batting .310 and infusing life into the White Sox lineup.

But he added that he'll be more impressed if De Aza keeps it up.

"Nothing is going to impress me the rest of the year unless we are in first place at the end," Williams said. "Other than that, it's just find a way to win today."

Many reasons exist for the 61-61 record of the third-place White Sox. The bullpen struggled at the start of the campaign, while Adam Dunn and Alex Rios, two high-profile players brought in by Williams, have done next to nothing offensively. Yet, this team still has battled back from an 11-22 start and an 11-game AL Central deficit in early May.

When asked why he believed the 2011 White Sox were a .500 team, Williams responded that they've lost an equal amount of games as they had won without much of an attempt at humor.

When pressed further for reasons, he provided the following response: "There are plenty of them," Williams said. "Starting with me."