Walker says focus remains on the field

Walker says focus remains on the field

DETROIT -- Back on June 10 of last season, in the midst of the first Ozzie Guillen/Ken Williams controversy, White Sox chairman Jerry Reinsdorf made the following statement to MLB.com.

"Any time a team disappoints, there are tensions," Reinsdorf said. "I think it's a perfectly normal thing."

Reinsdorf went on to mention that pitching coach Don Cooper and Williams often would argue vociferously, even in good times. So, Saturday's report in the Chicago Sun-Times that hitting coach Greg Walker and Williams exchanged heated words in the clubhouse tunnel at U.S. Cellular Field over comments made by Williams about Gordon Beckham's swing really isn't out of the ordinary.

Not when the White Sox once again are vastly underachieving. The only difference this season is that the White Sox coaching staff is facing an uncertain future, with all of them operating in the last year of their respective deals.

When questioned on Saturday, Walker declined to comment specifically on the incident.

"Basically, no comment. I learned a long time ago the rule of baseball is what goes on in the clubhouse stays in the clubhouse," Walker said. "That's where I'm going to leave it.

"Our focus should be on the game. We got a big game today. I'm going to keep my focus on the game, and that's all I'm going to say about it."

Guillen said that the issue was between two grown men, and when Walker offered up details, he said that it was none of his business. This report comes days after Guillen answered questions about his contract, speaking about wanting a multiyear extension, despite the White Sox having picked up his 2012 option.

Some pundits have pegged Guillen's contract as ill-timed. Others have said it's a distraction during a potential playoff race. Guillen strongly disagreed on both fronts.

Meanwhile, it remains to be seen if the White Sox dysfunctional family, as Walker once called it, will stay together after the 2011 campaign.

"We'll see. Every organization has issues," Walker said. "This is a tough game. A lot of people are around each other a lot. But there are a lot of high-profile situations.

"As a hitting coach, my goal always has been not to be in the news. I didn't come here to be in the news. When I'm in the news, it's probably not a good thing, so I'll try to keep my focus on baseball and go from there."