CHICAGO -- Look at the overall body of work of White Sox general manager Ken Williams season, and it's easy to understand why he has being talked about as Major League Baseball's Executive of the Year.
The White Sox needed a third baseman when Brent Morel injured his back, so Williams and his staff went out and acquired Kevin Youkilis from Boston. They needed a strong veteran presence to join Matt Thornton and Jesse Crain in the bullpen, and Brett Myers became the answer to that question.
Francisco Liriano was added to the starting rotation when concerns heightened over keeping Chris Sale and Jose Quintana strong for the stretch run, and even Dewayne Wise has already paid dividends through a less-heralded Minor League deal. Yet Williams could only smile a bit when the possibility of earning such an honor was brought to his attention prior to Monday's series opener with the Yankees.
"It's not going to happen; if you don't win it when you win a World Series, you ain't going to win it," said Williams, who lost out to Cleveland's Mark Shapiro in 2005. "I guess we haven't slowed down.
"Maybe at the end of the year, that's something you can take a look at. But if I wasn't listening to all the things people were saying -- the outlook for this season was less than bright -- then I'm certainly not going to listen now and don't have the time to listen now, when we're in a fight of our lives with Detroit."
Williams also understands that a few more weekends such as this past one in Kansas City will shift the focus from award winner to "village idiot pretty quickly." The goal for Williams remains simple -- focus on the game at hand and push for that last game to be a World Series-clinching win for the White Sox, who entered play on Monday atop the American League Central, 1 1/2 games ahead of the Tigers.
"This is what I do," Willias said. "I take great pride in what we managed to do here and keeping competitive through the years, but there is still work to do. When I sat down at that first press conference when I was appointed this position, I didn't talk about one championship. I said multiple championships. People laughed, but I meant that."