CHICAGO -- According to the philosophy espoused by White Sox general manager Ken Williams, three common denominators exist for teams that make the playoffs: Will, intellect and talent.
"And not necessarily in that order," said Williams, during an extended chat with the media prior to Tuesday's contest with the Twins.
There are some games in which a team has to will its way to victory and others where it has to use collective intellect. During Detroit's three-game weekend sweep at Comerica Park, the White Sox might not have played as smart as they possibly could have by Williams' estimation.
"One of the conversations we had on the bus and the plane was, 'OK, let's review what happened. Did we play the smartest baseball? Did we take advantage of the other team's weaknesses and did we have the right game plan?'" said Williams of the post-Tigers discussion. "Well, it wasn't a matter of talent that lost us those three games. We think we didn't step up in that category.
"You run into a couple of buzz saws like they have the potential to do in their starting rotation [Max Scherzer and Justin Verlander] and it is what it is. But for the most part, those three things I just talked about will carry the day in September. Not just for us, for everybody."
Williams wouldn't talk specifically about what was missing from the "smart" part of the White Sox plan against the Tigers, but it can be safely assumed that his team will be bunting more on third baseman Miguel Cabrera during next week's four-game set at U.S. Cellular Field. Players such as Paul Konerko and Adam Dunn won't be expected to lay one down on the hobbled American League Most Valuable Player candidate, but speed players more adept in that skill figure to test Cabrera's bad ankle.
"Those are things we want to keep as proprietary information since we have four more games with them," said Williams, before pausing and then continuing. "I'll tell you after, if we don't make it obvious."
During this last series between the two division front-runners, Gordon Beckham's sacrifice attempt in the fourth inning of Friday's contest that was misplayed by Cabrera stood as the only White Sox bunt attempt.