CHICAGO -- Ken Williams spoke numerous times during Spring Training about how a team had been put together on the South Side of Chicago to contend for the 2009 American League Central title.
That opinion hasn't changed for the White Sox general manager. But he also realizes some actions have to change on the field for his charges to help these words ring true.
"Is the talent there, the talent to win this thing? Absolutely," said Williams during a dugout chat with the media prior to Thursday's game. "But you got to prove it on the field, and you can't just throw talent against the wall.
"I saw some of [manager Ozzie Guillen's] comments yesterday, and I can't add to any of his comments. He's right on the mark with expressing where he is with the club, where the club is right now. We'll just leave it at that. If there is a time, certainly that I feel the need to expound on it or add a little extra, then you guys know I'm not afraid to do that. But as I stand now, the glass is half-full."
Yet, Williams did expand on some areas where the White Sox need improvement. Williams' critique focused more on talent intangibles, as opposed to specifics, such as better performances from Jose Contreras, who starts Friday, or a more consistent showing with the bat up and down the lineup.
To sum up his words, Williams wants the White Sox to play as a team.
"You've got to be unselfish in your play, pulling from the same end of the rope," Williams said. "If there's runners on second base with no outs, you got to give yourself up. You got to move that runner over. You got to fight tooth and nail to get that runner in.
"Pitching-wise, you have to be tough through this season. You can't allow other teams to pitch inside and knock your players down and not reciprocate. You can't do it. You have to establish the inside part of the plate and move hitters off the plate in order to open it up more.
"If you don't do that, and allow the other team to do it to your hitters, then you're losing at both ends," Williams added. "So we got to get better at those areas. We got to fight a little bit harder. And if we don't fight a little bit harder, it doesn't matter whether we think we're the best team or not. You got to go out there and prove it."
Scott Merkin is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.