White Sox general manager says 'some changes need to take place'

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Earlier this week Buster Olney of ESPN reported that the White Sox told other teams that they’re “open for business” and willing to trade veteran players, and yesterday general manager Ken Williams basically admitted as much:

Some changes need to take place. I don’t know what and I don’t when but some changes need to take place. Things aren’t happening the way that we envisioned and when they don’t happen the way you envision you’ve got to make an adjustment.

I guess I’m not so much on my own time line as I am on other clubs’ time lines. It’s still the early part of June and a lot of clubs are trying to figure their situations out and determine whether they’re in it or not in it or what kind of money they have to spend. There are a lot of variables that go into the mix so even if I want to do something, it’s not always in my control. … It is what it is. I have to listen. It’s not that I want to, but I’m not blind.

Williams added that “other teams seem to want our players,” which certainly seems to indicate that he’s already been shopping various veterans around. Paul Konerko has been linked to the Angels following Kendy Morales’ broken ankle and last week A.J. Pierzynski said he’d be open to a trade, although Monday the catcher will have the service time needed to become a “10-and-5 player” with the ability to veto any deal.
Matt Thornton and to a lesser extent Bobby Jenks, J.J. Putz, and Scott Linebrink could be targeted by teams in need of bullpen help and perhaps Andruw Jones would be a fit on a contender’s bench, but with Jake Peavy’s contract already looking untradeable Williams seemingly doesn’t have a ton of other marketable pieces unless he wants to start unloading guys like Mark Buehrle or Carlos Quentin.
Given his history of bold moves I certainly wouldn’t put anything past Williams, especially considering the team’s 104-116 record since the start of 2009.

Biden praises Braves’ ‘unstoppable, joyful run’ to 2021 win

Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports
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WASHINGTON — President Joe Biden said the Atlanta Braves will be “forever known as the upset kings of October” for their improbable 2021 World Series win, as he welcomed the team to the White House for a victory celebration.

Biden called the Braves’ drive an “unstoppable, joyful run.” The team got its White House visit in with just over a week left before the 2022 regular season wraps up and the Major League Baseball playoffs begin again. The Braves trail the New York Mets by 1.5 games in the National League East but have clinched a wildcard spot for the MLB playoffs that begin Oct. 7. Chief Executive Officer Terry McGuirk said he hoped they’d be back to the White House again soon.

In August 2021, the Braves were a mess, playing barely at .500. But then they started winning. And they kept it up, taking the World Series in six games over the Houston Astros.

Biden called their performance of “history’s greatest turnarounds.”

“This team has literally been part of American history for over 150 years,” said Biden. “But none of it came easy … people counting you out. Heck, I know something about being counted out.”

Players lined up on risers behind Biden, grinning and waving to the crowd, but the player most discussed was one who hasn’t been on the team in nearly 50 years and who died last year: Hall of Famer Hank Aaron.

Hammerin’ Hank was the home run king for 33 years, dethroning Babe Ruth with a shot to left field on April 8, 1974. He was one of the most famous players for Atlanta and in baseball history, a clear-eyed chronicler of the hardships thrown his way – from the poverty and segregation of his Alabama youth to the racist threats he faced during his pursuit of one of America’s most hallowed records. He died in January at 86.

“This is team is defined by the courage of Hank Aaron,” Biden said.

McGuirk said Aaron, who held front office positions with the team and was one of Major League Baseball’s few Black executives, was watching over them.

“He’d have been there every step of the way with us if he was here,” McGuirk added.

The president often honors major league and some college sports champions with a White House ceremony, typically a nonpartisan affair in which the commander in chief pays tribute to the champs’ prowess, poses for photos and comes away with a team jersey.

Those visits were highly charged in the previous administration. Many athletes took issue with President Donald Trump’s policies and rhetoric on policing, immigration and more. Trump, for his part, didn’t take kindly to criticism from athletes or their on-field expressions of political opinions.

Under Biden, the tradition appears to be back. He’s hosted the NBA champion Milwaukee Bucks and Super Bowl champion Tampa Bay Buccaneers at the White House. On Monday he joked about first lady Jill Biden’s Philadelphia allegiances.

“Like every Philly fan, she’s convinced she knows more about everything in sports than anybody else,” he said. He added that he couldn’t be too nice to the Atlanta team because it had just beaten the Phillies the previous night in extra innings.

Press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre was later questioned about the team’s name, particularly as other professional sports teams have moved away from names – like the Cleveland Indians, now the Guardians, and the Washington Redskins, now the Commanders – following years of complaints from Native American groups over the images and symbols.

She said it was important for the country to have the conversation. “And Native American and Indigenous voices – they should be at the center of this conversation,” she said.

Biden supported MLB’s decision to pull the 2021 All-Star Game from Atlanta to protest Georgia’s sweeping new voting law, which critics contend is too restrictive.