After losing out to the Detroit Tigers in the Miguel Cabrera sweepstakes during the 2007 winter meetings, a defiant Ken Williams insisted, “All this has done is put the Tigers in a better position to contend with us.”
On Sunday, with free agent Johnny Damon spurning the White Sox to sign with the Tigers, the general manager was much calmer.
“Well, I think you see he did very well for himself,” Williams said. “He gets to train in Florida, and that’s where he wanted to be. Had we gotten into it a little bit earlier and had I known that was really an overriding factor, then maybe we could have considered moving camp out to Orlando and set up shop to accommodate him. It was a little too late for that. We had everyone here.”
Asked if Damon now put the Tigers in better position to contend, Williams wasn’t biting.
“Uh, if I acknowledge that, that means I felt we were above them anyway,” Williams said on Day 1 of camp. “It’s a little disrespectful. We are positioned very well. Would we have been better? Perhaps. But one of the things I’ve learned over the years is sometimes the things you don’t do or aren’t able to do turn out to be your better decisions.”
Williams maintained that he’s fine with Ozzie Guillen’s DH-by-committee plan, despite his actions indicating otherwise, and was asked about former Sox World Series MVP Jermaine Dye, who’s still sitting out on the free-agent market.
“I am shocked that Jermaine Dye is still out there,” Williams said.
“I thought about [bringing him back]. But our biggest need would be a left-handed bat, in my opinion. That doesn’t fit or is consistent with what Ozzie wants to do. I did think about it, and Ozzie would be in a position where he would have to play him.”