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Williams got off to a rough start

Dec. 10, 2000: After taking a run at prized free agent Alex Rodriguez during his first winter meetings as general manager, Williams felt duped by agent Scott Boras, who spurned the White Sox and landed a 10-year, $252 million contract with the Rangers. “As I sit here today, I’m not sure I’d engage in this process again,” Williams said that day. “I’m stunned.” Boras ridiculed Williams’ handling of the negotiations — effectively ruining his long-term relationship with the White Sox — by saying: “[Other clubs] came early, and they came prepared. They didn’t come to the winter meetings looking for a meeting.”

Jan. 14, 2001: In his first major move as GM, Williams shocked the baseball world by pulling off a six-player blockbuster trade that sent prized left-hander Mike Sirotka to the Blue Jays for veteran left-hander David Wells. “This is a bit of a gamble, but your level of success is tied to your level of risk,” Williams said that day. “Right now, I’m out on the limb a little bit.” Shortly after the trade, it was revealed the Sox gave Sirotka a cortisone shot in his throwing shoulder before the deal, prompting the Jays to cry foul. ­Major League Baseball soon launched an investigation, and Williams’ reputation was immediately being questioned by other front offices. Because of shoulder problems, Sirotka never delivered another pitch in the majors.

Feb. 21, 2001: Just as Williams began his first team meeting as GM, star Frank Thomas stood up and left the room — going AWOL during a contract dispute. “It would have been nice to have him in the room,” Williams said. “If he thinks he got out of the talk, he has another thing coming.”

March 7, 2001: After a monthlong investigation by MLB, commissioner Bud Selig upheld the Wells-for-Sirotka deal but issued a 14-page report on the controversial trade. The Sox later returned pitcher Matt DeWitt to the Jays, who returned pitcher Mike Williams to the Sox. “This wasn’t good for either side,” Williams said that day. “To a certain extent, we are all losers here.”

Dec. 13, 2001: Williams pulled off what he later would call his worst trade, acquiring veteran pitcher Todd Ritchie and minor-leaguer Lee Evans from the Pirates for pitchers Josh Fogg, Kip Wells and Sean Lowe. “What’s likely to happen is Ritchie is going to win 15 to 18 games — we hope,” Williams said. “You are always worried about giving up quality and how that’s going to come back and bite you in the tail later.” Ritchie went 5-15 with a 6.60 ERA in 2002, his only season with the Sox.

Chris De Luca

Updated: September 24, 2012 6:25AM



Dec. 10, 2000: After taking a run at prized free agent Alex Rodriguez during his first winter meetings as general manager, Williams felt duped by agent Scott Boras, who spurned the White Sox and landed a 10-year, $252 million contract with the Rangers. “As I sit here today, I’m not sure I’d engage in this process again,” Williams said that day. “I’m stunned.” Boras ridiculed Williams’ handling of the negotiations — effectively ruining his long-term relationship with the White Sox — by saying: “[Other clubs] came early, and they came prepared. They didn’t come to the winter meetings looking for a meeting.”

Jan. 14, 2001: In his first major move as GM, Williams shocked the baseball world by pulling off a six-player blockbuster trade that sent prized left-hander Mike Sirotka to the Blue Jays for veteran left-hander David Wells. “This is a bit of a gamble, but your level of success is tied to your level of risk,” Williams said that day. “Right now, I’m out on the limb a little bit.” Shortly after the trade, it was revealed the Sox gave Sirotka a cortisone shot in his throwing shoulder before the deal, prompting the Jays to cry foul. ­Major League Baseball soon launched an investigation, and Williams’ reputation was immediately being questioned by other front offices. Because of shoulder problems, Sirotka never delivered another pitch in the majors.

Feb. 21, 2001: Just as Williams began his first team meeting as GM, star Frank Thomas stood up and left the room — going AWOL during a contract dispute. “It would have been nice to have him in the room,” Williams said. “If he thinks he got out of the talk, he has another thing coming.”

March 7, 2001: After a monthlong investigation by MLB, commissioner Bud Selig upheld the Wells-for-Sirotka deal but issued a 14-page report on the controversial trade. The Sox later returned pitcher Matt DeWitt to the Jays, who returned pitcher Mike Williams to the Sox. “This wasn’t good for either side,” Williams said that day. “To a certain extent, we are all losers here.”

Dec. 13, 2001: Williams pulled off what he later would call his worst trade, acquiring veteran pitcher Todd Ritchie and minor-leaguer Lee Evans from the Pirates for pitchers Josh Fogg, Kip Wells and Sean Lowe. “What’s likely to happen is Ritchie is going to win 15 to 18 games — we hope,” Williams said. “You are always worried about giving up quality and how that’s going to come back and bite you in the tail later.” Ritchie went 5-15 with a 6.60 ERA in 2002, his only season with the Sox.

--- Chris De Luca

The longest-tenured general managers

Brian Sabean, Giants, 1996

Billy Beane, Athletics, 1997

Brian Cashman, Yankees, 1998

Dan O’Dowd, Rockies, 1999

Ken Williams, White Sox, 2000

Dave Dombrowski, Tigers, 2001

Jim Hendry, Cubs, 2002



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