Speaking to Scot Gregor of the Daily Herald, our trusty executive in charge said:
“I’ll tell you if I feel like we are overmatched in the division,” Williams said. “I think we can win it.”
And you know, it’s good to see a man so confident in his work. Everyone loves to complain about the decline of craftmanship in America and how a nation of whiners refuses to own up to their jobs. Williams also goes on to acknowledge the best on-paper teams in the American League as the Yankees (probably correct) and Cubs (also probably correct), showing our guy not only as a hard worker but also an honest one.
More importantly, the Sox actually can win the division this year – not in some magically unexpected way a la 2005, or in the reckless, authoritatave fashion they were supposed to in 2006, or in the clumsy, almost sad manner they did in 2008, but could instead actually be both a logical favorite and a team that plays at exactly the level everyone assumes they will.
Then again, this is the same man who proclaimed in a June 19, 2007 Sun-Times piece that
“If I’m comfortable that the players are continuing to fight and try to win games, we can stand behind them as long as it makes sense to stand behind them – and it’s not so obvious that it’s slapping us in our face that we have to make an adjustment.”
And we all know how those adjustments worked out. February 2 of that same year, Williams commented on trading veteran pitchers and the unlikelihood of signing Mark Buehrle to an extension in the Denver Rocky Mountain News:
“I’d rather take a (young) guy with a high ceiling than take a guy who I had to overpay to make it look like I’m trying.”
And again in the Indiana Post-Tribune on February 14:
Williams believes the Sox peaked in 2005. A transfusion was needed.
“You can only go so far with one group of players,” he says. “You have to position yourself to absorb the loss of players heading for free agency, contractual problems or whatever.
“We think we’ve done it in a productive way. We’ve given ourselves a helluva lot of options.”
Kind of true, but also kind of not true. So what can we infer about Williams’ conversations with the press? Believe everything he says while believing none of it at all. It’s like an experimental quote-of-the-month club.