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Talent wasn't the problem says Kenny Williams

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The young players brought enough:

Even though the White Sox have been anywhere from bad to awful for most of this season and were similar to that in the second half of 2006, Williams still believes there is enough talent on hand to get back into contention next year.

"We had some tough times this year in getting everyone clicking at the same time. It really never actually happened, but I remain confident in that core group and the bright spot is some of the young players we brought in this year, they certainly have proven they can play, too. So we look at it as a nice blend of our core of veterans with some of our young players, and that will serve us well as time goes on."

That's not to say Williams, an aggressive general manager by nature, won't make some splashy moves during the off-season. But he sounded like he will try to add lesser-known players who are better fits for the scrappy style the Sox want to play.

"This year, very shabby. So it's incumbent on me at this point to go into this off-season and rectify some of the problems we've had this year. And that doesn't necessarily mean pure talent as the problem to fix our holes. Sometimes it's that mix, it's that fit that's right."

the base is here:
"Not as busy as one may think for a fourth-place club. Look at the base with which you're starting. You're starting with some seven starting pitcher candidates, [four] of which have pitched in big games over the years and don't show any signs of a drop-off aside from obvious ones that a couple of them have had this season. We have a closer who is one of the best in the game and two left-handers [Matt Thornton and Boone Logan] that I believe are going to grow into quality guys over the next number of years. And then you take our everyday lineup and you look around and you start to say, 'Wait a minute. Why are these guys where they are?' We don't have the complete answer. So that's why it's not necessarily the personnel, in terms of the splashy move, maybe just a fit kind of thing. It might turn out that fit is also the big-name type player, but we're setting out to find the answers. We've missed a little bit of that grind and edge and we've got to get that back."
Kenny doesn't really mean that, right? That's Ozzie.

More Kenny inside.

on the contract extensions:

"Our assessment, our analysis is based on our years of being in the game and knowing what it is to look for when guys start to slide. People may have raised some eyebrows last year when we signed Javy Vazquez to an extension. Well, there were things that we saw aside from just the raw numbers, and I think he performed up to expectations this year and saved some of that. We've made those decisions in the past with Esteban Loaiza, with [Jose] Contreras and a number of guys. We go on what we see, what we know, from the scouting end of things, from the development end of things."
on Uribe:
"Juan is a championship type shortstop. I traded for him four years ago because we needed someone to catch the ball in the middle of the infield and not too many people do it better than Juan Uribe. Is he a little frustrating sometimes at the plate with some of the inconsistencies? Absolutely, but only because you see so much talent in there. Juan Uribe is not our problem. He's not the reason we did not play very well this year. Can he be better? Absolutely."
on Pods:
"In his case I'm going to have to sit down with some of our medical people as well because it's not a matter of Scotty Podsednik's ability. He's a first-class leadoff guy. He's gotten a lot better in left field this year. That's not the issue. He's proven he can play on a championship team. The issue is, can we afford to go into next year not knowing how health is going to play into it? And, as Jerry Owens has come on, that's made that decision a little bit more difficult."
on MacDougal:
"We've got to get (Mike) MacDougal back on track. We've got to work to get that better because he was something that we were counting on this year and we have to have a reasonable expectation of knowing what to expect next year from him. Ehren Wasserman has shown that he can be that funky guy from down low that makes some guys very uncomfortable. So you're really only talking about one or two spots in the bullpen that we're going to need to address."
on AJ:
"A.J., to a large degree, still has some untapped talent I still believe he can be a .300 hitter like he was prior to getting here. I also believe he can hit with power and drive in some big runs, and he's done that over the past few years. More importantly, he's a guy we have won a championship with. It's our last bit of housecleaning before we started the offseason."