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Kenny Williams to Bobby Jenks: slim down, fatty

Nov 24, 2009, 9:55 AM EDT

Over the weekend, Bobby Jenks complained that the White Sox brass keep getting on him for being out of shape.  Kenny Williams isn’t all that interested in backing off:

“If he’s upset that it’s continuously brought up, then he should work on it and get it to where it’s not an issue . . . It is an issue. I’ve told him this directly to his face. If he’s going to have an extended career of effectiveness at a high level, like he certainly is capable of doing, then he has to take better care of himself.”

Kenny Williams is absolutely right to expect that his players be in tip-top shape and to accept no excuses when they fail to take care of themselves.  These guys have one job, and that’s to perform in physical competition with other athletes.  If someone isn’t on board with that, Heaven help them.

Kenny Williams is absolutely wrong, however, to say word one about this in public.  For one thing, it’s rude and unprofessional to call your own players out, just as it would be rude and unprofessional for any employer to call out his own employees’ shortcomings in a public forum.  Your TPS reports may not always have a cover sheet on them, but you don’t want your boss telling the newspaper about it, do you?

But it’s dumb on an even more basic level than that.  The GM’s primary job is to build his roster. One of the primary ways to build the roster is through trades.  Kenny Williams, it has been said, is even interesting in trading Bobby Jenks if given the right offer.  Fact: other GMs read newspapers.  Fact: when Kenny Williams slams his own player in public, other GMs will draw the inescapable conclusion that Kenny Williams doesn’t value Bobby Jenks all that much. Fact: because of that, Kenny Williams will get fewer and/or lower offers for Bobby Jenks as a result of him running down the guy in the Sun-Times or wherever.

Insist on the best, Kenny, but keep your criticisms in-house. To do otherwise only hurts the ballclub.

  1. DIRTYSUX - Nov 24, 2009 at 11:19 AM

    Kenny Williams and Ozzie Guillen invented the game, they KNOW it ALL.The REASON THEY HAVEN’T WON ANYTHING LATELY IS BECAUSE THEY PLAYERS ARE TIRED OF BOTH OF THE KNOW IT ALL MANAGER AND GM.

  2. DIRTYSUX - Nov 24, 2009 at 11:20 AM

    Kenny Williams and Ozzie Guillen invented the game, they KNOW it ALL.The REASON THEY HAVEN’T WON ANYTHING LATELY IS BECAUSE THEY PLAYERS ARE TIRED OF BOTH OF THE KNOW IT ALL MANAGER AND GM.

  3. ericinboston - Nov 24, 2009 at 11:22 AM

    i kinda have a beef with this to begin with. i’m speaking in generalities here and not specific to williams/jenks b/c i dont know all the deets.
    point is.. if a guys physical conditioning doesn’t impact his performance who cares if he is a fat slob?
    babe ruth was an overweight, womanizing alcoholic and he was the greatest player ever.
    i mean, if jenks is calling time before throwing a pitch b/c he’s winded from running out from the bullpen then yeah, that’s an issue. but if kenny just doesn’t like fat people then, well, that’s just not very nice of him.

  4. GimmeSomeSteel - Nov 24, 2009 at 12:42 PM

    Williams isn’t paid to be nice, he’s paid to win. If he thinks telling Jenks in person to get off his fat a** and take a walk once in a while hasn’t worked to improve the guy’s physical condition, then calling him out publicly is the next step. It tells me he still values what Jenks can do if he’s in better shape.
    However, I agree with Craig that if his goal is to deal Jenks, this wasn’t a good way to increase his trade value.

  5. Jack - Nov 24, 2009 at 12:55 PM

    Just reading your article it seems that Bobby Jenks brought up this subject in the first place. If so, then the cats out of the bag. Maybe it was or wasn’t smart to bring up Jenks weight problems but it’s not something you can hide. Put a player in front of the cameras and you see it all. The way they run down the first base line is kind of a dead giveaway too. Rude. Well pardon me. The last thing in the world we want is to hurt some players feelings. After all, who cares if we win or lose a game because some players like to eat too much, drink too much, stay out late, party all night. Give me a Manager like Billy Martin to win games. Kick some butt.

  6. Grandpa Simpson - Nov 24, 2009 at 1:06 PM

    What’re you cackling at, fatty? Too much pie, that’s your problem!

  7. Lars - Nov 24, 2009 at 6:49 PM

    Trade value be damned, if a player goes out and complains to the media, the manager and the GM have all the right to state their position on the matter.
    It was rude and unprofessional for Bobby Jenks to call out his own employer in a public forum.

  8. smsetnor - Nov 24, 2009 at 8:32 PM

    Babe Ruth also cut back and got into shape at one point to prolong his career. But other than that, I think Babe Ruth was a fine, fine example.

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