Kenny Williams talked about the importance of baseball “intellect” with manager Robin Ventura and his coaching staff after the White Sox were swept by the Tigers in a big three-game series at Detroit over the weekend.
Before Tuesday night’s game against the Twins, Williams talked to the media about the Sox not playing smart at Comerica Park.
“This is September, man,” Williams said. “It's September in the midst of a playoff run. There are common denominators for the teams that will ultimately survive this stretch. It's the will, the intellect and the talent, and not necessarily in that order. Will, intellect and talent.
“There are games where you have to will your way to win and there are other games where you have to use your baseball intellect. We had an opportunity in Detroit, for instance, and one of the conversations we had on the bus and the plane was, 'OK, let's review what happened. Did we play the smartest baseball? Did we take advantage of the other team's weaknesses and did we have the right game plan?'
“Well, it wasn't a matter of talent that lost us those three games. We think we didn't step up in that (intellect) category. But every now and then, you run into a couple of buzz saws like they have the potential to do in their starting rotation and it is what it is. But for the most part, those three things I just talked about will carry the day in September. Not just for us, for everybody.”
When asked for specifics on the intellect issue, Williams declined to offer details.
The GM noted the Tigers are coming to the Cell for a four-game series next week and he didn’t want to tip them off to anything.
But anybody watching the weekend series in Detroit knows what Williams was talking about.
Tigers third baseman Miguel Cabrera was playing on two bad ankles and could barely move.
The White Sox should have been dropping bunts in his area all three games, but Gordon Beckham was the lone challenger – on Friday – and Cabrera was charged with an error trying to field his sacrifice.
It’s interesting that Williams brought up the Cabrera situation without any prompting.
It will be interesting to hear what Ventura has to say about it, and it will be really interesting to see what the Sox do about it when the Tigers are in town next week.