White Sox general manager Kenny Williams made it clear on Wednesday that he's not ready to comment on the fate of his coaching staff at this point.
It has been speculated since spring training that the White Sox coaches were all getting extensions. Bench coach Joey Cora, hitting coach Greg Walker and first base coach Harold Baines all are ending 3-year contracts that expire after the 2009 season.
I asked Williams what was happening with his staff and when he would deal with his coaches' contracts. "It's nobody's business," Williams said. "I've had my conversations with coaches. It was reported inaccurately by somebody but Ozzie Guillen maintains control of his coaching staff. [I ask] him who he wants back, and what's his assessment of each and every one of them, then I take over from that point."
The White Sox always balk at reporters trying to scoop the team on personnel decisions. In this case, with the team struggling to score runs, the focus once again seemed to go on hitting coach Greg Walker.
"I'm not making any announcements [on the coaches]," Williams said. "I don't see any reason to make announcements on coaches' contracts, the same way as I don't make any announcements on my contract. That way there's never a coach's contract watch."
I asked Williams about the continuity of his staff and how important that was to him. "It's as important as it was when they were hired in the beginning," he said. "You can't always judge the coach by the player's success. You have to make sure you're getting the right information in the right type of manner to the players and some will achieve, and some will let you down. But ultimately, it's the players that will keep us all working here."
Then Williams gave his most compelling comment of the day: "I certainly can distinguish between players' success and failure based on what information [a coach] is or isn't giving them."
At that point in the conversation, I became busy trying to figure out why this decision was such a difficult task. All of Guillen's coaches are loyal, hard-working baseball men. However, finding out if players like Josh Fields, Chris Getz or Alexei Ramirez will hit better with another instructor is probably the reason the team is hesitating to talk about re-upping the coaches. Maybe the answer is better talent at certain positions rather than instruction.