Kenny Williams, Greg Walker get heated
DETROIT -- Chicago White Sox chairman Jerry Reinsdorf downplayed a recent heated exchange between hitting coach Greg Walker and general manager Kenny Williams.
The incident, sparked by comments Williams made about Gordon Beckham's offensive struggles, was first reported by the Chicago Sun-Times.
After an exchange in the tunnel between the White Sox's dugout and clubhouse, Williams reportedly told Walker to clean out his locker.
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Reinsdorf told ESPNChicago.com's Bruce Levine that loud exchanges between his management team are not out of the norm in the organization.
"I can't tell you how many times Kenny has had loud exchanges with Don Cooper, our pitching coach," Reinsdorf said.
Reinsdorf, who now has a number of off-the-field issues to deal with, intervened to allow cooler heads to prevail. Walker is with the team in Detroit.
"I'm not going to say anything; basically no comment," Walker said Saturday. "I learned a long time ago the rule of baseball is what goes on in the clubhouse stays in the clubhouse. That's where I'm going to leave it. Our focus should be on the game. We got a big game today. I'm going to keep my focus on the game, and that's all I'm going to say about it."
The Walker-Williams spat seems to at least have some resolution for now. Also on Reinsdorf's plate is the contract-extension request from manager Ozzie Guillen and reports the Cubs could be interested in assistant GM Rick Hahn for their own GM vacancy.
Williams appears to have sparked Walker's ire with comments to the media Aug. 19.
"Any high fastball, he could get on top if it with his top hand," Williams said then. "But again, as the general manager you sit back and you have to respect the work that your coaches do and you have to respect the desire from the player as to what he thinks will work."
Williams added that he preferred the swing Beckham had coming out of the University of Georgia when hit the ball to all fields and drove the ball from gap to gap.
"The only thing I'll say about Gordon is that he's still a kid in this game; he's just a kid," said Walker, who, like Beckham, is a native of Georgia. "He's learning. He's learning how to play here and working as hard as any player I've ever coached. Are we pleased with the results? No, we're not. But he's playing such great defense now he's helping the team in a lot of ways besides offense when he's in the lineup."
Guillen elected to stay out of the situation.
"That's between them," Guillen said. "I don't have nothing to do with it. They are two grown men talking. I don't have any details. Walk tried to tell me and I said that wasn't any of my business. If that happened to one of my players, then I have to ask. But that's between those two guys and I have to respect what it is."
Doug Padilla and Bruce Levine cover baseball for ESPNChicago.com.