Williams was extremely candid during the sit down, telling us that he had offered to step down as Sox GM on multiple occasions and that he would “work within the organization if that was what chairman Jerry Reinsdorf felt was best for the franchise.”
However, Reinsdorf has committed to Williams to be the man to fix a team that woefully underachived this season.
“So much so that on a couple of separate occasions I went to Jerry Reinsdorf and I said, ‘Hey listen, If I’m the cog here in the machinery that’s a problem let’s talk about a transition thing because I love the organization, and I got value here and in the scouting world. I’d like to stick around a little bit. Put another banner up there, so if I’m the one here that is the cog that’s a problem let’s figure it out.’ It wasn’t so long ago that I did that again and also in that same conversation I said whether or not Ozzie is the decision I’m telling you straight to your face I can work with anyone, no matter what’s been said and what’s been done at this point. I can sit down here like men and work it out, and that opportunity didn’t come about.”
… Making sure I understood correctly, I asked: If Jerry said to you he’d make Rick Hahn the GM, you would’ve said fine if that’s what it took to get the Sox another title?
“With open arms, I’d welcome it,” Williams replied. “This isn’t easy. I think Jim (former Cubs GM Jim Hendry) just a few weeks ago said, he used the phrase all-consuming; there are only a couple of other people in this town that understood what he was talking about. When that time comes I’m more than willing that if I’m being ineffective, whether from a personnel standpoint or a manager standpoint, I’ll step aside and we’ll go out have a steak and smoke a cigar, it’s not a problem.”
Video at the link.
UPDATE: Here’s part 2 of the interview.