Along with tipping a possible Jacque Jones trade to Pittsburgh, the Chicago Tribune’s Phil Rogers isn’t quite blown away with Kenny Williams’ moves this offseason.

What kind of winter has it been for the White Sox?

We won’t know if it has been good or bad for a few years, probably, but it says something that Ken Williams recently felt it necessary to remind an interviewer that the Sox remain focused on winning in 2007. The general manager said that might have been “lost in translation” as fans tried to absorb his dealing Freddy Garcia and Brandon McCarthy for pitching prospects.

The Sox thus far have responded to the disappointment of a third-place season with a clear upgrade at only one position”backup catcher”while making no significant additions at the three spots where they had second-division production”left field, center field and shortstop”nor any moves to retain key players likely to leave as free agents over the next two years. Good luck on the marketing campaign, fellas.

Once again, the Yankees have done their part to fuck with their crosstown rivals’ legacy by acquiring a Mets icon. And don’t tell me Todd Pratt won’t bring the sort of star power to the Bronx that Dwight Gooden, Darryl Strawberry or David Cone managed.

The New York Daily News’ Michael O’Keefe and T.J. Quinn surmise there’s bigger issues at stake in the ongoing dispute over the Sultan Of Surly’s unsigned one-year deal with the Giants.

Sources from all corners of the baseball globe, however, say that what is really going on in San Francisco is a proxy fight between the Players Association and MLB over guaranteed contracts. The union is always vigilant about threats to that most sacred of player rights, the assurance that almost no matter what happens to a player, he’ll get his check on payday. The basic labor agreement already covers certain circumstances under which a team can suspend a player’s pay – getting hurt while skydiving or skiing or riding a motorcycle . But when a club suggests expanding those circumstances, as in “the Bonds language” that agents have described in the contracts the Giants are offering, the union bristles.