(MCT) — Part of Ken Williams' new duties as executive vice president for the White Sox was meeting 12 students from Hyde Park High School's Youth Guidance B.A.M. program.
"It has taken me back to my youth, and also it has taken me forward to the responsibility I have at this point in my life and my career to make an impact and be there for some of these young men," Williams said Tuesday after meeting the group along with Bulls general manager Gar Forman.
"There are some real-life issues many of them are dealing with, and to a much greater degree than I ever had to experience growing up."
The B.A.M. (Becoming a Man) program is designed to provide assistance and promote social, emotional and behavioral competency in at-risk young males. B.A.M.'s sports edition program has six core values — integrity, accountability, self-determination, positive anger expression, visionary goal setting and respect for women — all relating to personal academic achievement.
After 12 seasons as the Sox general manager, Williams said he's sleeping much better and won't miss being required to participate in a question-and-answer session with fans at this weekend's SoxFest.
"Fans can expect not to see me on the stage, that's what they can expect," Williams said. "That's somebody else's job right now. Good luck."
Williams offers counsel to new GM Rick Hahn and looks forward to scouting more amateur and pro players as his usual day no longer is filled with discussions with other GMs and owners.
Pennant pitch: Williams believes the Sox offseason has been productive because the core of the pitching staff has been stabilized with the re-signing of starter Jake Peavy and the imminent signing of reliever Matt Lindstrom.
"What we need to do is expect some of the same performances from some of our guys last year and some growth in some other guys," Williams said. "And I think we'll be in the mix.
"If you have pitching, it automatically puts you in the mix."