Williams finds opener easier to take

CHICAGO -- No longer in the general manager's seat, Chicago White Sox executive vice president Kenny Williams said Monday's nail-biting season opener was a little easier to bear.

Williams, who has said that White Sox games gave him knots in his stomach for 162 games -- if not more -- each year, has handed the GM hot seat over to Rick Hahn.

"To a greater degree, yeah I was able to relax more than I have for a dozen years," Williams said of the Sox's 1-0 victory over the Kansas City Royals.

Despite the one-run game in the ninth inning, he didn't have to use the treadmill to burn off nervous energy.

"Never once even thought about it," Williams said. "The intensity is still there. The investment and the interest is still there. You are who you are, but because I'm not in the day-to-day trenches of things, I was able to watch it from a little bit of a different perspective.

"I actually had a good time up until the ninth inning and then I realized it's 1-0 and we've got to focus here."

Williams took over as White Sox general manager in 2001, with the club winning a World Series four years later. Hahn was in the White Sox's front office for 12 seasons before taking Williams' GM spot in October.