Third to first

Having high-character players is hugely important to the White Sox in assembling their roster. But it's not a determining factor. The cases of Bobby Jenks and A.J. Pierzynski, who both had "a few hiccups on their resume" as general manager Rick Hahn said and were great performers in Chicago, show the White Sox faith often is rewarded.

"In the end, the talent is going to carry the day. And I point that out because Kenny [Williams] did a nice job from Day 1," Hahn said. "We ask our amateur scouts -- our pro scouts -- to find out as much as they can about a guy's character and makeup and how they handle pressure and how they can handle playing in a big market like Chicago.

"That is part of the report. How is that guy going to adapt to the pressures of playing in a big market."

Pierzynski was an organizational staple for eight years in Chicago, while Jenks ranks second behind Bobby Thigpen on the franchise's all-time saves list. Both made major contributions to the 2005 World Series title.

• Hahn has no worries that the White Sox will be able to expand their payroll if the contending situation dictates within the season.

"Based on history, there's not been an instance during any season where we've been in the mix where we've gone to (White Sox chairman) Jerry (Reinsdorf) and said, 'This guy is available. He addresses a need. Here's what it's going to cost,' that he hasn't found a way to make it work," Hahn said. "The money is usually there when we need to talk."

• Saturday's seminar featuring Paul Konerko, Jermaine Dye, Aaron Rowand and Joe Crede from the 2005 World Series champions not only reached full capacity but had a line waiting down the hallway from the Red Lacquer Room at the Palmer House Hilton.