White Sox Fire front desk Kenny Williams, Rick Hahn amid a disastrous season

White Sox Fire front desk Kenny Williams, Rick Hahn amid a disastrous season

The Chicago White Sox are cleaning house in the midst of a disastrous season, and an overall botched rebuild.

The team announced Tuesday that it has relieved executive vice president Ken Williams and general manager Rick Hahn of their duties, with the expectation of finding a single decision maker to lead the front office by the end of this season.

Reporting by Bob Nightingale from USA Today That first-year manager Pedro Grifoll is safe for now and expected to return for 2024.

The move ends two of the longest tenures among MLB front office executives. Williams joined the White Sox in 1992 as a scout, rose to general manager in 2000 and became executive vice president in 2012. Hahn, a native of the Chicago area, joined , was promoted to the White Sox in 2002 and was promoted to GM in 2012 as well. They both have a World Championship ring from the Chicago Championships in 2005.

Longevity, however, did not produce positive results for the team this season.

Rick Hahn, senior vice president and general manager of the Chicago White Sox, right, sits with executive vice president Kenny Williams, and watches the team's batting practice before a baseball game between the White Sox and Kansas City Royals on Friday, May 19, 2023, in Chicago.  (AP Photo/Charles Rex Arbogast)

The White Sox haven’t gone anywhere under Kenny Williams and Rick Hahn. (AP Photo/Charles Rex Arbogast)

The White Sox failed to rebuild under Kenny Williams and Rick Hahn

The White Sox embraced a complete rebuild after going 78-84 in 2016, replacing the likes of Chris Sale, Adam Eaton, and later Jose Quintana. For a while, this rebuilding seemed to work, as the team was sitting at or near the top of the MLB farm system rankings.

The process culminated in 2021 when the team went 93-69 to win the AL Central, but made a dunk from there. The team fell in 2022 with an 81-81 record, and now sits near the bottom of the AL Central at 49-76 when players like Yoán Moncada, Lucas Giolito, and Eloy Jiménez (Sale, Eaton, and Quintana awards, respectively) are in their prime numbers.

There have been embarrassing missteps (or worse) along the way, like starting Tim Anderson and losing a fistfight, multiple losses in one fell swoop, and domestic violence allegations against Mike Clevinger, as well as Tony La Russa. It may have been worse behind closed doors, with former reliever Keenan Middleton describing the team as having “no rules” with players sleeping on the playing field between games.

Giolito was traded at deadline this season, as were Middleton, Lance Lane, Reynaldo Lopez, and Joe Kelly. With a farm system still ranked No. 20 in MLB by MLB pipeline And many key players are approaching free agency, the future is bleak, and it appears White Sox owner Jerry Reinsdorf didn’t want to give Williams and Hahn another chance to rebuild.

From the White Sox statement:

“Ultimately, the common cliché that professional sports are results-oriented is true,” Reinsdorf said. “While we have had successes as an organization and have been optimistic as we head into the competitive window of this rebuilding, this year has proven to be very disappointing for all of us on many levels. This has led me to conclude that the best decision for the organization moving forward is to make a change in Leading our baseball department.”

The idea of ​​rebuilding in a simple way is tempting when a team is involved in midfield, especially after the success of the 2016 Chicago Cubs and 2017 Houston Astros, but cases like the White Sox show it’s never that easy. Gain prospects and then instantly become good and stay good. The White Sox have clearly been rotting on the inside for years, and now Reinsdorf is finding someone else to lead the building of his team.

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