The White Sox’ turbulent 2023 campaign reached an apex Tuesday afternoon as the team decided to relieve executive VP Ken Williams and general manager Rick Hahn of their duties.
“This is an incredibly difficult decision for me to make because they are both talented individuals with long-term relationships at the White Sox,” Jerry Reinsdorf, the team’s chairman, said in a statement. “Ken is like a son to me, and I will always consider him a member of my family.
“I want to personally thank Ken and Rick for all they have done for the Chicago White Sox, winning the 2005 World Series and reaching the postseason multiple times during their tenures.”
Williams was in his 11th season in his role after serving as GM from 2001-12. Hahn has been in charge since.
The Sox said they will search for “a single decision-maker to lead the baseball operations” and will have that person in place by the end of the season.
While USA Today’s Bob Nightengale reported two days ago that “drastic changes” were being considered, nothing like this was evident in the hours leading up to Tuesday night’s White Sox game against Seattle at Guaranteed Rate Field.
Hahn was seen chatting with a reporter on the field at 4:15 p.m., and Grifol spoke about numerous team meetings over the last week like they were no big deal.
Grifol, speaking after the White Sox’ 6-3 loss to Seattle, said “it was emotional” when he found out about the firings.
“When you start the season with expectations and we don’t meet them as a group, unfortunately this stuff happens,” Grifol said. “Two great men today lost their jobs after a long, long tenure here doing a lot of great things — bringing (a) world championship to this city.
“It’s unfortunate. All of us in that room are responsible for that.”
A major criticism of Reinsdorf is that he’s given far too much rope to the people he puts in charge.
He’s loyal to a fault.
But it was difficult to ignore all the carnage that’s surrounded this team over the past two seasons.
So, finally, the 87-year-old owner put the hammer down.
“Ultimately, the well-worn cliché that professional sports is results-oriented is correct,” Reinsdorf said. “While we have enjoyed successes as an organization and were optimistic heading into the competitive window of this rebuild, this year has proven to be very disappointing for us all on many levels.”