This is a developing story
Jim Margalus contributed to this article
Helms has managed the Knights the last two seasons, and would have made his debut in the role in the 2020 season that ended up being wiped out by the COVID-19 pandemic. The year before, Helms served as a coach for the Birmingham Barons team, which was managed by Omar Vizquel.
The White Sox fired Vizquel in November of 2019. Chris Getz, who was then Director of Player Development for the White Sox, told assembled media, via MLB.com’s Scott Merkin: “Listen, Omar, ultra-talented player, very good instructor, created a good environment for our players. We just felt with where things are at, our player development system, that it was time to go separate ways.”
Over the next two years, ugly details about Vizquel’s termination would emerge. A December 2020 article from The Athletic about domestic-abuse allegations against Vizquel cited an alleged incident toward the end of the 2019 season with a male Birmingham clubhouse worker. At the time, the clubhouse worker said he had to remain silent about it, and Vizquel issued a clumsy equivalent of a “no comment.”
The following August, the batboy broke his silence in the form of a lawsuit against Vizquel, the Birmingham Barons and the Chicago White Sox for sexual harassment. The lawsuit identified six other employees who were aware of an encounter between the batboy and Vizquel in a shower room, one of which was Helms, who was accused of laughing at the batboy.
Helms was the only one of the six still employed by the White Sox, but it didn’t have an immediate impact on his status. He managed the Knights the rest of the season, then was brought back for 2022.
The White Sox’s only comment on the Vizquel lawsuit came via a statement to The Athletic back in August:
“After first learning of an alleged incident in late August 2019, the Chicago White Sox conducted an internal investigation that resulted in the termination of the organization’s relationship with Omar Vizquel. Because this is active litigation, at this time the White Sox will not comment further regarding the allegations included in this lawsuit.”