Tony La Russa retires; Rick Hahn unretires quotes about White Sox managerial search

One troublesome chapter of White Sox history is over. Another concurrent, longer-running troublesome chapter of the White Sox will continue.

Tony La Russa officially announced his retirement with a lengthy statement preceding a media conference at Guaranteed Rate Field, after which Rick Hahn discussed the plan moving forward, because he will continue to be the person in charge of it all because Jerry Reinsdorf can’t be bothered to care about the product beyond a superficial sense.

La Russa confirmed the pacemaker problem, along with a second unspecified health issue that La Russa said he was made aware of before the season. He said the pacemaker correction in late August, and the pause on baseball activities afterward, enabled La Russa’s doctors to develop a “corrective plan,” which they have implemented. He also said he made the White Sox aware of the unspecified health issue during that time.

Given Reinsdorf’s attachment to La Russa and the White Sox’s unwillingness to change managers until well past the point it could make a difference for a season, I’d wondered whether health issues were being emphasized in order to pretend that a performance-related dismissal would be equally justifiable. La Russa did not pretend that doctors were the only people thinking retirement was the best path forward.

With La Russa officially done, the conversation can officially turn to the next White Sox manager, and Rick Hahn will try to follow the 2020 playbook, except with zero benefit of the doubt.

And Scot Gregor is correct: Hahn said the same thing two Octobers ago, nearly word-for-word:

“Ultimately, I think the best candidate or the ideal candidate is going to be someone who has experience with a championship organization in recent years,” Hahn said. “Recent October experience with a championship organization would be ideal. But we’re going to keep an open mind.”

That wasn’t the only bit of history repeating, either:

And from two Octobers ago:

“We have been insular in our past hirings,” Hahn said. “That’s objectively true and no one can run from that.”

But Hahn was coming off a postseason appearance (after a fashion) back in 2020, so those quotes were from the leader of an organization that wanted to reach the next level.

Coming after one of the most disappointing seasons in White Sox history, he had to answer questions as to whether he should be the one still in charge. I regret to inform you that he’s gone Full John Paxson.

… and the condescension emanating from this tweet suggests he’s nowhere close to thinking that he’s a big-enough problem.

And if you want to wallow in his initial offseason assessment, this isn’t encouraging:

If the White Sox can’t add meaningfully in free agency and they’re mainly selling low on the trade market, it’s going to require a whole lot of creativity to reshape the roster. Considering Hahn can’t even think of different things to say about a managerial search, there’s every reason to continue doubting his imagination.

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Jim Margalus
Jim Margalus

Writing about the White Sox for a 16th season, first here, then at South Side Sox, and now here again. Let’s talk curling.

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Ted Mulvey

On the one hand, I’m glad that it sounds as though TLR, at the least, won’t be playing the role of Grima Wormtongue to JR. On the other, I don’t know that the well hasn’t already been poisoned beyond saving.

Chris

It’s poisoned beyond saving….

John SF

Jerry isn’t King Théoden though. He’s closer to Saruman.

For all his wealth, power, and hypothetical wisdom— he makes self-righteously stupid choices & selfish choices because he is too self-absorbed and greedy to see why they won’t work.

Trooper Galactus

Sounds like a classic dwarf, really.

ayeitsfabes

If you’re of the opinion that TLR wasn’t Hahn’s hire, repeating the same comments two years later almost verbatim could be read as a subtle F U, “I was correct the first time”

Or he legit doesn’t remember and can’t come up with anything new. Idk.

a-t

The former is how I read it. That TLR was forced on everyone (or at least on Hahn) by JR seemed really obvious… it was Hinch’s signature on the photo release announcing Tony, Hahn’s introductory press conference involved a lot of visibly upset body language, etc

upnorthsox

Hahn’s continue employment involves a lot of visibly upset body language behind this computer screen.

a-t

Not saying he doesn’t suck at things that he obviously has control of, but that managerial disaster was the lone disaster he’s not culpable for

John SF

Ultimate power move would have been to just retweet the descriptions of his comments from 2 years ago.

Chris

So in other words… they will trot virtually the same team next year because the bulk of the players they have are not tradeable!!!! So the $35 million dollar crap bullpen of Kelly, Gravemen, Diekman, Lopez and Hendricks will all be back.

And, Hahn has just admitted the Sox will not spend in free agency. (but we all knew that already) So, we will see the usual garbage picking moves we have grown accustomed under Ebenezer Reinsdorf.

The slogan for 2023 Mediorcity Will Rein

Last edited 2 months ago by Chris
John SF

All of those guys are trade-able, and a couple of them are even positive value.

Hendricks + Lopez, or Graveman + Lopez, for example, would probably bring back a 40-45 FV prospect.

If some team had the payroll space + desperately needed bullpen help, I think Hendricks + Lopez + Kelly could even be traded in a package deal for a AAAA outfielder (aka, offloaded for “free”).

As Cirensica

I can’t recall a trade with 3 relievers to a team. They must be very rare.

OldMMJ87

The “We’re not going to be able to just throw money at the problem” quote makes me so mad. What a fuck you to a fanbase. What other business can so consistently alienate its customers like this and still be profitable.

Trooper Galactus

Between Pollock, Leury, Kelly, and Diekman, Hahn added about $30 million to the 2023 payroll while adding basically nothing of significant value for 2022. Him throwing money at the problem turned into the problem.

asinwreck

And it isn’t as if 2022 is an outlier, as Jim (and before him, larry) have noted in years past.

Sox fans are not mad at Rick Hahn for one fluky bad year. Sox fans are mad at Rick Hahn for a pattern of terrible investments in talent.

Trooper Galactus

Before he couldn’t succeed with a mid-tier budget. This time he failed spectacularly with a budget that exceeded any other in team history by about 50%.

Foulkelore

It’s a fun exercise to keep track of the money wasted each year vs. what the money could be doing each year had they signed Machado and/or Harper.

Trooper Galactus

Abreu already showed in 2020 that this organization is perfectly capable of pissing away an MVP performance.

StockroomSnail

“Fun” isn’t the term I’d use

ParisSox

I don’t like your definition of fun

Trooper Galactus

“Hey Rick, go fuck yourself.”
-Every White Sox fan with functioning eyes

dwjm3

Trade market may be more fruitful path than free agency in coming months, Hahn said. “We’re not going to be able to just throw money at the problem.”

Of course none of us are surprised we will get the usual crap tier 2 and 3 free agents

There isn’t any hope until Jerry is gone

Ben

And this is why he needs to get canned. A GM on the hot seat will do some dumb things to mortgage a teams future if that’s the only way to save their job.

This logic only makes sense if he feels like he’s on the hot seat though…so is probably terrible.

Jeff

I think it’s time for Rick Hahn to start feeling he’s not the right man for the job and step aside. The fact that the Sox were picked for being in the World Series this year should not be a point of pride when the team is seven games out from making an expanded playoffs and counting. He has not been a successful GM. His legacy is two playoff appearances without a playoff series victory and a mediocre team with a bloated budget. After a painful rebuild, the competitive window, which should be wide open, is closing quickly. We need a new GM to give this team a fresh look and make it relevant.

steelydan52

I don’t think too many people would disagree with you but it’s not happening. As has been noted many times, we wonder how much pull he’s actually had with JR and KW whether it’s trades, signings or hiring managers.
What I’d LOVE to see is Jerry have a press conference followed by Williams. Maybe they’d lie but get up front for fans to see and hear.

Trooper Galactus

If Hahn is such a spineless twerp that he can’t do anything of substance, then he’s just as useless as if all the fuck-ups were solely his fault.

dwjm3

He won’t …the next owner will drag him out kicking and screaming

texag10

On the one hand, I don’t disagree that Hahn needs to look in the mirror. But, I’ve done enough video game/fantasy managing to know that I would be saying the same damn thing in his position. I’d wager that a lot of us would be sitting here looking at the results of our actions the past few years, the success that we had in spite of injuries and a perceived incompetent manager, and feel like we didn’t do a bad job. Relying on people to self report is what got the Bulls into the mess they became and apparently Jerry didn’t learn his lesson or didn’t care. You’d think with how cheap he is, he’d much rather hire someone to be more efficient at missing than playoffs than Hahn was this year.

RWShow

I cut the cord earlier this season, because the only thing that $100/month was giving me was access to a team I hated to watch.

That my money is no longer going to help fund this abortion of a franchise is almost more satisfying than the savings itself.

Trooper Galactus

I cut my cable service last year and didn’t renew MLB.tv this year. Like you, I don’t care to pay for misery.

steelydan52

Being a Sox fan, Bears fan and Blackhawks fan I apparently demand tons of stress in my life.
Sox are down 2-0 the end of the 1st inning.

BenwithVen

CAN’T SPEND A DOLLAR IF YOU ONLY HAVE 50 CENTS

-Rick “Kenny ‘Jerry Reinsdorf’ Williams” Hahn

Last edited 2 months ago by BenwithVen
Foulkelore

CAN’T SPEND A DOLLAR IF YOU ONLY HAVE WANT TO SPEND 50 CENTS
-fixed that for you

Trooper Galactus

Also, see who will pick up ten cents of that midseason.

dongutteridge

Throwing money at the problem is literally the only chance the Sox have at respectability.

You can’t trade a dearth of talent for a wealth of talent. Consider this organization done.

steelydan52

Be careful what you wish for or did you forget the Garcia extension? And the same guys are running it.

Jason

Chicago Dogs games for me and the boy next summer.

Fuck off Jerry.

Trooper Galactus

Yeah, I’ve been telling myself for a while that I was gonna become more invested in my local Kane County Cougars. About time I followed through on that.

steelydan52

Anyone know what philosophical differences Mike Shildt had when he left the Cardinals?

chambers.kevin

Well shit, going to be a long 10 years.

StockroomSnail

Next season? You bet.

calcetinesblancos

What do you mean you can’t throw money at the problem? First off, what exactly is “the problem” in your mind? Second, you absolutely should throw money at the problem since your cheap “core” is only under contract for a few more years and you bozos famously told us “the money will be spent.” If not now, when? The owner is a thousand years old and this team (and the fans) all desperately need a shot in the arm. We need a sense of urgency here Rick.

Either spend that money, or step aside so someone else can blow this entire thing up.

Trooper Galactus

The cheap core is no longer cheap. They ARE the money that was spent, and Hahn has even insinuated as much.

texag10

It’s not just them though. It’s 18M for Keuchel, 18M for Grandal, 14M for Hendriks, 18M for Lynn. They are spending money on the team outside of the core getting more expensive, its just that they didn’t move into the deep end of free agency like we all hoped/thought they would.

chipporter

Goodbye, LOSER!

670WMAQtheElder

I don’t think RH had much if any decision making authority since Tony was hired. He signed who TLR wanted, ie, Garcia for three years. Three or four bullpen guys. TLR managed the injured list, too.

Hahn wants his chance two years later to follow HIS plan. We will see if he has the power to hire his own manager. And then we’ll see if that manager wants the current coaching staff.

Sox need more speed, better defense, better pitch recognition, and, of course, more starting pitching. In my opinion there is no one on the major league roster who shouldn’t be on the trading block.

steelydan52

I wouldn’t trade Cease unless they get ready for the Majors talent and I mean multiple players. He might be my only untouchable on the roster even though I’d like to see them keep Vaughn. Ok, Montgomery and Colas too but I have no idea what they’d bring in a trade. Let’s get the manager right and move on from there.

steelydan52

I have to accept what’s happening. We can all yell, spit and protest about Hahn still holding the GM post but none of it is going to matter. I know it’s what makes us fans but unless you choose NOT to be a fan we can only hope for the best.
Steve Stone was on Mully and Haugh a bit ago and I have so much respect for that dude. I trust him more than any analyst out there. He just has a blunt honesty about him and while he didn’t slam TLR he did say that a manager that’s 77 is going to handle things the same as when he was 67. I think we can all read between that line very easily.
I have no issue with what Hendricks said. Maybe he could have said it in the clubhouse instead of reporters but I really don’t mind. He’s always been blunt and good for him.
This team does not need a rebuild I don’t feel.
Did you read that Cueto wants to come back to the Sox and thinks he can pitch 2 or 3 more years? That means he’s not coming back to the Sox!
Happy Birthday Tony!

gibby32

I will admit that I am usually a sucker for sports front office types, managers and head coaches who interact with the press while avoiding bombast and seeming to provide direct answers with appropriate nuance. I even gave Matt Nagy the benefit of the doubt for a year or so, but not Ryan Pace, importantly. After many, many years of listening to Rick Hahn, however, I just want him to shut the fuck up.

steelydan52

Frankly, I think we don’t hear from him or Jerry enough during a season especially a season like we just endured. It all comes down to accountability and Jerry, Kenny and Rick all seem to lack that. Yep, Hahn came off as a fool yesterday and it’s too bad the others didn’t speak either. Nice to hide behind piles of money.
Ryan Pace and McCaskey should have been talking to the public too but I think we’re grateful now it didn’t happen. McCaskey just can’t seem to help himself.

Greg Nix

I’m skeptical Rick Hahn will ever decide he’s the wrong man to make seven figures without any expectations or accountability.

steelydan52

Right. If he hasn’t done it by now it’s never going to happen. If Jerry and Kenny don’t mind then why should Hahn?
Just like Nagy thought he was a good head coach!