Podcast: Goodbye, Rick Hahn and Kenny Williams

Record Date: 8/22/2023


  • Jerry Reinsdorf fires Rick Hahn and Kenny Williams
  • What does this firing mean for Pedro Grifol?
  • What does this firing mean for Tim Anderson’s 2024 status?
  • Josh’s instant candidates list to replace Williams and Hahn
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Augusto Barojas

Please, just name a replacement other than the guy nobody wants to see. I’m not liking seeing his name as frontrunner on Yahoo sports. If it’s him, then today was all for not, and I may just forsake this team for good.

I got baited into continuing to follow the team even after the LaRussa hiring, no matter how idiotic it appeared. I don’t think I can do that if they choose a complete tool in-house GM. For once, can they make an important choice that is not completely stupid, and predictable?


The thing I think folks are underestimating is the degree to which candidates for Executive jobs do their homework and value their own reputations and happiness above simple job opportunities. No one is going to look at this job and say “looks like a great place to land. I can’t wait to work for this jerk, try to meet the expectations of the fans, and fire a bunch of people, rebuild a roster, and rebuild an entire operation.” Maybe one of those things. But all of them?

I have been an applicant in such job searches, on the board of broken organizations searching for leaders, and in the senior management team during searches. The candidates for these jobs will look at this as a headache not worth the trouble and title. I don’t think that KC’s manager decided not to manage the Sox because he didn’t like Rick Hahn. I think he correctly assessed that the entire operation was a mess and that Jerry was the kind of jerk who would do something like threaten to move the team…because he has done this multiple times.


One other red flag that will turn off some external candidates is that basically everyone in the org has worked their entire White Sox careers for Kenny and Rick, and in an organization in which loyalty is rewarded. It would be difficult to feel comfortable in that environment. Sometimes staff that have had several bosses are actually more receptive to a new boss than folks who spent a long time being loyal to the last guy with an expectation that the loyalty and seniority will some day be rewarded.


You’re way underestimating how attractive the job is, and for all the reasons you name.

First, smart, cocky executives live for this stuff. I mean, isn’t this the dream? You’re handed an organization you can build from the ground up. It’s what I used to do in video games: take over a struggling franchise and take them to glory. An added benefit is it’s low-risk, high-reward for resume building: if the team stinks, well, it’s the White Sox and JR hampers the team; if you jump over a relatively low bar of success, you come out looking good.

Second, I assume for executives JR is a feature of the job not a bug. Working within his budget constrains might be annoying, but surely job security is more important. How about working for an owner who’s only fired one GM in the last 32 years? Sign me up, especially if you’re a young-ish guy with a family. Rick Hahn got the luxury of raising his family in the same city despite horrible job performance—that’s downright unheard of for professional sports executives.

Third, the Sox fanbase and media is almost in a kind of sweet spot: they are in a big enough market to be relevant and with lots of potential fan interest, but they don’t garner the same kinds of unwelcome attention I imagine executives face in NYC, for example.

Finally, and most importantly: as I’m sure you know, for all these particularities about a job, often the most important questions about a new job are: is this an upward move? does the job pay more than my current job? and would I prefer living in the new place more than my current place? It shouldn’t be difficult to find several qualified candidates who would answer “yes” to all three.


Addendum: I will add the first and second points are predicated on the report being true that JR is looking for one person to take over baseball operations entirely. If JR can’t hand the reigns over and insists on meddling, the job gets less attractive.


Would I prefer working a ton of hours and be away from my family? Do I like getting stabbed in the back by people who are loyal to the last regime? Do I want to bring in all new staff? Do I want to work for a jerk?

Obviously there is nothing to go on when it comes to recent Sox FO hired, but there is literally zero evidence that any decent or credible managerial candidate has really wanted the job.

Could the Sox find a 30-something hot shot with an MBA from an Ivy who wants the job? Sure. Will that person be the next Friedman or Epstein? Probably not. Can they find a deeply respected and experienced baseball Exec who wants to work for this team? Probably not. Most of those people value their reputations and their time too much to be swayed by the money or the title.


I think the hiring is coming from outside of the organization. If he was planning on promoting Getz or Haber or someone in the organization, then he wouldn’t have fired Kenny also. Hahn being fired is not a surprise- someone had to take the fall. But firing Kenny, I think, means the Sox are going in a completely different direction. As my son put it, Jerry would not fire his “son” (KW), and replace him with his “nephew” (Getz). He wants someone to run the whole operation. I’m pretty sure that means someone with upper-level managerial experience.

And, yes, I think he can poach someone from a well-run organization. Being able to run a major league club, even hamstrung by Jerry’s constraints, is the goal of every executive. The 3rd or 4th in command in LA or Tampa or Atlanta will jump at that opportunity. They just need to know what Jerry’s constraints are before they take the job. Plenty of those guys would drool over a $190M payroll, even if the top free agents are off-limits.

Augusto Barojas

I really, really hope you are right and that the new GM comes from outside. All possibility of success hinges on that, pretty much.


I agree 100%. If it’s Getz or Haber, then nothing changes, and there’s no hope going forward..

Augusto Barojas

Oh well, that didn’t take long. I’m gone. It’s probably a good thing honestly, as long as Jerry is around there was very little hope anyway. Now there is no reason for any sane person to waste their time with this shitshow. I don’t care what players they keep or don’t keep, I’m done.

I seriously suggest that all on here find better stuff to do with their time.


We cannot expect Reinsdorf to preform a proper / legitimate search to replace Williams/Hahn. I fully expect Jerry to keep with his incestuous ways. I will not be surprised to see Getz promoted. Or, since Jerry is fixated with KC and their castoffs… Dayton Moore.

I believe Reinsdorf has a very negative image. I cannot see any decent candidate wanting to come here. There is too much to fix. Plus said candidate will want significant amount of autonomy and control over the checkbook. (Jerry does not do that!!!!)

Also, the Sox have one of the smallest front office’s in MLB. I just do not see that changing with Reinsdorf in control. Jerry is not going to want to pay so many people. Especially if he does not have any ties to said personnel.

There is just to many variables with this. Sure Reinsdorf FINALLY, got rid of the dynamic dummies… but he has always gone have measured, never all the way. And, I do not see him changing now.

To Err is Herrmann

As far as your question about what we older Sox fans went through, Josh, a lot of us were not sure what Mr. Comiskey was going to do after the 8 players were vindicated by a Chicago jury in that court case after the 1919 scandal. But seriously, from 1970-1981, I was always wondering about the ownership and manager, as we all sort of knew Bill Veeck’s return would not be for long given the economics of the game. I loved Roland Hemond at GM, but it was the stability of the whole operation that was often up in the air. Of course, we were also proud/appalled by Disco Demolition Night, and I was part of an entire crowd tossed out of the park in 1987 for throwing our free giveaway stadium chairs back on the field after an appalling umpire call. After the forfeit, which I think was in the 2nd inning, drunk Sox fans on the El were singing a song that went “We’re all crazy in Chicago.” Perhaps what we thought about most was beer.

To Err is Herrmann

Oh yes, I had a favorable view of Mr Reinsdorf after he got Carlton Fisk to come here, but that whole blackmailing the taxpayers with the threat to move to team to Tampa Bay made me realize this guy was not a good guy. I guess it’s true that the old park was “economically obsolete,” as he put it back then, but if memory serves, and it doesn’t, the vote to fund the new stadium passed at the last minute something like 60–55 and only with the support from Gov. Jim “Big Jim” Thompson. So, nothing ever seemed completely stable, esp. after we learned ownership was seriously considering moving to Milwaukee. Thank God for Dick Allen, who should be in the Hall of Fame.