While the White Sox fired Kenny Williams and Rick Hahn, Jerry Reinsdorf still had to prove he had some ambition to improve the team.
According to Bob Nightengale, he doesn’t. Instead of conducting a thorough interview with experienced general managers or promising up-and-coming candidates from successful organizations, he’s choosing “neither.”
There was immediate speculation to their successors, with wild reports identifying former Cubs and Red Sox World Series champion Theo Epstein, Washington Nationals GM Mike Rizzo or former Milwaukee Brewers vice president David Stearns as potential candidates.
The truth is that Reinsdorf already has someone in mind.
Chris Getz, 39, who spent the past seven years overseeing the White Sox minor league operations and player development after a seven-year playing career, is expected to be named the next White Sox GM.
Dayton Moore, the Texas Rangers’ senior advisor of baseball operations who spent 16 years as the Kansas City Royals GM, could also join Getz in a key front-office position. The two close friends worked together in Kansas City where they won back-to-back pennants and the 2015 World Series championship.
Getz has overseen a farm system that consistently ranks among the worst in baseball when it’s not stocked with prospects the White Sox had to trade productive MLB players for because their rebuilds didn’t work. He was also in charge of the farm system when it hired Omar Vizquel and Wes Helms, and fired Vizquel and Helms after misconduct issues. The accusations against Vizquel are horrific, and Helms, who was an assistant coach at Birmingham, was identified in the lawsuit as somebody who laughed at the plaintiff. The lawsuit was filed in August 2021, at which time Helms had been promoted to manage Charlotte. He then opened the following season as manager, until the the Sox placed him on “indefinite leave” that May for an unrelated issue.
As for Moore, he was fired from the Royals because he couldn’t bear to trade players he was personally attached to, and he was personally attached to a lot of players. Neither could he bring himself to fire Mike Matheny, a manager who bombed out of St. Louis due to clubhouse issues, but one Moore felt compelled to redeem, and thus hired without an interview process.
But I suppose that makes them relatable to Reinsdorf, because if Nightengale is correct — and he had Tony La Russa returning to the White Sox before everybody took it seriously — the White Sox are planning on elevating an accomplishment-less Getz while sweeping stuff under the rug, and teaming him with Moore without actually conducting a search. Just like Homer Simpson and the party sub, the White Sox can’t resist former Royals no matter how sick they make them.
Speaking of La Russa, you want to see a great example of foreshadowing? Here’s Nightengale during spring training:
Hall of Fame manager Tony La Russa was standing by the railing in Chicago White Sox chairman Jerry Reinsdorf’s suite, keeping score, jotting down notes, and acting as if little has changed.
And here’s Nightengale now:
Grifol is scheduled to meet Wednesday night with Reinsdorf and Tony La Russa, who is back working as a White Sox consultant. La Russa resigned as manager after last season to deal with lengthy cancer treatments, but has been medically cleared to work again, and recently scouted the White Sox’s minor-league system. [Pedro] Grifol is expected to be asked what went wrong this year, how does he plan to fix it, and what personnel changes are needed.
Unfortunately, Chekov’s gun is only a metaphor, and can’t be used to relieve misery. Reinsdorf and the White Sox are instead hellbent on reliving it, and dragging everybody along for the ride.