CHICAGO (AP) — The Chicago White Sox fired executive vice president Ken Williams and general manager Rick Hahn on Tuesday, cutting ties with their baseball leadership amid another disappointing season.
Williams, who originally joined the White Sox front office in 1992 as a scout, was in his 11th season as executive vice president after serving as the club’s general manager for 12 years. He was one of baseball’s most prominent Black executives. Hahn joined the organization in 2000 and had been the GM since October 2012.
Williams and Hahn helped Chicago win the 2005 World Series. The White Sox also won the AL Central in 2008 and made the playoffs in 2020 and 2021, but the franchise has fallen on hard times of late.
After going 81-81 last year, Chicago had a 49-76 record heading into Tuesday night’s game against Seattle. It had dropped seven of nine and 19 of 27 overall.
“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,” White Sox chairman Jerry Reinsdorf said in a release. “This has led me to the conclusion that the best decision for the organization moving forward is to make a change in our baseball department leadership.”
The 87-year-old Reinsdorf, one of the most loyal owners in sports, called the dismissal of Williams and Hahn “an incredibly difficult decision.” He described Williams as “like a son to me.”
In the release announcing the changes, the White Sox said they anticipate having a new leader of baseball operations in place by the end of the season. The timeline indicates Reinsdorf could have a short list already in mind.
Assistant general managers Jeremy Haber and Chris Getz could take on more prominent roles in a new-look front office, but it’s hard to imagine either one moving into the top spot.
The upheaval with baseball operations raises questions about the future of manager Pedro Grifol, who was hired in November. Before the shakeup was announced Tuesday, Grifol said everyone in the organization was being evaluated.
“I’m not afraid to listen to people who tell me that I could’ve thought about this another way. I’m not afraid of that,” he said. “I’m not afraid of being evaluated and people sharing with me different ways of doing this. That’s my DNA. That’s how I’m wired. I’m always going to be that way. But make no mistake about it, everybody here is getting evaluated.”
The 59-year-old Williams was selected by Chicago in the third round of the 1982 amateur draft. The outfielder played for the White Sox, Tigers, Blue Jays and Montreal Expos while spending parts of six seasons in the majors.
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