In a somewhat surprising move, the Chicago White Sox have fired vice president Ken Williams and general manager Rick Hahn amid a tough 2023 season. Team owner Jerry Reinsdorf and the club announced the decision on Tuesday.
The Sox (50-77) are currently 15 games back in fourth place and well out of believable contention at this point. Unfortunately for Williams and Hahn, this comes just two seasons after they constructed a team that won the AL Central in 2021 and then followed up with a solid 81-81 performance last season.
White Sox owner Jerry Reinsdorf released a statement alongside his decision.
“This is an incredibly difficult decision for me to make because they are both talented individuals with long-term relationships at the White Sox,” the statement read. “Ken is like a son to me, and I will always consider him a member of my family. I want to personally thank Ken and Rick for all they have done for the Chicago White Sox, winning the 2005 World Series and reaching the postseason multiple times during their tenures.”
“I have nothing but the greatest respect for them as people and appreciate the commitment and passion for the White Sox they exhibited over the years.”
“Ultimately, the well-worn cliché that professional sports is results-oriented is correct,” Reinsdorf’s statement summarized. “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.
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.”
It is especially strange to think of the ChiSox without Ken Williams who was originally drafted by the team way back in 1982. He played outfield for the club from 1986-1989, before making stops in Detroit, Toronto, and Montreal, before retiring in 1991.
Kenny Williams rejoined the White Sox organization as a scout in 1992 and was named special assistant to Sox chairman Jerry Reinsdorf in 1994, before becoming the team’s director of minor league operations in 1995. He became the club’s general manager in 2000, and he is credited with constructing the 2005 Sox team that delivered the franchise its first World Series title since 1917.