Jesse RogersESPN staff writer3 minutes of reading
CHICAGO — The Chicago White Sox have fired executive vice president Ken Williams and general manager Rick Hahn, effective immediately, the team announced Tuesday in a news release and social media post.
“In the end, the well-worn cliché that professional sports are all about results is correct,” owner Jerry Reinsdorf said in a statement. “While we have enjoyed success as an organization and are optimistic about this competitive window of rebuilding, this year has been very disappointing for all of us 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 the leadership of our baseball department.”
The White Sox started the day with a 49-76 record, 16 games behind the first-place Minnesota Twins. They play host to the Seattle Mariners later Tuesday.
The organization has rebuilt over the past decade, culminating in playoff appearances in both 2020 and 2021, but winning just two postseason games total in those years. The White Sox went 81-81 last season before falling into a slump this year amid dysfunction in the clubhouse.
Williams has been with the team since 1992, working his way up through various roles, including general manager. He oversaw the team that won the 2005 World Series before being promoted to executive vice president in 2012. That same year, the team promoted Hahn to general manager.
The team failed to make the postseason in its first five years under Hahn before embarking on a rebuilding effort shortly after the Cubs did the same on the other side of town. The parts were always better than the sum as the White Sox’s rebuild produced young talent, but failed to find balance within their lineup or build a good defensive team.
The team cycled through managers, promoting Rick Renteria in 2017 to replace Tony La Russa, who retired in 2021. The team won 13 games in the AL Central that season, but La Russa was relegated in 2022 before retiring again. For health concerns. Former Royals bench coach Pedro Grifol was hired last November, but his first season was marred by poor play and a toxic clubhouse. The protests led to Tuesday’s shooting.
“It was an incredibly difficult decision for me because they are both talented individuals with long-standing relationships with the White Sox,” Reinsdorf said. “Ken was 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 everything they did for the Chicago White Sox, winning the 2005 World Series and reaching the postseason. Nothing but the greatest honor, and I appreciate the dedication and passion for the White Sox that they have shown over the years.”
The release indicated that the White Sox will begin searching for a “single decision maker” to lead the baseball operations department and will have an individual in place by the end of the season.