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Kenny Williams, Rick Hahn release statements after firing

by Joe Binder

All eyes remained locked on the White Sox as the team has continued to steal headlines over the past few weeks.

Chairman Jerry Reinsdorf dropped a bombshell announcement prior to Tuesday’s game, where he revealed that Kenny Williams, executive vice president, and Rick Hahn, senior vice president/general manager, were relieved of their duties, effective immediately. Since then, both former executives have issued personal statements.

Williams had the following to say late Tuesday night:

“I’m not really a “Statement” kind of guy and had no intention of releasing one. That said, the volume of messages I have received in the wake of the news compels me to say something. First, I never knew so many people had my number.

“I want to take time to first thank White Sox fans who went out of their way throughout the years to offer support and encouragement. Often this would happen on the street or in a restaurant or on one of my morning walks, and it always surprised me. It would come at times when I least expected it or even deserved it, but definitely when I needed it, and I was grateful they would take the time.

“I thank Jerry Reinsdorf for the opportunity he gave me to head baseball operations and will forever be proud of the World Series Championship we all celebrated together. At my inaugural presser, I spoke of winning multiple championships. That was my goal, our goal, and we failed. I am a bottom line guy, and the bottom line is we didn’t get it done. This is what happens as a result.

“There is a lot of talent on this club, and I wish the players, Pedro and the coaching staff the best in reaching their goals. I believe they will rebound and give the baseball world a great 2024 campaign.

“To my former staff and other Sox employees throughout the years, I will forever value our beyond work relationships and will miss everyone dearly. I will never forget turning around at my father’s funeral and seeing all of those who had flown across the country to support me and my family. It took my breath away. Their support throughout the years has been and will forever be treasured.

“To my former players and staff who have reached out since the announcement, I cannot tell you how much those texts and sentiments mean to me. I know that not everyone has warm and fuzzy feelings about me, but I tried to be honest and fair with everyone at every turn. At times, admittedly, maybe a little too direct. Sometimes I hit the mark and sometimes I missed the mark on my messaging, but there wasn’t a player who walked through our doors I didn’t care about or wished the best in his baseball career and family life.

“Rick Hahn, my friend. We didn’t accomplish what we set out to do, but I wouldn’t have wanted to do it with anyone other than him. He is one of the smartest people I know and I am confident, if given the chance, I will see him reach the pinnacle of success. We managed to always find a laugh even in the darkest of times, and I will always cherish our time together.

Lastly, Jerry. I lived our World Series victory through his eyes and emotions. We’ve shared many of life’s triumphs and tragedies and as I told him when he gave me the news of his decision, nothing changes with us. I will be there for him as I always have been and respect his decision to look for a new voice to lead the organization. He deserved better.

“A big thanks to Chicago, you have been good to us. Zoraida and I will miss you dearly.”

– Former White Sox Executive Vice President Kenny Williams

Williams was in his 11th season as executive vice president with the White Sox after serving as the club’s general manager for 12 seasons (2001-12). During his tenure as general manager, the team won the 2005 World Series championship and the 2008 American League Central title.

Hahn kept his thoughts much shorter and offered the below statement at the same time.

“I will forever be indebted to Jerry Reinsdorf and Kenny Williams for giving me the opportunity almost 23 years ago to realize my dream of working for a Major League team.

“Their faith, support and mentoring allowed me to grow both as an executive and as a person while with the White Sox, and I look forward to our continued friendship for many years to come.

“Additionally, I cannot thank enough the gifted coaches, scouts, analysts, sports performance professionals, and front office staff for their tireless work and dedication to the Club. Because of them, I firmly believe that many vital ingredients of a championship team are in that clubhouse and within the minor league system.

“I am truly humbled by the many friends, colleagues and members of the extended baseball family who have taken the time to offer their kind words, support and humor. I promise to get back to each of you individually at some point soon and look forward to working with many of you again in the future.

“In the meantime, I will be rooting for the Sox to win that next championship soon — as loyal White Sox fans deserve nothing less.



– Former White Sox GM Rick Hahn

Hahn, on the other hand, served as the White Sox general manager for the past 11 seasons, only leading the Sox to consecutive postseason appearances in 2020 as a wild card and in 2021 as AL Central champions. He joined the organization in October 2000 and served as assistant general manager (2000-12) before being promoted to general manager in October 2012.

The decision by Reinsdorf and the organization to move on from the two long-time fixtures of the front office is a monumental one. All things considered, whether it’s the poor results on the field or all of the dysfunction behind the scenes, it was ultimately time for accountability to fall on those making the decisions.

Looking ahead, many could now make the argument that the White Sox almost have no choice but to search outside of the organization for any replacements. In theory, this upcoming process should be a meticulous one where only the most qualified names surface in the end. But then again, this is the White Sox we’re talking about and the idea of Chris Getz and Dayton Moore running the show by season’s end seems to be growing increasingly likely based on recent reports.

While there are still several weeks left for this to play out, and some new names will likely surface over time, it’s worth keeping both Moore and Getz in the back of your mind to limit any surprises when the final decision is ultimately announced.

As more information becomes available, we will continue to provide updates. Follow us on social media @SoxOn35th!

Featured Photo: David Banks-USA TODAY Sports

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