Report: Sox to promote Williams, name Hahn GM
Before an Aug. 20 game against the Yankees, White Sox general manager Kenny Williams popped into the home dugout at U.S. Cellular Field and -- as usual -- was bombarded with a wide range of questions.
Never one to duck any inquiry, Williams was asked two telling questions that day.
The first: Are you enjoying the job?
"I enjoyed one season (2005), but that was for about a couple days," Williams said. "No. I've said before, I still haven't learned how to do this job the way that it brings satisfaction. When we lose, I agonize way much more than the celebration when we win. I'm happy when we win, but we start immediately focusing on the next game and how we're going to win that game. I'm working on it."
The second: You've had a long (12 years) run as Sox GM. When does it end?
"This is what I do," Williams said. "I take great pride in what we managed to do here and keeping competitive through the years, but there is still work to do. When I sat down that first press conference, when I was appointed this position, I didn't talk about one championship. I said multiple championships. People laughed, but I meant that.
"That's what keeps driving me. At the end of every year, you sit down and evaluate where you are and your effectiveness as it relates to the organization and you have that conversation with the owner if he wants you around or not."
There is little doubt White Sox chairman Jerry Reinsdorf still wants the 48-year-old Williams on the payroll.
But according to a report by USA Today on Thursday, Williams is going to be the Sox' vice president of baseball operations at the end of the season while assistant general manager Rick Hahn moves up to GM.
Williams neither confirmed not denied the report, but he wasn't thrilled with the timing.
"The White Sox need a win tonight," Williams said via email before Thursday's game against Kansas City. "That's our focus and anything regarding next year will have to wait until the season is over."
In another email, Hahn politely declined to comment.
Williams' agony likely reached a boiling point after the Sox were sloppy running the bases while blowing a 3-0 lead and falling to the Royals 4-3 at Kauffman Stadium.
The Tigers lost as well, 12-4 to Oakland, so the White Sox still hold a 2-game lead in the AL Central with 13 to play.
Getting back to Williams and Hahn, the obvious question is this -- does the title change really mean anything?
Williams has long been the most aggressive wheeler and dealer in the major leagues, so it'll be interesting to see how he operates in the new position.
Hahn, who is also in his 12th season as the Sox' assistant GM, has advanced degrees from Harvard and Northwestern and is regarded as one of the best contract negotiators in baseball.
But Hahn's name has frequently appeared on "Top GM Prospect" lists and he is credited with acquiring keys players like Esteban Loaiza, Bobby Jenks and Carlos Quentin in past seasons.
Last off-season, Hahn interviewed for the Angels' GM job, and he was also on the Mets' short following the 2010 season. The Winnetka native has also been linked to the Cardinals, Mariners and Pirates in past seasons.