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Admitting a Wrong: Kenny Williams vs Rick Hahn


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1 hour ago, hi8is said:

This is fucking depressing… just like life.

it's seasons like this that make me so thankful I have 72 (and counting) Sox games in my library dating back to the 1981 season.

At least I can get some enjoyment out of years when they were actually good.

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13 hours ago, caulfield12 said:

You want to play Sosa at second?  Guaranteed we're bottom 3-5 in ops at that position again.

At least get a Wong/Huira type with some upside remaining.

Sosa will be a fine hitter. TLR would only play him once every 3-4 days, and it's hard enough to

adjust to the majors as it is. He hits the ball hard and he can play defense. Sosa 's also 22 years old 

and basically free. The Sox always trade guys who don't hit right away. Just ask Marcus Semien.

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1 hour ago, zisk said:

Sosa will be a fine hitter. TLR would only play him once every 3-4 days, and it's hard enough to

adjust to the majors as it is. He hits the ball hard and he can play defense. Sosa 's also 22 years old 

and basically free. The Sox always trade guys who don't hit right away. Just ask Marcus Semien.

How much have you seen Sosa play in the minor leagues?

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On 9/28/2022 at 8:41 AM, Look at Ray Ray Run said:

As a former Rick Hahn stan, I blasted and ridiculed Kenny Williams at every turn. Every bad choice made by the organization was Kenny's fault, every good one was Rick. Looking back after a decade of control, it's fair to say that the White Sox would be better off with Kenny Williams in charge and it's not even close.

Kenny took over the GM role in 2000. He held that job until 2012. In the 12 years that Kenny Williams was in control of the White Sox, the White Sox were:

1109-998 (.526 WP%). They made the playoffs three times and won the World Series once. Here's the kicker though, under the current playoff format, they would have made the playoffs SIX times in 13 years. The White Sox had three losing seasons in his tenure, with the worst being a 72 win season and two 79 win seasons. For all intents and purposes, Kenny Williams kept the White Sox competitive year in and year out, on a limited budget much of the time, and with a minimal investment in the farm system and international signings. Kenny worked around his owner who didn't give him the resources and made season after season exciting. 

Rick Hahn has been at the helm from 2012/13-2022. In Rick Hahn's tenure, the White Sox are:

695-814 (.460 WP%). They made the playoffs twice, one in the COVID shortened season. They have had TWO winnings seasons and 7 losing seasons. They had four seasons with 72 wins or fewer (that was Kenny's worst season in charge), and this was with a bigger investment in international players, a larger investment in technology and the farm system, and a top 5 payroll this past season. 

Rick Hahn is a contract negotiator and that's it; he's not a baseball guy. He doesn't know how to build a team to compete, and he doesn't know how to maintain any form of sustained competitiveness. While Tony LaRussa obviously needs to be fired, I wanted to right a wrong here today. The blame for this season is on Tony AND Rick. His insistence on paying bullpen arms and investing his resources there is inexcusable. Allowing 2B and RF to be in the bottom three in baseball in WAR when he knew it was a weakness is unforgivable. The White Sox weren't unlucky, they were poorly managed and badly prepared for the expected outcomes of their players in regards to health and longevity.

Kenny Williams wasn't the best GM in baseball, but he was a guy who put a competitive product on the field nearly every year for over a decade. He would have made the playoffs nearly 50% of his seasons under the new format, and truly only had one atrocious season. 

Kenny was better than Hahn, and it's not close. The Hahn excuse makers are some of the weirdest people in baseball to me. They are still making excuses for that bozo - blaming Kenny and TLR for his failures, yet Kenny Williams was 100% more successful than Rick Hahn as a GM, so if anything... we should be giving credit for the good moves to Kenny and the bad ones to Slick Rick; because criticism slides right off Rick.

The other thing in KWs favor here is the CBAs post-Kenny were much more favorable to a JR-led team. JR loves cost-certainty above all else. KW's drafts were hamstrung to the suggested slot while the teams around had no such problem. The international system got much more formal. Both should have helped, and honestly it is hard to tell if drafting got better under Hahn or if draft positioning did.

Now...it's absolutely inexcusable what KW did with international. The sox were coming off a decade where they found Carlos Lee and Ordonez. 

But again you can see where JR sucks. I'm sure he saw the success of Alexei, Iguchi, Takatsu and was like "oh we're spending $4 million on teenagers when we could just get real ball players" and that led into the Hahn era.

The great irony of Hahn is definitely going to be how his org probably signed the most WAR out of international of any team with Abreu, Tatis, and Robert during the 2000s, but even then I'm sure Braves will top it. The team the sox should be.

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15 hours ago, Chicago White Sox said:

The difference between KW & Hahn is Kenny could actually scout talent.  And during Kenny’s era that was enough to be successful.  

The problem with Rick is he can neither scout talent or build a quality top to bottom organization.  Having the smallest analytics department is an absolute joke if you’re not a legit talent evaluator.  It’s really that simple unfortunately.

I think the big shift in white sox fortunes was the edge that KW had over other GMs was he had great pro scouting for players that still had something left in the tank and had just been injured or down years. 

I think what would be attributed to the increase in Fastball velocity has led to a faster decline of veterans. KW really relied on FA plug-ins and guys being pushed out by new talent. He also took advantage of those "blocked" by vets (CQ, to a much, much lower extent D'angelo Jimenez). I think that wouldn't happen now, as the teams would instead deal the vet and take the younger player.

But, of course it could all just be that hahn was worse at it. There was still players like DJ Lemaheiu nabbed by yanks. There was still players like Zobrist. There was still players like Daniel Murphy with Nats. There was still Nelson Cruz.

Older, 2nd contract players made some big impacts still. Hahn being a ineffectual in drafting and Intl meant he had to hit in FA, and instead he brought us:

Jeff keppinger
Melky Cabrera
Jimmy Rollins
Cody Asche
Edwin Encarnacion
Jon Jay
Adam LaRoche

He bought low on Brett Lawrie, Nomar Mazara, Yonder Alonso, 

sorry I have to stop this is too painful.

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17 hours ago, HoosierSox said:

Do the Sox win the world series without Podsedniks heroics? Ended up being a good trade in the end.

You know, I may have unintentionally said something smart there, in spite of myself.  The key is roster construction.  We had too many power hitters and no leadoff man.  Lee for Pods fixed that, even though on paper it was a trade down.  Then KW added a good bat handler with a little power to bat behind him (Tadahito).  Everyone in the lineup could hurt you with the bat.  Ozzie trotted out the same lineup every day and didn't worry about being rested for the playoffs.  

Right now they have an abundance of DH types and a bunch of holes to fill.  Could a smart GM do something with that?  Wish we had a smart GM.

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31 minutes ago, EloyJenkins said:

I was a Hahn guy until THIS season. f*** him and his obsession with overpriced relievers and "seat at the table" BS. Clean house completely or this rebuild is going to be a study in GM school for what not to do the next 50 years. 

Do we have any recent precedent for a rebuild failing as spectacularly as the Sox one has? This sure isn't a KC, Cubs, Atlanta, or Houston style rebuild. I guess the Pirates rebuild from 2013 to 2015 is the closest comparision? 

This Sox rebuild really reminds me of the Cleveland Browns from 4-5 years ago when they made the cover of Sports Illustrated. They had a supposed can't miss core of Mayfield, OBJ, Landry, and Myles Garret.  The Browns didn't win jack with that core just like the Sox. 

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Quite frankly, KW lost me after 2005 with how he treated Frank. I was actually happy when he gave up GM duties.

I doubt we will ever really know who makes roster decisions for this team. I was in on the rebuild because it was a nice departure to the fantasy league style GM we had been employing since 2005. Old habits die hard. It’s still been plug and play since they traded Q and Sale.

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12 minutes ago, LittleHurtCG said:

Do we have any recent precedent for a rebuild failing as spectacularly as the Sox one has? This sure isn't a KC, Cubs, Atlanta, or Houston style rebuild. I guess the Pirates rebuild from 2013 to 2015 is the closest comparision? 

This Sox rebuild really reminds me of the Cleveland Browns from 4-5 years ago when they made the cover of Sports Illustrated. They had a supposed can't miss core of Mayfield, OBJ, Landry, and Myles Garret.  The Browns didn't win jack with that core just like the Sox. 

The Tigers say "hold my beer".  Their rebuild started around the same time as the Sox, depending on when you define the Sox start date.  92 losses so far this year.

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36 minutes ago, LittleHurtCG said:

Do we have any recent precedent for a rebuild failing as spectacularly as the Sox one has? This sure isn't a KC, Cubs, Atlanta, or Houston style rebuild. I guess the Pirates rebuild from 2013 to 2015 is the closest comparision? 

This Sox rebuild really reminds me of the Cleveland Browns from 4-5 years ago when they made the cover of Sports Illustrated. They had a supposed can't miss core of Mayfield, OBJ, Landry, and Myles Garret.  The Browns didn't win jack with that core just like the Sox. 

I mean, the phillies and padres haven't exactly been poster children of a rebuild. The year we are having now was basically the same thing that they went through last year. Same with phils. Philly still might not make the playoffs, and Padres are gonna be, what...a 90 win team. 

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For the second year in a row the Rays’ affiliates finished with the best organizational winning percentage (.593). It was a tough season for the White Sox, Royals, and A’s affiliates, which didn’t have a single club finish above .500 this year

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16 minutes ago, ThirdGen said:

Verlander, JD Martinez, Justin Upton, Ian Kinsler all in their prime were as good trade chips and the Sox had.

No, they weren't. Not even close to Sale and Quintana - affordable, under control for multiple year, young pitchers? 

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3 hours ago, bmags said:

I mean, the phillies and padres haven't exactly been poster children of a rebuild. The year we are having now was basically the same thing that they went through last year. Same with phils. Philly still might not make the playoffs, and Padres are gonna be, what...a 90 win team. 

Without their best player for the entire year…until Soto proves he’s a 900-1050 ops guy again at least.


Mariners and Jays have become the recent trend setters for rebuilding.

Orioles are jumping into that spotlight as well, along with the Guardians, of course.

TB is rebuilding/retooling each and every season.

 

Can’t say the Cubs’ run was anything but great…albeit front loaded.

Brewers quietly would have five consecutive postseason appearances, totally under the radar ever since Yelich forgot how to play like an MVP.

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3 hours ago, Balta1701 said:

No, they weren't. Not even close to Sale and Quintana - affordable, under control for multiple year, young pitchers? 

Kinsler was nearly finished.  Upton just a name at that point, Martinez clearly aging as well as a former catcher.  Verlander, nobody knew he would be THIS good in his 30’s.

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Just noticed Bryce Harper has “only” 63 rbi’s.  What’s his fWAR as a DH this year?

Would we have still won the division with him off the field…still forcing Vaughn, Eloy, Sheets, Pollock into places where they were out of position?

 

Tigers are lapping the Royals here at the end.  Didn't see that coming, but Moore leaving is like pulling out the very foundation of that team…

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12 minutes ago, caulfield12 said:

Just noticed Bryce Harper has “only” 63 rbi’s.  What’s his fWAR as a DH this year?

Would we have still won the division with him off the field…still forcing Vaughn, Eloy, Sheets, Pollock into places where they were out of position?

 

Tigers are lapping the Royals here at the end.  Didn't see that coming, but Moore leaving is like pulling out the very foundation of that team…

That's in 92 games.

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