Jerry Reinsdorf

How did Jerry Reinsdorf conclude on the dismissal of Rick Hahn, Kenny Williams?

In arguably the hardest firings of his career, Reinsdorf opted for a fresh start with the White Sox

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In a surprise move before the end of the 2023 season, the White Sox decided to dismiss General Manager Rick Hahn and Executive Vice President Kenny Williams from their respective duties.

How did they arrive at that conclusion?

"Well, I made the decision a couple of days before we announced it," said White Sox Chairman Jerry Reinsdorf to the media on Thursday. "But I bet I spent a month thinking about it and talking to people inside and outside the organization. And I considered, you know a variety of alternatives.

"One alternative was to do nothing. Another was to keep Kenny and let Rick go, and another was to keep Rick and let Kenny go, and another one was to let them both go. And I came to the conclusion that it'd be better to let them both go and have a fresh start."

This wasn't an easy decision to make for the White Sox' primary owner.

"And a change killed me because it wouldn't have been any harder for me to fire my son, Michael, than it was to fire Kenny because Kenny was my son and is still my son," Reinsdorf said.

Reinsdorf's connection to Williams is rare.

The two go back a ways. Reinsorf purchased the White Sox organization in 1981 for $19 million. Williams, then a prospect in the organization's rookie league, joined their farm system in 1982.

Williams played three years in the major leagues for the White Sox between 1986-89. After finishing his playing career in 1991, he immediately joined the White Sox' front office as a scout. By 2000, he was the general manager of the White Sox, then executive vice president in 2012.

To underline the proximity of Reinsdorf and Williams' relationship, Williams' father told his son on his deathbed he would be in good hands without him.

"You have a second father," Williams' father said his son alluding to Reinsdorf, according to the latter on Thursday.

Still, the White Sox move forward, this time without Williams or Hahn.

They named Chris Getz, former assistant general manager and leader of minor league operations, the new general manager. He will run baseball operations on his own, with the assistance of an advisor, if he chooses to hire one.

The White Sox are embarking on a fresh start. But make no mistake, Reinsdorf's confidence in Wiliams and Hahn still exists, even after he dismissed both of them.

"I still think they [Hahn and Williams] could have brought it back," Reinsdorf said. "But all right, the record is the record. And the best thing to do is to start fresh."

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