Chicago White Sox general manager Rick Hahn spoke to media prior to Monday’s game at Guaranteed Rate Field, responding to criticism from former White Sox pitcher Keynan Middleton about the team's culture.
Middleton began the season on the White Sox before being traded to the New York Yankees last week at the MLB trade deadline. He told ESPN's Jesse Rogers that the team "came in with no rules."
"I don't know how you police the culture if there are no rules or guidelines to follow because everyone is doing their own thing," Middleton said. "Like, how do you say anything about it because there are no rules?
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"You have rookies sleeping in the bullpen during the game. You have guys missing meetings. You have guys missing PFPs (pitcher fielding practices), and there are no consequences for any of this stuff."
Hahn addressed Middleton's comments, which were reportedly corroborated to ESPN by multiple sources, directly.
"Quite frankly, it's a little bit ironic that Keynan's the one saying this because my last conversation with him face to face was a week ago in this clubhouse where he sought me out to apologize for his unprofessional behavior – unprofessional behavior that Pedro [Grifol] had called him out on and had an individual meeting with him about, and Keenan wanted to apologize for," Hahn said. "I told him at the time I figured that was a one off and not something that anyone need to get into greater detail of. And he shared that he understood there was a trade deadline coming up and that if we moved him, he would be very interested in returning to us as a free agent.
"As for the content of the report, unfortunately, I mentioned to you a few weeks ago that there's going to probably be some palace intrigue around here, and you had to be careful about sourcing and what kind of information was out there and who was saying what and not getting both sides."
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Hahn then denied reports that a pitcher was sleeping in the bullpen during a game and that there were no consequences for players skipping practice.
"No one in this organization for the last several weeks has run from the fact that we've had cultural issues and we need to improve the leadership in that room," Hahn said. "We're going to continue to strive to get better in that area. But one thing we're not going to do is stand idly by while false reports are put out there about the character of the men that remain in that room."