When Kenny was in Egypt-land...Let My Kenny GO!!! I know in some quarters it is anathema to advocate for the departure of Kenny Williams, but it is time. We will always have 2005, but that is a decade ago and as it stands right now, it might be another decade before the White Sox sniff a World Series, maybe even a post season. Think about it, the White Sox have not been to the post season in 6 seasons, soon to be 7. One might be tempted to say that Kenny hasn't presided over all of that time, but after his "Rick Hahn isn't to that level" discussion a month or so back it is obvious that he still has a great deal of influence on what is going on with the White Sox.
So in light of Kenny's recent comments about wanting to get back into the more day-to-day aspects of the game, I hope that the White Sox, namely Jerry Reinsdorf, let's Kenny go on the interviews. We've seen what Kenny can do and it's time to move on without him. Rick Hahn was given a lot of praise in March for his off-season moves, but we now know that they had to meet the approval of Williams and on up the chain. It leads to the suspicion that Hahn didn't have as free a hand as it seemed back in February. So what does a Rick Hahn team really look like? I would like to know.
Honestly, it might not look much different than what we have already seen. Rick has been a part of the White Sox organization for a long time, twelve seasons to be exact, so how much of an influence Williams has had is an area to be discovered. As long as Williams is around, however, we have to assume that it is still, ultimately, Kenny's team. A clean break is needed to see what is really there. If Williams stays we will probably be stuck with the same philosophical approach that we've seen since 2000.
If Williams is gone and not replaced by another middle-man between Reinsdorf and Hahn, then I think we'll get a better sense of what Hahn can or can't do. If another middle-man is brought in as another supervisor for Hahn, then I think we can pretty much assume that Reinsdorf doesn't trust Hahn with the keys to the clubhouse.
This seems like as good a place as any to discuss another idea that just doesn't seem to have any traction among White Sox fans. The only media member I've heard comment about it is Terry Boers. It is the idea of a complete rebuild. All I heard Boers say, well kind of mumbled in the background one day, was "they can't do that." I've heard that kind of sentiment before, usually making reference to the fan base and that they won't tolerate it. My question is: What fan base? Attendance has been pretty stagnant, again ranging in toward the bottom in the American League. Who is left to offend with a rebuild? The same goes for television ratings. Are there that many more sets to be turned away? I can't imagine the numbers would go that much lower, if at all.
Further, could a bunch of young players be any more painful to watch than the last two plus seasons? I think fans would be more forgiving of kids than seeing poor play by veterans who, one would think, would be better. What does make me concerned isn't the idea of a total rebuild, but of who would be presiding over it. The White Sox have not produced a stand-out position player since Frank Thomas. The drafts, other than pitching, have not been terribly impressive during Kenny's and now Rick Hahn's tenure. As much as I'd like to see the White Sox restructure everything like the Cubs, or the Astros, or even the Twins who seem to be on an upward trend again, I have very little faith that those in positions of influence and power within the White Sox organization can do it. Another way to say it: Do you think Jim Hendry could have, was capable of doing what Theo Epstein and Jed Hoyer did? Me neither.
So here we are, to steal a phrase from Hawk, in the dreaded in-between. There is no evidence that those in charge are capable of turning things around, and one lucky season doesn't prove me wrong. It's time to make changes and letting Kenny Williams move on and letting Rick Hahn have a real opportunity to shape the team, and really the organization, seems like a good place to start. I doubt there will be much reason to attend Soxfest this year.
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