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The Chicago White Sox have fired executive vice president Ken Williams and senior vice president/general manager Rick Hahn, the team announced Tuesday. The decision was made by club owner Jerry Reinsdorf. The White Sox enter Tuesday with a 49-76 record, obviously well out of the playoff race after winning the AL Central in 2021 and then finishing 81-81 last season. 

"This is an incredibly difficult decision for me to make because they are both talented individuals with long-term relationships at the White Sox," Reinsdorf said in a statement. "Ken is like a son to me, and I will always consider him a member of my family. I want to personally thank Ken and Rick for all they have done for the Chicago White Sox, winning the 2005 World Series and reaching the postseason multiple times during their tenures. I have nothing but the greatest respect for them as people and appreciate the commitment and passion for the White Sox they exhibited over the years.

"Ultimately, the well-worn cliché that professional sports is results-oriented is correct. While we have enjoyed successes as an organization and were optimistic heading into the competitive window of this rebuild, this year has proven to be very disappointing for us all on many levels. This has led me to the conclusion that the best decision for the organization moving forward is to make a
change in our baseball department leadership."  

The team statement noted that White Sox plan to hire a "single decision maker to lead the baseball operations department" and that they anticipate making this hire before the end of the season. In the next several days, we'll likely start to hear reports of the White Sox meeting with candidates to take over. It is notable that assistant general managers Jeremy Haber and Chris Getz have retained their jobs. Further, first-year manager Pedro Grifol is safe for the rest of the 2023 season, according to USA Today

Williams, 59, was general manager from 2000-12 before he was promoted to the role of executive vice president. He was the GM who put together the 2005 World Series championship team.

Hahn worked in the White Sox front office starting in 2002 and was promoted to GM when Williams was himself promoted. 

The World Series is obviously a gigantic deal and Williams -- and to a lesser extent, Hahn -- deserves a lot of credit for that. Still, we're nearing 20 years since then and the bottom line is the White Sox haven't been a very successful baseball franchise for a while. Since that World Series title, the White Sox have only made the playoffs in 2008, 2020 and 2021. They didn't advance a round in any of those years, either, losing three games to one in the ALDS twice and two games to one in the 2020 Wild Card Series. 

Meanwhile, this will very likely be the seventh time in the last 11 seasons that they've finished in either fourth or fifth place in the AL Central. Since the 2005 World Series, they've had a winning record just six times. Since 2012, they are 834-970, which ranks 26th in the majors. 

In the market of Chicago, that just isn't even close to acceptable and Reinsdorf pointed out the results-oriented nature of Major League Baseball. Though it personally might have been a very tough decision for Reinsdorf, from a baseball perspective, this was a move that needed to happen for the betterment of the White Sox.