Tuesday, December 4, 2012
New titles, same Williams-Hahn teamwork
By Bruce Levine
NASHVILLE, Tenn. -- Chicago White Sox senior vice president Kenny Williams and general manager Rick Hahn are working on adjusting to their new roles during this critical time of year.
“I called Rick about a week ago and asked if my input should be more or less than it has been,” said Williams, who was previously the GM. “He told me straight out I need you to be more involved. I said OK and rolled up my sleeves. To be honest about it, I was glad he asked me to get more into it. I was getting a little bored.”
Hahn took over as GM from Williams in late October. Since that time Hahn has begun to put together his 2013 team, which is slowly evolving.
“It is not entirely different than things were before,” Hahn said. “When we are together as a group everyone speaks up. That has not changed and anyone in our group speaks up against ideas. Kenny is just as vocal in these meetings as he was when he was leading the group.”
The two top executives under chairman Jerry Reinsdorf have had a great relationship since 2001, when they began their front office journey together.
“I’d be foolish not to use (Williams), given the resource he is,” Hahn said. “I have run just about everything that has come through my head -- good or bad -- I’ve run it by (Williams) to get his perspective on it. His opinion is valued and I am going to continue to seek Kenny’s (opinion) out. I am going to continue to encourage Kenny to be as aggressive and creative with his thinking.”
In Williams’ new role he will be involved in all phases of the franchise’s affairs, but will retain a high profile in the baseball department. A scout who knows both men said he thinks Hahn will continue to think outside the box like Williams did, and also believes that Hahn will depend more on his scouting staff’s opinion than the gut reactions that Williams became well known for.
“I think we are a nice compliment to each other,” Hahn said. “I might sometimes get caught up in being methodical and looking at my options from every angle, and he is real good at looking at the big picture and the big-impact move. Together over the years we have done all right.”