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Rick Hahn's subtle shift starts setting stage for changes

White Sox general manager lays track for turnover if team can't turn it around

Troy Taormina-USA TODAY Sports

Rick Hahn's answers are hard to encapsulate in 160 characters, so whenever the White Sox general manager makes a point with a direct quote that fits in a tweet, it tends to come out in bulk.

One of those phrases on Wednesday was, "We're all in this together." Daryl Van Schouwen tweeted it. Scot Gregor tweeted it. Doug Padilla tweeted it. The White Sox themselves tweeted it.

But he said the same thing last month, so that didn't strike me as especially meaningful -- unless it was in his delivery, which I doubted:

But I looked at the video because I am a hero vanguard professional, and yeah, I was inevitably disappointed. Hahn does sound more worn down. He's jumped from stressing patience from fans to taking their side, more or less. There isn't a combination of three words that comes close to "threshold of Hell," though. Pffffffffffffffffft.

Yet upon revisiting, this answer is indeed different because of the whopper of a conditional clause that follows:

"We are all in this together. Until a player is traded or there’s been a change on the staff or in the front office or with an advanced scout or whatever, we are all in this 100 percent together. We are all accountable together and we are all doing everything in our energy and efforts to put ourselves in the best position to win. Should we get to the point where any of that changes, you’ll know and we’ll explain why."

You might remember last month, when Micah Johnson was optioned to Charlotte. Hahn said Johnson was "the right guy" on a Tuesday, and sent him down on a Thursday. The writing was on the wall, but Hahn was cornered on the topic before he could make the change, so he admitted that he had to opt for misdirection to buy a little time, which is something he doesn't want to do often, because peddling a stream of BS to people is seldom charming.

Here we have what PR types call "getting out in front of a story." He deflected a question about Robin Ventura to get him out of the crosshairs, but he's still theoretically a possible suspect after Hahn widened the scope of the investigation.

To change metaphors in the middle of the stream, the region is now under a professional tornado watch. There isn't any specific reason to believe that Ventura or anybody else is on the outs soon, but the conditions are conducive for it, so heads up. The Sox could drop the news at any point, and he could say, "I said I'd let you know, so now you know. I am a strong man! Anyone in this office take a run at me!"

Based on recent performance and how teams usually operate, one could easily make the case for a dismissal (see the Padres and Bud Black). But what ails the Sox seems too daunting for a shot-in-the-dark shot in the arm, and Hahn says the trade market has picked up after the draft, so I'm guessing that the evaluation of and action on the management staff will take place once he has a good idea of the team he needs managed the rest of the year.

That's subject to change based on how dismal the current product looks, though. This team has lost six straight while scoring a total of three runs over their last four games, and neither are out of character based on what we know of the 2015 White Sox. When there's nothing to cheer for on the field, it makes it increasingly easy to root for the tornado.