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An open letter to Rick Hahn

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Please, please do not make us ashamed to be White Sox fans

General manager Rick Hahn of the Chicago White Sox watches an intrasquad game from the stands at Guaranteed Rate Field on July 9, 2020 in Chicago.
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Dear Mr. Hahn,

I hope you and your family are well and COVID-free.

Your decision to part ways with Ricky Renteria and Don Cooper has certainly perked the off-season interest of those of us who share White Sox fandom. I personally was neutral on Mr. Renteria’s future, but have long advocated the departure of Mr. Cooper, who has for too many years been living off the marvelous year of 2005 despite overwhelming evidence that he has done a poor job as pitching coach for almost a decade.

Thus, I join my many thousands of fellow Sox fans in looking forward to what the future may bring. However, a common interpretation of your remarks about the search for a new manager has me cringing in dismay and hoping ardently that such interpretations are erroneous.

Please, Mr. Hahn, please: Do not under any circumstances hire A.J. Hinch or Alex Cora.

It is bad enough that our nation has suffered four years of rampant dishonesty and massive cheating of all kinds. Please do not make White Sox fans suffer from having our escape from that reality also be the province of liars and cheaters.

To even consider such a possibility when you represent a team that has sustained the ignominy of a cheating scandal of another sort for a century is horrible, To carry through on it would be devastating.

Mr. Hinch and Mr. Cora were deeply involved in the cheating scandal of the Houston Astros, and I can assure you that fans of 29 teams excoriate that franchise because of their actions, or inactions, and Major League Baseball for not making the penalties larger. It was not a one-off of cheating, a sneak look back at the catcher’s position at a key moment in a critical game, it was systemic, and both Mr. Hinch and Mr. Cora were involved. Mr. Hinch compounded his compliance with the cheating by lying when initially publicly asked about the illicit activity and his knowledge of rules about such matters, admitting his participation by inaction only after the evidence against him and his team was overwhelming — and probably on the advice of his lawyers.

Baseball has tarred players who cheat for life. From Pete Rose to Barry Bonds and Mark McGwire and Sammy Sosa, those players are either officially or unofficially cast into disgrace. Somehow such strong action has not applied to the Astros, but that does not mean the White Sox, or any other team, should participate in reviving the careers of those involved.

I have been a Sox fan since first moving to Chicago half a century ago. My son has been indoctrinated in Soxdom from birth. The only occasion when we wavered from such fandom was in 1998, when the Sox obtained Albert Belle, already known as a particularly loathsome person. Fortunately, Mr. Belle was soon gone.

Should you decide to employ a known cheater, there would be much more wavering. I doubt fans would totally abandon the team, but there would always be an ugly taste in not doing so, and the fans of the other 29 teams would not fail to point out this grievous offense — well, 28 teams, because Houston fans would share the ignominy.

There are many, very viable alternatives.

I personally hope you will give strong consideration to Sandy Alomar Jr., who has had a long tutelage under one of the best, if not the best, of MLB managers, and who did well in taking over Cleveland for much of the 2020 season. There are also many other prospective managers who have experience in solid, winning organizations, including organizations that operate on limited budgets andhave proven adept at developing players, especially pitchers.

The manager himself does not have to be data-driven.

From your decision to let Omar Vizquel go, it is apparent you are especially interested in managers who are deeply immersed in modern data acquisition and usage. However, I hope you will not fail to consider managers who may not themselves be particularly analytical, but who will bring coaches who are, then add their own baseball knowledge and instincts before making decisions.

Be that as it may, Mr Hahn, there is only one absolutely critical thing: Please, please, do not employ Mr. Hinch or Mr. Cora. That would be utterly disgraceful.

Thank you for your time and consideration.

Yours in White Soxdom,
Leigh Allan