Much as anyone who writes about the White Sox would love to be able to never again type the name “Rick Hahn,” the GM is the gift that keeps on giving as he plunges the team and himself into the abyss.
Hahn’s press conference this week was a gem of lawyerly obfuscation and character assassination, with so much material a couple of rather important points got missed by the reporters.
First, though, the cause for the conference
Hahn came out of his den to meet the media because of Keynan Middleton’s statements about culture rot in the White Sox. He countered the accusation by accusing Middleton of an unknown something or other that the reliever had allegedly apologized about. He did not counter Lance Lynn’s brilliantly silent agreement with any and all of the original accusations.
Just to make sure Middleton knew Attila the Hahn was coming after him, when Middleton came into the game against the Yankees Wednesday night, his name never appeared on the scoreboard. Ergo, he no longer exists. Smooth move, White Sox.
Of course, when it comes to culture rot, it was Hahn who decided to spend $12 million to bring onboard a clubhouse poison so notorious his teammates once said they would quit if he wasn’t traded or unloaded.
But that’s been covered. Let’s go to the mostly unreported parts.
Let’s throw a whole bunch of guys under a bus!!!
It is appropriate that the graphic shows six victims of bus throwing, because that’s how many Hahn lined up and tossed, just to show what a jerk he is.
At one point in the conference the White Sox accusation-spewer-in-chief acknowledged there had been some clubhouse culture problems, but said they’d gotten rid of them. As in, just got rid of them. As in, at the trade deadline.
That’s a whole lot of bus throwing. Really more like Red Line throwing, in order to have enough room.
The White Sox traded seven players at the deadline. Middleton was presumably not included in the accusation, because he’d already been dealt with. That leaves Hahn accusing any and all of the other six of being bad teammates, only looking out for themselves.
Who was inevitably included in the accusation? Certainly not the poison he brought in. Instead, the possibilities are:
Quite the list of evildoeers, eh, wot? Could be any, could be all, that he’s talking about.
Maybe we should add a survey at the end of this column so you can place your bet on which one(s) Hahn means to character assassinate. He has a law degree from Harvard, so he must be speaking intelligently, right?
But that’s not all.
We move on to a wallow in pathetic-ness
At one point, a reporter dared to mention that some people might not think Hahn is the right person to putting the White Sox through yet another rebuild, or words of that sort.
That led to yet another great Rick Hahn humblebrag. To get to the part about how he’s not as stupid as people think he is now, he (very, very, humbly of course) allowed as how maybe he wasn’t as smart as he was being credited for when he was named Sporting News Baseball Executive of the Year.
See how he got that in? That was 2020, of course, when COVID helped end the seven years in the wilderness and the Sox finally had a winning record, thanks in large part to only playing 60 games, and only teams in the horrendous Central divisions — and a specious award like Executive of the Year often goes to turnarounds.
Of course, other than players, the major credit for the turnaround should have gone to Ricky Renteria, who came in second in AL Manager of the Year voting, a much more prestigious achievement, an achievement gained despite being stuck with neanderthal Don Cooper as his pitching coach, the very Ricky Renteria whom Hahn then fired, leading to the Hall-of-Famer Baseball Person fiasco.
It’s not like this was a one-off. Hahn has made reference to his little trophy before when questioned about something incompetent he’d just done. Only this time he even added a second award about being Chicago Sportsman of the Year or some such thing, which is apparently a title every TV or radio station or publication in the city throws out there for some reason, each maybe getting more desperate each time to find a new recipient.
Have you ever had a boss call you in on something negative, and you respond, “Well, yeah, I was incompetent to lose the McDonald’s account, but I was brilliant back in ought-eight when I reeled in the Fred’s Drive-Thru Empanadas, remember?”
The whole scene was so pathetic you have to wonder about Hahn at home:
Hahn: Hi, hon, I’m home.
Mrs. Hahn: Did you remember to bring the milk?
Hahn: Oh. I forgot.
Mrs. Hahn: That was dumb, I need that milk for this recipe I’m making for dinner.
Hahn: Well, maybe I wasn’t as smart as I was given credit for when I won that Sporting News Baseball Executive of the Year award, and maybe I’m not as dumb as you think I am now.
Hahn Son: Dad, did you ...
Well, you get the point.
Pitiful. Just pitiful.