clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile
Chicago White Sox Taxi Squad Workout

The problem with Chris Getz

And a reminder that under Jerry Reinsdorf, things can always get worse

Chris Getz with Garrett Crochet in 2020, when he already had defense of Omar Vizquel on his record.
| Ron Vesely/Getty Images

Content warning: this article discusses alleged sexual assault. It may be emotionally upsetting and difficult to read.

The White Sox are broken. They are on track for 100 losses, with very little hope on the horizon. And somehow off of the field, they are even worse.

This organization has routinely traded any sense of morality for mediocre performance. Jerry brought his buddy on to manage despite being investigated for a DUI. This offseason they rushed to sign an unwanted pitcher who was being investigated by the league for domestic and child abuse. Their long-tenured first base coach has been accused of sexual assault. Jerry’s loyalty is talked about all the time, but to what is he loyal? It certainly is not performance, nor is it character.

In steps Chris Getz. He has been named the head decision-maker for this struggling franchise. On the field, Getz’s qualifications are questionable at best; as head of player development, the farm system has floundered. What were supposed to be constant waves of talent have culminated in a drought. His baseball resume makes him unqualified to be the leader of a professional baseball team.

Off the field, it gets even worse.

In 2018 the White Sox named Omar Vizquel manager of the High-A Winston-Salem Dash, and after a successful campaign, he was moved up in 2019, along with many of his Dash players, to Double-A Birmingham Barons. During that season, it was alleged that he abused and sexually harassed the team batboy. In a lawsuit, the former batboy, who has autism, stated that he was “targeted for sexual harassment because of his disability.” It is alleged that Vizquel “repeatedly exposed his erect penis to [him] and forced [him] to wash his back in the shower.” Near the end of the 2019 season, the White Sox did an internal investigation and placed Vizquel on administrative leave. As a result of their investigation, they made the decision to move on from Vizquel.

On the day they fired Vizquel for allegedly sexual abusing a team employee, Getz chose to sidestep a “no comment” or be (rightfully) critical of the manager after a 64-72 year. Instead, the man responsible for bringing Omar in, who would have the biggest reason to be disappointed by him, had this to say:

“We felt that it was best for both sides to make a change. Listen, Omar, ultra-talented player, very good instructor, created a good environment for our players. We just felt with where things are at, our player development system, that it was time to go separate ways. But not only for himself, but for the organization as well and we wish Omar well. He was a positive influence while he was here.”

A positive influence.

While many organizations would fire the entire staff that allowed this alleged criminal behavior to take place, Getz and the White Sox went a different route. They moved the Birmingham bench coach from that season, Wes Helms, up to Charlotte to be the manager of the Triple-A Knights. He continued in that role until he was placed on an indefinite leave in May 2022. The White Sox stated that it was a “personnel issue.” In the lawsuit, Helms was accused of being one of six Birmingham staff members who were aware of the abuse and proceeded to mock the accuser.

Yes, Getz promoted a coach he knew was a willing participant in the sexual abuse of a vulnerable team employee.

This is Chris Getz’s legacy as head of player development. And soon he will be in charge of the entire organization. It will be another bad day for a franchise that’s had far too many.

New hires are supposed to provide hope that things can get better. With Jerry, they are a reminder that they can always get worse.

White Sox Game Recaps

Padres 3, White Sox 2: The bullpen takes, but bullpenning gives back

White Sox Gamethreads

Gamethread: Padres at White Sox

Sox Populi Podcast

Sox Populi Podcast 160 — The march to 100 losses