Sep 28, 2012; Chicago, IL, USA; Chicago White Sox players celebrate after the final out of the ninth inning against the Tampa Bay Rays at US Cellular Field. The White Sox won 3-1. Mandatory Credit: Dennis Wierzbicki-US PRESSWIRE

A new White Sox era begins

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The title of course, is in reference to Southside Showdown.  This week has been my first as co-editor of the site, and eeeeeh, I think it’s gone pretty well.

Obviously, Matt and I working here full-time paves the way for a lot more content on the site.  One might even call the new set-up “a powerhouse of content”.  I would not, because that sounds a little forced, but there will be a lot more stuff to read through.

It’ll be almost like if someone added the content of White Sox Observer and Southside Showdown together.  It’ll be a lot like that.  It will be that.  That is what happened.

Be sure to keep a look out for the right rail of the site, or The Hub.  The feature allows us to share links and info, and generally give you a look into what we’re reading.  Or more cynically, it allows us to dictate to you what you should be reading.  In either case, I plan on updating it vigilantly.  For starters, it occurred to me that there might be some people who have never read Paul Jackson’s piece on the 10-cent beer night in Cleveland.  That is up there now, because it is the greatest.

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The White Sox are also having a transition of their own that you may have heard some reference made to.  Friday will witness the official press conference to announce the ascension of Rick Hahn to the GM chair, while Kenny Williams is put out to stud as a higher-ranking executive in the organization.

Optimism abounds over Hahn, who has been twice named by Sports Illustrated as the top GM candidate available, praised for his contract negotiating skills, and says the magic words about combining scouting and sabermetrics.

But conclusions about what the Sox will be under Hahn are acting without much hard evidence.  How much autonomy he’ll have from Williams is debatable. How much autonomy he already had from Williams is debatable. Since he spent the 2011 off-season turning down interviews for GM jobs with Houston and Baltimore, Will Carroll of Sports Illustrated postulated that this could be just “a lateral move” for Hahn.

Hahn’s open to advanced analytics, but the GM that isn’t is a mythical creature at this point.  And if you really want cold water thrown on the Hahn transition, here’s a link to him speaking positively to the thought process behind the Scott Linebrink contract and the Mark Kotsay/Andruw Jones DH platoon.

There’s still every reason to expect Hahn to be competent and qualified for his new position.  There’s also every reason to suspect from 2010 episodes of “The Club” that Williams needed to be pulled out of the chair at some point before his heart exploded, but it’s a waiting game to assess the significance of any of the shuffling.

That goes for all of us, including A.J. Pierzynski, who claims to have not heard a word on his contract status thus far.  Of course, it would have been fairly surprising if Pierzynski had some to share on the matter already, especially since the Sox have likely not taken any action prior to shifting around their organizational hierarchy.

A.J.’s doubt that anything will change about their process is worth noting…

“It’s still the same two people in charge, from what I hear,” Pierzynski said Thursday from the World Series, where he is doing color work for Fox. “They just have different titles.”

…even if the best part of Dave Van Dyck’s article is almost being able to see A.J.’s eyes rolling upon discussing the Williams/Hahn preference for dressed-up terminology.

“I’d love to come back,” he said. “At the same time, I also know they have other question marks on their roster, as far as payroll and, ‘allocation of resources.’ That’s a phrase the White Sox like to use.”

I imagine that phrase isn’t going anywhere.

 

Follow James Fegan on Twitter @JRFegan

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Tags: Chicago White Sox Kenny Williams Rick Hahn

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