For a good while there, I thought the most interesting note from Friday’s press conference announcing Rick Hahn’s ascent to the GM seat would be his proclivity for shifting side-to-side in his chair after drinks of water.
Kenny Williams pledged to be non-obstructionist as a newly-minted Executive Vice President, and said “You won’t see me get in his way,” but he and Hahn made sure to imply that they value each other’s perspective and opinion far too much for there to ever be a scenario where Hahn has to cram something down Williams’ throat.
Even if Hahn had a plan to grind down the older players into protein shakes that he would serve to Courtney Hawkins and Keon Barnum, it would be subject to workshopping from Kenny Williams and Jerry Reinsdorf. Checks and balances.
The main emphasis of the press conference announcing a change, was that there would not be much change. Hahn will continue to be a big part of the team’s contract negotiations, Marco Paddy will continue to expand the Latin American operations of the club, winning multiple World Series will continue to be the goal of the franchise.
That last one was oddly worded, since Williams said his goal was to win multiple championships during his tenure, and for Hahn to make that happen, he would need to utilize time travel. And the vibe of this press conference was really not in line with someone announcing there were about to travel in time to bolster their friend’s resume
My ears perked up the first time when Hahn was handed an opportunity by a questioner to identify poor attendance as a hindrance to the White Sox being competitive.
He passed on it.
“More resources would obviously be better,” Hahn said, “but we have enough to win.” It’s encouraging to hear the new GM decline to cry poor, if for no other reason than it would be an oddly pessimistic play during his first press conference, and an odd fit next to a recent move to cut ticket prices.
It would also have been odd fit next to his announcement that the Sox would be conservative in free agency, and possibly letting a lot of familiar faces walk away.
Hahn said he has talked to reps of all Sox FA. “I’m not overly optimistic we’ll be huge players in free agency” but will be looking 4value.
— Mark Gonzales (@MDGonzales) October 26, 2012
Speaking of cheap alternatives to expensive veteran free agents, Hahn also revealed on Friday that Tyler Flowers had a hairline fracture in his hand from the wayward Chris Perez fastball he absorbed during the second-to-last game of the season. That will keep Flowers from getting extra work in Winter Ball, which could have been useful if he’s to be a full-time catcher next season, but won’t mess with any other baseball activities beyond that.
Flowers’ injury, was an interesting bit of real news in a day that was very much avoiding such a classification otherwise.
Follow James Fegan on Twitter @JRFegan