Rick Hahn Conference Call...
Had the unique opportunity this morning (my time) to participate in a conference call with new White Sox G.M. Rick Hahn. Thanks to Marty Maloney and the White Sox for inviting White Sox Interactive to participate and thanks to Rick for letting us have a few minutes of his time. I don’t think Kenny ever consented to doing something like this, so the chance to be involved was very worthwhile.
A number of questions and issues were brought up in the 25 minute call. Here is a summary of them.
** When did the talk of transitioning to a new front office structure actually begin?
Rick answered that if he remembered correctly, Kenny first started mentioning it around 2008-2009. Kenny is an excellent talent evaluator and part of the reason for this was to put him in a position where he can best utilize that ability. Discussions about this got real serious about a year ago. Each person (JR, Rick, Kenny) had to be in a position where they were comfortable with the changes and most importantly to make sure that these changes were going to be good for the White Sox franchise.
**Now that you’re the G.M., does the position feel any different to you?
Rick said “other than the fact that I have to wear more ties, and I don’t like that” he said that in fact it does feel different, more than he originally anticipated. He said he still has Kenny around to discuss things and he was talking with him just before the conference call. He said he now understands how all encompassing the position is, that he’s trying to be even more diligent right now. In time he’s going to spread some of the responsibility around but at this point he’s trying to shoulder most of the work.
**You had discussions with the Mets and Angels about their G.M. positions, did you ever go into those with the idea the Sox position was your ‘fall back’ position, like your ‘ace in the hole’?
Rick said that he respected the process and didn’t feel he should comment on any talks he had in the past and because of that the media was free to speculate. He thought some of the comments about him with other organizations were exaggerated. Rick said he had a “fair amount” of informal meals with other people about openings but only once back in 2007 did anything get serious. Rick reiterated that he never assumed he was going to get the Sox G.M. position and that he’s working in his hometown which had more appeal for him and his family and that he’s got a real chance to win. Being here was better in his judgment than making a move someplace else.
Part - 2 coming right up.