Chicago White Sox fans have no idea what the future holds for this team. All they know right now is that one of the biggest problems is finally gone. Kenny Williams took over the organization in 2000. Since then, the team has made the playoffs five times in 23 years. They’ve won 90 or more games four times. People talk about 2005 and how he brought Sox fans a World Series title. This is true. He does deserve credit for that. However, he also deserves blame for failing to sustain that success in the years following.
Now, the White Sox are in the midst of their worst season since the late 1970s. Team owner Jerry Reinsdorf has seen enough, canning both Williams and GM Rick Hahn for the fiasco. Chris Getz has taken over all baseball operations. As if the floodgates have opened, you’re hearing people come forward with wild stories about Williams. Specifically his incredible ego and paranoia. One such person is Ryan McGuffey, the head White Sox producer at NBC Sports Chicago.
He shared a personal story from 2022 that perfectly sums up the personality Williams was.
Kenny Williams is a perfect encapsulation of a Reinsdorf Special.
It’s remarkable how the White Sox owner seems to find these guys. For all their ability to identify talent, they are so pitiful when it comes to fostering a positive team culture that they invariably underachieve. Williams isn’t the only example. Gar Forman with the Chicago Bulls was another. Even Jerry Krause had that same reputation back in the 1990s. All those guys were interested in the same thing. Claiming the credit when things went well and letting others take the fall when things went wrong.
It’s no wonder so many people hated Kenny Williams. The hilarious part is that rant to McGuffey last year blew up in his face. The White Sox went on to lose 10 of their next 13 games, completely derailing their hopes of making a run at the playoffs. They finished 81-81, a massively disappointing finish after back-to-back playoff runs. Tony La Russa got most of the blame for that fiasco, but it became apparent the rot went far higher than that. Fittingly, Williams became exactly what he’d made other people for years.
A sacrificial lamb.