White Sox GM Hahn defends predecessor Williams

White Sox GM Hahn defends predecessor Williams

White Sox GM Hahn defends predecessor Williams

CHICAGO -- When a season goes as wrong as the 2013 campaign has for the White Sox, it's usually easy to find targets or scapegoats as the cause for underachievement.

How about hitters who have dipped below their career norm? Or a defense that was the best in baseball in 2012 and arguably the worst in '13?

Or how about Ken Williams, the general manager of the White Sox for 12 years, who now serves as executive vice president?

The argument goes that Williams left a depleted farm system along with bad free-agent contracts and trades that didn't work in the team's favor. Williams was asked about such criticism in August, and he said that he did the best that he could for as long he could, always trying to make that extra push toward a championship effort, like 2005.

Current general manager Rick Hahn, who served as Williams' assistant before moving into his new role, doesn't buy the idea that Williams left him in a bad position.

"First of all, he didn't leave," Hahn told MLB.com of Williams. "He's still here. He left the position of general manager with a club that was in first place for [117] days. He left us in a position to have a nine-digit payroll. You are not going to hear any gripes about the condition he left us in.

"Obviously, a lot has been written, and we have said a lot about the caliber of our starting pitching. That has to be part of the legacy of what was left behind or however you want to describe it. That's a big positive and an envy of a lot of different organizations. So I don't get too caught up in that."

Scott Merkin is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Merk's Works, and follow him on Twitter @scottmerkin. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.