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White Sox promote Hahn to GM, Williams to executive VP

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White Sox promote Hahn to GM, Williams to executive VP

Kenny Williams' 12-year run as the White Sox general manager comes to an end on Friday morning as he and assistant general manager Rick Hahn have both been promoted.
Already a senior vice president, Williams, 48, who in 2005 led the Sox to their first World Series title in 88 years, maintains his title and takes over as the head of the franchises baseball operations department.
Williams' promotion also affords the White Sox the ability to retain Hahn, 41, who has spent 12 seasons as the clubs assistant general manager.
Hahn, who has played a heavy role in contract negotiations since he joined the franchise in 2000, shortly after Williams was named general manager, was widely considered one of baseballs top general manager candidates. Both Sports Illustrated and Baseball America have identified Hahn as a top general manager candidate in the past three years and his name has been linked to several job openings over the past few seasons.
The moves arent unexpected, as a report surfaced in September that both men would be elevated to their new roles. Williams didnt deny the report but instead said he preferred the focus remained on the field, where the White Sox were in contention until the final week of the season.
Hahn, a Winnetka, Ill. native who has degrees from the University of Michigan, Harvard Law School and Northwesterns Kellogg Graduate School of Management, has a busy offseason ahead.
The franchise holds club options on Jake Peavy, Kevin Youkilis, Brett Myers and Gavin Floyd while veteran catcher A.J. Pierzynski is scheduled to become a free agent at the conclusion of the 2012 World Series. Two everyday position players -- Gordon Beckham and Alejandro De Aza -- are also arbitration eligible for the first time. The White Sox have committed already 72.25 million in salary to seven players on next seasons 25-man roster.
Only four general managers have held their posts longer than Williams: San Franciscos Brian Sabean, Colorados Dan ODowd, Oaklands Billy Beane and the New York Yankees Brian Cashman.
With 85 wins this season under newly hired manager Robin Ventura, the White Sox finished better than .500 for the ninth time in Williams' 12 campaigns. The club not only won the 2005 World Series with a four-game sweep of the Houston Astros, but also won a division title in 2008. Williams earned 1,014 victories as general manager.
Williams acquired 171 players in 72 trades involving the major league roster in 12 seasons, including three this season -- Youkilis, Myers and Francisco Liriano.

Blackhawks Talk Podcast: Reacting to Round 1 of NHL Draft

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USA TODAY

Blackhawks Talk Podcast: Reacting to Round 1 of NHL Draft

On the latest Hawks Talk Podcast, Pat Boyle and Charlie Roumeliotis recap Round 1 of the 2018 NHL Draft.

They discuss the pair of puck-carrying defensemen that the Blackhawks selected on Friday, Adam Boqvist and Nicolas Beaudin. When can we expect to see these first-round picks play in the NHL?

Boyle also goes 1-on-1 with Boqvist and Beaudin. The guys spoke with Stan Bowman and Joel Quenneville on Friday.

The guys also share their biggest takeaways from those interviews, which includes your daily Corey Crawford update and Quenneville appeared excited that the team has plenty of cap space to spend in free agency.

Listen to the full episode at this link or in the embedded player below:

It's only one start, but that's the Lucas Giolito that White Sox fans expected to see this season

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USA TODAY

It's only one start, but that's the Lucas Giolito that White Sox fans expected to see this season

The preseason expectations and the results have been drastically different for Lucas Giolito.

Expected to be the best pitcher on the White Sox starting staff, Giolito hasn’t come too close to that title, instead heading into Friday’s doubleheader with the most earned runs allowed of any pitcher in baseball. His walk total has been among the highest in the game all year long, too. And the calls from social media to send him down to Triple-A haven’t been at all infrequent.

But Friday, White Sox fans got a glimpse at what they expected, a look at the guy who earned so much hype with a strong September last season and a dominant spring training.

It wasn’t a performance that would make any reasonable baseball person’s jaw drop. But it was the best Giolito has looked this season. He still allowed four runs on seven hits — as mentioned, not a Cy Young type outing — but he struck out a season-high eight batters. Prior to giving up the back-to-back singles to start the eighth inning that brought an end to his evening, he’d surrendered just two runs.

Most importantly he walked just two guys and didn’t seem to struggle with his command at all. That’s a big deal for a pitcher who had 45 walks to his name prior to Friday.

“You know it was a tough eighth inning, but throughout the whole game, I felt in sync,” Giolito said. “(Catcher Omar Narvaez) and I were working really well, finally commanding the fastball the way I should. Definitely the best I felt out there this year, for sure. Velocity was up a tick. Just felt right, felt in sync. Just competed from there.”

Confidence has never left Giolito throughout the poor results, and he’s talked after every start about getting back on the horse and giving it another try. Consistently working in between starts, things finally seemed to click Friday night.

“It all worked today,” manager Rick Renteria said. “(Pitching coach Don Cooper) says that every bullpen has gotten better, from the beginning to this point. He sees progress. The velocity that he showed today was something that Coop was seeing in his work. You can see that his delivery is continuing to improve. He was trusting himself, really attacking the strike zone, trusted his breaking ball today when he need to and just tried to command as much as he could. Did a nice job.”

Giolito went through this kind of thing last year, when he started off poorly at Triple-A Charlotte with a 5.40 ERA through his first 16 starts. But then things got better, with Giolito posting a 2.78 ERA over his final eight starts with the Knights before getting called up to the big leagues.

This was just one start, of course, but perhaps he can follow a similar formula this year, too, going from a rough beginning to figuring things out.

“I’m not trying to tinker or think about mechanics anymore,” he said. “It’s about flow, getting out there and making pitches. We were able to do that for the most part.

“I’ll watch video and see certain things, and I have little cues here and there. But I’m not going to go and overanalyze things and nitpick at certain stuff anymore. It’s about going there and having fun and competing.”

Maybe that’s the secret. Or maybe this is simply a brief flash of brilliance in the middle of a tough first full season in the bigs.

Whatever it was, it was the best we’ve seen of Giolito during the 2018 campaign. And it was far more like what was expected back before that campaign got going.