Sox likely to end team trend, make next manager outside hire originally appeared on NBC Sports Chicago
You might be able to do a little trimming from your White Sox managerial wish list.
While Rick Hahn only officially eliminated one person from contention to succeed Rick Renteria as the South Side skipper — former White Sox manager Ozzie Guillén — he might have indicated that a group of other potential candidates might not have a great chance at winning the gig, either.
"I think it will more than likely be someone from the outside," the general manager said Monday.
That's no 100-percent guarantee, of course, but it's a relatively strong statement considering how the White Sox have operated when it's come to managerial hires in the recent past. Guillén was a White Sox player for years before stepping into the manager's job. He was followed by Robin Ventura, another former star White Sox player. Renteria served as Ventura's bench coach in 2016 before taking over as manager in 2017.
The White Sox have somewhat famously leaned on former players and those with experience within the organization. Hahn said it's worth taking a different approach in this offseason's managerial search as the team steps into its contention window.
"We've obviously been somewhat insular in terms of our mangerial hirings over the last several years," Hahn said. "This is an opportunity for us to speak to individuals with other organizations that have had success and learn from them and get their sort of outsider objective perspective on our organization.
"We had to look at ourselves first about the way we did business and was there a way to get better. And again, the decisions today with regards to the staff and the conversations we've had with the staff members leading up to today are part of that process of trying to look at how we can get better. Part of that will be hearing from people who have had success with other organizations, not just ours."
The likelihood that the White Sox will end up hiring an outside candidate, then, can perhaps remove some potential candidates from the list of probable hires.
A.J. Pierzynski would have been a candidate to follow the popular path of a recently retired player spending some time in the broadcast booth — he's also a White Sox ambassador with an obvious relationship with the front office — and then being given a managerial shot.
Jim Thome is currently a special assistant to Hahn and has had a host of more involved responsibilities within the organization in recent years, in addition to his broadcasting gig at MLB Network.
And what about this name we have to throw into the discussion after USA Today's Bob Nightengale shockingly suggested he'd be a candidate: the 76-year-old Tony La Russa, a former White Sox manager just like Guillén. While certainly every person would be evaluated on an individual basis, it'd be odd to see Guillén so readily dismissed as a possibility by the White Sox only for them to consider another former manager who hasn't managed in nearly a decade. La Russa obviously isn't a current member of the White Sox organization, but he has as much organizational familiarity as anyone.
Indeed, it sure sounds like the White Sox are dreaming of someone like A.J. Hinch or Alex Cora, both managerial free agents with recent World Series wins on their resumes.
And they're both from outside the organization, adding to the thought that they could be among the team's top targets.