My Good Friend Rick (Hahn) Swung By The Barstool Chicago Office Yesterday To Talk About The Juggernaut Of A Team He Built
About 5 years ago in late 2016/early 2017, Carl and I started Red Line Radio with the thinking that both teams should theoretically be World Series contenders in the year 2020 or so. The Cubs were on the heels of winning the World Series and the White Sox just entered a scorched earth teardown of basically anyone that had value on their big league roster. A few weeks after we started that podcast, I decided I also was ready for the big leagues and decided to shoot a general manager of the Chicago White Sox an email asking if he'd hop on the show.
I thought about looking to see if I still have that email, but opted against it due to how cringeworthy it undoubtedly was. I remember it being like 3 paragraphs justifying why I/we were legit and why our (at the time small) following would appreciate him coming on. It was just very, very wordy. Just a few minutes after I hit "send", Rick Hahn responded with and short, sweet "yes". After that episode the show snowballed into us adding Chief and Ed then we got picked up by Barstool and a few months after it got picked up by Barstool they asked us to go full time. I truly don't think that happens if Hahn didn't hop on in January of 2017 or so.
Fast forward to 2021. New awesome office that All Business Pete has to get his ass back to Chicago to finish and the White Sox are one of the best teams in baseball. The White Sox held up their end of the bargain. Barstool Chicago held up its end of the bargain. Only the Cubs didn't hold up their end of the bargain.
It's all good though; Hahn (and Jerry, Kenny and the entire front office, scouting department, and analytics team all through the beer vendors, of course) has this this organization running like a machine. Injuries and/or other acts of god are the only thing that can stop this train and that's what Rick swung by the office to talk about today.
I couldn't wait to finally talk about how his plan has come to fruiting. 4-5 years ago we talked about how the White Sox traded Chris Sale, Fernando Tatis, Jr. and were looking down the barrel at a bunch of 65 win seasons. Ttoday's convo was the opposite; it was more of a "we finally made it" podcast from the dude who built this roster and a fan of the roster that dude built. The change was unbelievably refreshing.
Want proof of that? Myself, Eddie and Hahn were pretty much laughing about the Tatis, Jr. for James Shields since it's such a whatever story at this point.
I framed the interview sort of like the very first episode of the Dave Portnoy Show where Eddie took Dave through a start to finish, chronological, start to finish recap of the last year and a half, starting with the shut down of baseball (and the world) in spring training of 2020. We go through EVERYTHING that went down. Just an hour of 3 guys yucking it up about the construction and current state of the Chicago White Sox.
Shout out Rick for coming in and always being great to us. Go White Sox. Super pumped for you guys to hear the show.