At long last, White Sox chairman Jerry Reinsdorf speaks

2023 season has been “a nightmare,” Reinsdorf said. “It’s still a nightmare. It’s embarrassing. It’s disgusting.”

SHARE At long last, White Sox chairman Jerry Reinsdorf speaks

White Sox chairman Jerry Reinsdorf talks to reporters Thursday during a news conference naming Chris Getz as the new senior vice president/general manager.

Charles Rex Arbogast/AP

Chairman Jerry Reinsdorf talked with a pool reporter after the White Sox won the American League Central in 2021.

And that was kind of a big deal.

Ten years ago, he spoke with a group of media members in his office at the Sox’ spring-training facility in Glendale, Arizona.

In between, he was silent.

So it took the worst season of his Sox existence for him to open the door to his office at Guaranteed Rate Field to a group of media members Thursday.

On the day he hired Chris Getz as his new general manager, nine days after firing executive vice president Ken Williams and former GM Rick Hahn, Reinsdorf sat down behind his large desk — surrounded by sports memorabilia, including an autographed pair of Muhammad Ali boxing gloves, and the aroma of cigars — and opened up.

He talked about everything from Getz to how hard it was to fire Williams, whom he considered his son, to the bad rap Tony La Russa gets to the shooting at Guaranteed Rate Field and a report that he’s considering moving the team.

There was a lot to cover.

‘‘The 2023 season was my 43rd season in baseball,’’ Reinsdorf said. ‘‘It was absolutely the worst season I’ve ever been through. It was a nightmare. It’s still a nightmare. It’s embarrassing. It’s disgusting. All the bad words you can think of is the way I feel about the 2023 season. It absolutely was just awful.’’

Reinsdorf talked often in the old days, but he never does anymore. But this kind of hire, this kind of season, this kind of news called for it.

‘‘One of the things I owe the fans is to get better as fast as we can possibly get better,’’ he said, explaining his decision not to interview outside candidates and instead promote Getz from inside. ‘‘Speed is of the essence. I don’t want this to be a long-term proposition.

‘‘I would hope — and I expect — that next year is going to be a lot better than this year. How much better? I don’t know.’’

Reinsdorf does know next season won’t feature free-agent superstar Shohei Ohtani, but the Sox will add in free agency and trades to spruce up what he insisted is a good core.

It was only two years ago when the Sox’ core was good enough to win a division title after Reinsdorf hired friend La Russa to manage.

‘‘I’m glad you brought up Tony La Russa,’’ Reinsdorf said to a questioner. ‘‘I am so sick and tired of reading that bringing Tony La Russa back was a mistake. Tony La Russa came back in 2021, [and] does anybody know what we did in 2021? Does anybody remember we won 93 games, we won the division by 13 games? Was that a mistake to bring Tony La Russa back? Last year, he was sick. The man had a heart problem. He had cancer. You didn’t see the Tony La Russa last year that we saw before that.’’

But it was the shooting at the ballpark last Friday that Reinsdorf addressed before all else.

‘‘I spoke with [interim Police] Supt. [Fred] Waller last night, and he authorized me to say that regardless of what anybody has said up till now, they have not ruled out that the shots came from outside the ballpark,’’ Reinsdorf said.

‘‘We’ve really done a deep dive into this, and I don’t see any way in the world the shots could have come from inside the ballpark.’’

Reinsdorf also addressed a Crain’s Chicago Business story that broke last week about the ballpark.

‘‘I’ve been reading that I’ve been threatening to move to Nashville,’’ he said. ‘‘That article didn’t come from me. But it’s

obvious if we have six years left [on the lease], we’ve got to decide what the future is going to be. But I never threatened to move out. We haven’t even begun to have discussions with the [Illinois] Sports [Facilities] Authority, which we’ll have to do soon.’’

And he dismissed the possibility of selling the team.

‘‘Friends of mine have said: ‘Why don’t you sell? Why don’t you get out?’ ’’ Reinsdorf said. ‘‘My answer has always been: ‘I like what I’m doing, as bad as it is, and what else would I do? I’m a boring guy. I don’t play golf. I don’t play bridge. And I want to make it better before I go.’ ’’

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