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Hahn: White Sox have no room for error

GM points to July as determining direction of club

CHICAGO -- Let's play a little good news, bad news for the 2015 White Sox.

Good news: They enter this weekend on a two-game winning streak over the team with the best record in baseball, the Cardinals, and sit 6 1/2 games out of an American League Wild Card.

Bad news: Every team in the AL ranks ahead of them, as the White Sox started Friday with the worst record in the league by percentage points.

Good news: The next 16 games played by the White Sox take place in Chicago, with 13 of them coming at U.S. Cellular Field.

Bad news: Baltimore, Toronto, the Cubs, Kansas City and St. Louis, the teams the White Sox will face during this 16-game stretch, were a combined 51 games over .500 starting Friday.

The harshest news of all is that with the halfway point of the season approaching this week, the White Sox have absolutely no room for error.

"We've put ourselves in position where July is a very important month for us. It's a critical month for our direction for the next several months," said White Sox general manager Rick Hahn. "We don't have the luxury at this point to continue to give away games or put ourselves in a deeper hole.

"Everybody in that clubhouse knows it. We've talked about it. They are aware of the situation and they have spoken publicly about the fact that they know we've put ourselves in this position where July is critical."

Hahn reiterated that there won't be a time in July when he walks outside U.S. Cellular Field and figuratively hangs up an "open for business" sign or announces the team plans to add on to the potential postseason cause.

"I don't think that's strategically to our advantage," Hahn said. "But we have spent a lot of time working on contingencies and coming up with different paths that we could travel. Ultimately, when we do head down one of those paths, I'll sit right here and explain why."

Executive vice president Ken Williams spoke to the media last Friday in Detroit and pointed the finger of responsibility at himself, as the man who ultimately signed off on the free-agent deals and the man who ultimately is in charge.

On Friday, Hahn expressed appreciation for the support and no consternation over the work dynamic with Williams that has been going on between the two for 15 years and three with Hahn as GM. Hahn stressed the group decision-making process that involves White Sox chairman Jerry Reinsdorf.

"It surprises me that how the dynamic works is even a question or an issue at this point," Hahn said. "We were pretty clear at the initial press conference when I assumed this position that Kenny is executive vice president of the organization. He is my boss. I report to Kenny. Just like anyone with a boss, I'm accountable to him for my performance and he has to approve of what I do.

"We are in this together, and we're all trying to get this thing right. When multiple people say they're responsible for the thing, it shows a lot of people care and are accountable."

Scott Merkin is a reporter for Read his blog, Merk's Works, follow him on Twitter @scottmerkin and listen to his podcast.
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