It figures someone would have to pay for the White Sox's awful season and the first one to fall was hitting coach Jeff Manto.

General manager Rick Hahn announced after Saturday's 6-5 victory over the Royals that Manto had been relieved of his duties. Harold Baines will handle Manto's duties in Sunday's season finale.

"The decision to relieve him of his duties is not one we take lightly" Hahn said. "And it is not an indictment of his work ethic his knowledge or how good of a baseball man he is."

Hahn said the rest of the coaching staff would remain intact. He already has a list of candidates to replace Manto and hopes to have a new hitting coach within the next couple of months.

"Beginning next week we will begin contacting individuals both inside and outside the organization" Hahn said. "I don't think we are going to rule out anyone based on their background however as I sit here right now I think the ideal candidate will very likely have experience in the position of hitting coach at the major league or minor league level."

Sox players sounded disappointed in the loss of their hitting coach.

"You're not going to find a harder working guy" Adam Dunn said of Manto. "You obviously can't fire all of us for what we did. I mean the bad part about it is that we as a unit cost a man a job. That's hard to take."

Manto 49 was completing his second season as the Sox hitting coach.