In late May, White Sox announcer Hawk Harrelson was called on the carpet by Sox owner Jerry Reinsdorf and by Bud Selig himself after Harrelson exploded on the air at umpire Mark Wegner, calling one of his calls “absolutely brutal,” “unbelievable” and accusing Wegner of not knowing anything about the game of baseball.
Getting called on the carpet usually implies a promise not to do whatever bad thing you did again. But Harrelson did it again on Saturday, ranting about umpire Lance Barrett in the Mariners-Sox game. Among his choice cuts, via ESPN Chicago:
• “I’ll tell you this is absolutely ridiculous. This is absolutely ridiculous.”
• “Lance Barrett has been absolutely brutal. Brutal.”
• “Lance Barrett has just stunk the joint up is all he’s done. That’s all he’s done.”
• “He’s terrible.”
• “This is one of those games where the film is going back to the American League office to show how bad he is.”
• “Everything that (Mariners pitcher) Blake Beavan has thrown up there that (catcher Miguel) Olivo has caught has been a strike. If he caught it, it was a strike. He’s got two different strike zones. He’s got a two-foot for Beavan, and he’s got a 10-inch for the White Sox. What does that tell you?”
• “This might be as bad as a two innings as I’ve ever seen from a guy behind the plate or 2 1/3 (innings.) So he’s bad, so he throws out our catcher and our manager because he’s brutal.”
If anything I think these comments were worse, at least in volume if not vitriol, than the stuff he said about Wegner. But Hawk is lucky. According to Scott Powers of ESPN Chicago, neither the White Sox nor Major League Baseball are going to do anything about it. Which is fine. I have a bit of a problem with teams or the league going after announcers for the things they say because that’s kind of chilling in my view.
But really, if you’re gonna make a point to act like you’re disciplining someone over something in one case, don’t you sorta need to keep that up in order to maintain credibility? Or did baseball maybe realize that it overstepped its bounds in the first instance?