Steve Stone says he’s sticking with Hawk Harrelson

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When the Diamondbacks officially fired their television announcing duo of Daron Sutton and Mark Grace there was speculation that they might try to hire Steve Stone away from the White Sox and then Stone fanned the flames a bit by playing sort of coy about his status beyond this season.

That changed today, as Stone made it very clear during a radio interview with WSCR-AM 670 in Chicago that he’ll be back as Hawk Harrelson’s broadcast partner in 2013:

My plans are very simple. I plan to stay with the Chicago White Sox through this contract and hopefully beyond. Regardless of what you might have read or heard or people speculated on or blogged or anything else, I will be back. It’s 100 percent. Hopefully, as I say, for many years. In looking at it, this is, in my estimation, the best big city in the country.

I’ve always liked Stone, dating back to his days with the Cubs alongside Harry Caray, and for as much as non-White Sox fans seem to despise Harrelson in general I actually think they have a decent rapport on the air. They are, in fact, my second favorite Harrelson-Stone duo of all time.

A-Rod to join ESPN’s Sunday Night Baseball booth

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Alex Rodriguez’s post-retirement renaissance continues apace. After starring as a studio host for Fox’s playoff coverage over the past couple of years, A-Rod is about to be named to, arguably, televised baseball’s top job: color commentary in ESPN’s Sunday Night Baseball booth.

Michael McCarthy of The Sporting News is hearing that ESPN is going to give the gig, vacated by Aaron Boone by virtue of his hiring by the Yankees, to Rodriguez. There he’ll join Jessica Mendoza and whoever they get to replace play-by-play man Dan Shulman, who chose to step back from the Sunday night job following last season. This, by the way, marks the second time A-Rod has taken over Aaron Boone’s job given that he replaced Boone at third base for the Yankees in 2004.

The twist: A-Rod is likely to keep his Fox postseason job too. While some broadcasters work for multiple networks, it’s pretty rare for Fox to allow its talents to work for competitors like that. Apparently they believe keeping A-Rod — who five years ago was one of the most despised figures in baseball — is worth it. What a difference a few years makes.

In other news, Alex Rodriguez is likely to be shunned mightily by the current crop of BBWAA voters when he hits the Hall of Fame ballot in a couple of years. At the rate he’s going, though, their successors will put him in Cooperstown via the Ford Frick Award sometime in the 2040s.