In what will likely be the final chapter of the Hawk Harrelson rant, we learn that he was given a talking-to by Bud Selig yesterday and White Sox owner Jerry Reinsdorf today:
“I talked to Bud Selig yesterday,” Harrelson told ESPNChicago.com’s Bruce Levine on Friday morning. “We had a talk. Actually, Bud talked and I listened. If it was a prize fight, they would have stopped it in the first round.
“I also talked to Jerry, and I listened to him as well. That’s all I really have to say.”
No word on how many Advils Hawk has taken since he got off the phone with those guys.
We’ve had a lot of fun with this, but I do have one legitimate concern here: I hope this doesn’t chill announcers from noting and commenting on poor umpiring.
Because while Harrelson’s went way over the top, acting on emotion and homerism as opposed to actually analyzing what happened, there is a lot more room for reasoned criticism of umpire’s calls in baseball broadcasts. Indeed, there should be more of it. Just not in the way Hawk went about it.
No surprise here: The Astros are headed back to the postseason to defend their title following a landslide 11-3 win over the Angels on Friday. This figures to be their third playoff run since 2015, though they have yet to wrap up the AL West with a division title.
First baseman Yuli Gurriel led the charge on Friday, smashing a grand slam in the first inning and tacking on a two-run homer in the second and RBI single in the fifth to help the Astros to a seven-run lead. The Angels eventually returned fire, first with Mike Trout‘s 418-foot homer in the sixth, then with an RBI hit from Francisco Arcia in the seventh, but they couldn’t close the gap in time to overtake the Astros.
On the mound, right-hander Gerrit Cole clinched his 15th win of the year after holding the Angels to seven innings of three-run, 12-strikeout ball. His sixth strikeout of the night — delivered on an 83.1-MPH knuckle curveball to Kaleb Cowart — also marked the 1,000th strikeout of his career to date. He was backed by flawless performances by lefty reliever Tony Sipp and rookie right-hander Dean Deetz, both of whom turned in scoreless innings as the offense barreled toward an 11-3 finish with Jake Marisnick‘s sac bunt and George Springer‘s three-run shot in the eighth.
Despite having qualified for the playoffs, the Astros still carry a magic number of 6 as they look to clinch a third straight division title. They’re currently up against the Athletics, who entered Friday’s contest against the Twins just four games back of first place in the AL West.