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Four more years for Hawk Harrelson in White Sox booth

Sep 28, 2011, 3:30 PM EDT

hawk harrelson

And four more years in which I’ll always choose the other broadcast when it comes to watching White Sox games.

The team announced Wednesday that play-by-play guy Hawk Harrelson is getting a four-year extension to remain in the booth.  On the job since 1990, Harrelson bring a unique blend of homerism and more homerism to White Sox broadcasts.

Harrelson is expected to continue working with Steve Stone, who replaced Darrin Jackson as the White Sox color commentator in 2009.

Now 70, Harrelson does need to pace himself, so his typical silences when the White Sox are behind in a game will likely get more prolonged.

At this point, one wonders if he’s just hanging on long enough to outlast Joe West so that he can give the argumentative umpire one last “he gone” before calling it a career.

  1. sjs1959 - Sep 28, 2011 at 3:33 PM

    If you’re a Sox fan, you love him, if not, you can’t stand him. Stone in the booth has helped him, I think.

    • klbader - Sep 28, 2011 at 3:46 PM

      Do White Sox fans love him?

      • Alex K - Sep 28, 2011 at 4:03 PM

        A lot do. They all know he is terrible, but they can’t help it.

      • Tim OShenko - Sep 28, 2011 at 4:04 PM

        Nah, it’s more like Stockholm syndrome.

      • Lukehart80 - Sep 28, 2011 at 4:06 PM

        I know plenty who don’t. He’s an embarrassment.

    • bravesman1983 - Sep 28, 2011 at 3:55 PM

      I’m not a Sox fan, but I still like him. Don’t ask me to explain it. I just do.

      • klbader - Sep 28, 2011 at 4:07 PM

        If you are a Braves fan, your perspective might be a little skewed from listening to Chip Caray on a regular basis?

      • sawxalicious - Sep 29, 2011 at 1:36 AM

        Hawk Harrelson is THE WORST announcer in baseball. I know that is a bold statement to make, what with everyone having their own opinions and all, but he is just TERRIBLE. He reminds me of the Sega “SportsTalk Baseball” video game I had when I was a kid. Was neat the first few days, but then you got tired of the same robotic 15 sayings OVER and OVER. Hawk is not even a good analyst-he often has his facts screwed up…for some reason, he’s had a man-crush on Carl Yazstremski forever, he can’t stop talking about him…..the worst part is, they’ve paired him up with my favorite announcer Steve Stone. As much as I like Stoney, I cannot watch White Sox games…I like the Sox, but Harrelson makes the games UNWATCHABLE! By the way, I hate typing in all caps, but I feel very strongly on this issue.

        The Hawk is the worst!

  2. Ralph - Sep 28, 2011 at 3:37 PM

    Looks like the White Sox only felt like getting rid of one idiot this week…

  3. xmatt0926x - Sep 28, 2011 at 3:39 PM

    I agree with Matthew. I always heard of the guy over the years but now with MLB network letting you hear the different broadcasters you finally get to hear these guys call a game. I personally find this guy to be unlistenable (is that a word?). It’s not so much the homer stuff. Let’s face it. All these guys are and should be fans of the teams they cover and travel with for 6 months of the year. It’s unrealistic to think otherwise, but they should still call things fairly. I just don’t like the catch phrases like “he gone” and the “stretch!!! stretch!!!”, etc. It’s just too much and then when you add the blatant homerism it just ends up as an overall bad package.

  4. kopy - Sep 28, 2011 at 3:43 PM

    His best call will always be the one he didn’t make: Walking out of the booth during Thome’s walk-off against the White Sox without saying a word. Why work your job when you can have a good ol’ fashioned hissy fit?

    • killabri - Sep 28, 2011 at 4:30 PM

      Here’s the video of said call… the best of Hawk’s career in my opinion. In the immortal words of Ari Gold: “Silence, Lloyd. It is golden.”

  5. cur68 - Sep 28, 2011 at 3:51 PM

    So, lose Ozzie and keep Harrelson, eh? They the Scylla and Charybdis of that team when it comes to who you want to hear talk. I’ve had cause to hear Harrelson a time or 3. I say hear but what I mean is some guy cheering openly for the Sox, punctuated by dead air.

    To the White Sox Nation; my condolences.

    • jimbo1949 - Sep 28, 2011 at 4:04 PM

      “I’ll always choose the other broadcast when it comes to watching White Sox games.”
      What up with the Jays? No Canuckistanian TV today, I tried tuning in for Buck’s call and it wasn’t available. I had to turn it off.

      • cur68 - Sep 28, 2011 at 4:20 PM

        I’m watching the Jay’s & ChiSox right now. 2 – 1 ChiSox in the 8th. Phil Humber (who the hell is Phill Humber???!) was simply dominant. Morrow was also very good. Buck & Tabler have been doing their best with this meaningless affair full of lack luster play and a sparse crowd. Not even Ozzie to amuse me. All I have to look forward to is Jose Bautista maybe hitting a homer.

      • cur68 - Sep 28, 2011 at 5:05 PM

        They done! Blue Jays win, 3 – 2. Irony? They did it with a Frank Francisco save. Where the %^&* have you been with this all season, Frank? Oh well, a .500 record for the Beaver Men. When you’re wrestling beavers for a living, a draw is sometimes the best you can hope for. Alas, the ChiSox finish 79 – 83. So that’s the season for both clubs and the last anyone has to listen to Harrelson call a Sox game for this season, so, he done, too.

  6. APBA Guy - Sep 28, 2011 at 3:55 PM

    Terrible decision by the White Sox. xMatt speaks for a lot of us who get to hear Hawk thanks (or regrets) to MLB Network and WGN. In four years he can alienate a large segment of the national baseball audience.

  7. dailyrev - Sep 28, 2011 at 3:56 PM

    As I’ve said many times, this is corporate media: inanity pays. It is true in sports, entertainment, and especially politics. If you are shrill, arrogant, aggressive, and unbalanced, you will have a voice and a great paycheck.

  8. singingfriar - Sep 28, 2011 at 4:04 PM

    Hopefully Hawk sticks around long enough for the Sox to hire a sabermetric GM or Manager. He’d really like that:–Stone-rip-Beane-Moneyba/landing_soxdrawer_v3.html?blockID=567770&feedID=665&qv=1

  9. florida727 - Sep 28, 2011 at 4:06 PM

    Probably in the minority here but I WANT my guy in the booth being a blatant homer. Any announcer not named Vin Scully is going to get old to listen to after a while. Harrelson is no different. Then again, everyone seemed to love Harry Carey and I thought he was the most obnoxious, drunken fool ever given access to a microphone.

    • Joe - Sep 28, 2011 at 4:13 PM

      I don’t mind homerism from the announcers, but I don’t like cheering from the booth. Get excited when a guy on your team hits a home run, but don’t cheer it out of the ballpark.

      OK: “Deep fly ball to right field! Swisher going back! He can’t get it – Home Run! The Red Sox take the lead!”

      Not OK: “GO! GO! GO!!! YEAH-HAH!!!!”

      • Bryz - Sep 28, 2011 at 5:43 PM

        Since it’s Hawk, this would be more accurate if you did…

        “Paulie hits a high fly ball deep to left field. Stretch! You can put it on the booaaaaaaaaaaaard, yes!”

  10. mercyflush - Sep 28, 2011 at 4:06 PM

    his call to end Buerle’s perfect game was one of the all time worst calls i’ve ever heard in sports.

    its a grounder to the secondbaseman (I think), and all he does is yell the guys name : “Alexei!”

    then when the runner is thrown out, its : “YES!!!!… YES!!!!!… History!!!!” It was like he ejaculated.

    that’s what a guy in the stands says when he sees a perfect game. An announcer is supposed to bring something more to the table.

  11. Lukehart80 - Sep 28, 2011 at 4:07 PM


    • kingkillerstudios - Sep 28, 2011 at 4:14 PM

      Yes. We also would have accepted “…Ew!”

  12. Joe - Sep 28, 2011 at 4:07 PM

    I didn’t mind Hawk when he and Dick Stockton were calling Red Sox games back in the late 70’s. Then again, I was 12 years old and might have thought it was completely appropriate for the guy to be openly cheering for the Sox. If he even did so – I don’t actually remember. He was kind of like Dandy Don Meredith, I thought, with his irreverant observations.

    I’ve never seen/heard a White Sox broadcast, so I don’t know first-hand what he’s become.

  13. The Baseball Idiot - Sep 28, 2011 at 4:20 PM

    Gee, another shot at the umpires when they aren’t even a part of the equation. Imagine that.

    Someone at Hardball Talk complained about an umpire when they didn’t even do a thing. Time to set your clocks everyone. The hour has chimed.

    • Lukehart80 - Sep 28, 2011 at 4:29 PM

      The Joe West line?

      There’s never a wrong time to criticize Joe West.

      • cur68 - Sep 28, 2011 at 4:51 PM

        Psst; Maybe TBI ISJoe West???!! Makes perfect sense dunnit?

    • The Baseball Idiot - Sep 28, 2011 at 4:58 PM

      cur68, you’ve never heard me protect Joe West. So that’s a dumb comment.

      What I was talking about was linking anything to do with the umpires with anything some idiot like Harrelson would say. The umpires take enough unfair grief from this site without linking them to anyone else. Why not just call them al-Queda agents? Lots of people would applaud that.

      Your’re an intelligent guy, and an intelligent commenter. Don’t fall into the same trap most of the guys here do. Insulting someone for the sake of insulting them without a basis to do it is petty and juvenile. You’ve been above that. Don’t change now.

      • The Baseball Idiot - Sep 28, 2011 at 5:15 PM

        Explain to me the correlation between Joe West and Hawk Harrelson? Beyond the opportunity to just take another undeserved shot at the umpires.

        If you can provide some link, I’ll agree with anything you say.

      • Matthew Pouliot - Sep 28, 2011 at 5:54 PM

        The link is right there in the article. Go ahead and click on it.

      • Lukehart80 - Sep 28, 2011 at 5:24 PM

        I think umpires have a difficult job that no one can do perfectly. I think baseball should expand replay to help make the job more manageable. I think there are a few umpires who misunderstand what they’re there for; the game would be better off without them. Calling one those guys out from time to time is fair game, as far as I’m concerned.

        I don’t think that means the umps as a group are bad at their job, like any profession the majority are doing good work and like any professions there is a small percentage that doesn’t belong. For me, West falls into that category.

        What does that have to do with Harrelson? Probably nothing, except that he’s another guy who embarrasses those members of his profession who aren’t jackasses.

      • The Baseball Idiot - Sep 28, 2011 at 5:59 PM

        Matthew, if that was another umpire, you wouldn’t have linked to it. You don’t like umpires, you take shots at them at every opportunity, and this was just another cheap shot.

        I don’t get why you do this. You’re a good writer and very knowledgeable about baseball. You don’t need to troll for comments or clicks by bashing umpires just for the sake of doing it. You’re better than this.

      • Matthew Pouliot - Sep 28, 2011 at 6:15 PM

        If that was another umpire, I probably never would have thought of it to link it. But the Hawk-West stuff is pretty famous.

        I definitely don’t like West, Angel Hernandez, Dan Iassogna and at least a couple of more. I don’t think I dislike umpires as a whole. I don’t really spend much time thinking about umpires as a whole.

        What I do dislike is MLB’s stance on instant replay. So when I see a blown call that proves big, I do like to point it out. I want expanded instant replay. I think it’d be what’s best for the game.

        I don’t think that’s an anti-umpire stance. But I’ll have to think about it. I don’t want to come off as though I’m always criticizing umps. I know it’s a thankless job.

    • Utley's Hair - Sep 28, 2011 at 5:11 PM

      We get it. You say that no umpire has ever made a bad call and shouldn’t be taken to task for anything ever. Joe West is one of the worst umpires a lot of us have ever seen. He’s a hothead who feels the need to insert himself into just about every game that he can, regardless of the outcome.

      Get off your soapbox.

      • The Baseball Idiot - Sep 28, 2011 at 5:16 PM

        See above comment.

  14. scatterbrian - Sep 28, 2011 at 4:28 PM

    I guess we have to wait four more years to finally say “he gone!”

    • Mr. Jason "El Bravo" Heyward - Sep 28, 2011 at 4:59 PM


  15. Jack Marshall - Sep 28, 2011 at 4:45 PM

    Yes, Hawk is a horrible broadcaster. But as a player for the Red Sox in 1967-1969, he was about as entertaining and likeable as a player can be—Bill Lee, without the edge. I’ll never forget being cut off in a Burlington Mall parking lot, pulling alongside to give the driver the finger, only to see a smiling Harrelson, in full Nehru jacket, beads and shades, mouthing “I’m sorry!”, giving me a salaam, and responding to my thumbs up forgiveness with a shouted “Go Sox!” What a character. I was laughing about that encounter for a week. It still makes me smile to think about it.

  16. Mr. Jason "El Bravo" Heyward - Sep 28, 2011 at 4:57 PM

    Hawk haters haven’t played the Hawkisms drinking game or else you’d love him. Me? I’ll be wasted the next four baseball seasons. Love havin’ you back Hawk, you and Stonepony (Hawkism = DRINK!) make the weirdest match, but I it works for me.

  17. poprox13 - Sep 28, 2011 at 5:19 PM

    Thank god I dont have to listen to White Sox games.

  18. royalsfaninfargo - Sep 28, 2011 at 6:06 PM

    I would rather listen to Tim McCarver than the “hawk”.

    • scatterbrian - Sep 28, 2011 at 6:48 PM

      In my view, as bad as McCarver is at commentary, Harrelson tends to me more bad.

  19. steveohho - Sep 28, 2011 at 6:28 PM

    Four more years? Your what hurts?

  20. mgflolox - Sep 29, 2011 at 4:08 AM

    SF Bay Area native here. i get to listen to Kruk & Kuip, and John Miller. Thank God I don’t live anywhere near Chicago and have to listen to this clown.

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