Hit by a Pitch

Archive for the ‘Ken “Hawk” Harrelson’ Category

Hawk Harrelson Article

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There’s an awesome article in The Wall Street Journal about biased baseball announcers. It focuses on my favorite baseball announcer of all time, Hawk Harrelson, finding him to be the biggest homer in baseball. Hawk’s response? “That’s the biggest compliment you could give me, to call me the biggest homer in baseball.”

I don’t usually read the comments, but there was a good one here, from Anne Halverson:

The White Sox is my team, so I honestly didn’t know there was any other way to hear a game! Now that I know, I’m glad I hear a biased game! When I watch the games, I feel what Hawk feels, so what he says is usually exactly what I want to hear. Its like watching the game with your Dad, and why would you want it any other way?

Yes, exactly!

I’ve mentioned my love for Hawk and his homerism before and everything I said then is still true now.

Here’s hoping we (apparently I’m a homer, too) squeak by Detroit and make it to the playoffs.

Written by Tracy

September 26th, 2012 at 10:01 am

The Humber Games (Sorry.)

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In my short career as a baseball fan, my team has given me a no-hitter, two perfect games, and a World Series victory.

My experience watching the end of Philip Humber’s perfect game was a lot like the time I saw the end of Mark Buehrle’s perfect game: sitting in my living room, hands over my mouth with my fingers on my nose (not in an intentional I-can-affect-the-game posture — just because that’s what I do with my nervous hands when I’m really freaking out about a sporting event), feeling kind of like I’m going to be sick (not really) or cry (really). I love displays of defensive awesomeness in sports more than just about anything, and a perfect game thrown by a major-league pitcher is just about the most awesome display of defensive awesomeness there can be, if that’s not too awesome to even make sense.

I almost missed both perfect games (catching the end of the Buehrle game was sheer luck when I went home for lunch and got a text alerting me to what was happening). If you’re not a baseball fan (in which case, sorry, tl;drno1curr), you might not know about the annoyance of what Fox Sports does to you on Saturdays. Fox airs a baseball game each Saturday afternoon. All other games are blacked out, even on services like MLB.tv or MLB Extra Innings, which are expensive things you purchase to watch out-of-market games. I guess the theory is that baseball fans will watch whatever shit game is on Fox because they can’t watch any other games.

I never do that. Pro football is the only sport I’ll watch any team play. If we’re talking about baseball or basketball, I’m only watching my teams. So usually on Saturday afternoon, I listen to the radio broadcast of the White Sox game (you can do this on your MLB At Bat app, but of course if you’re a baseball fan, you already know that).

I listened to the beginning of the Sox game on Saturday afternoon until I had something else to do. Later, I checked the score and saw that it was the 8th inning, the Sox were still winning, and — wait, holy shit — the Mariners had no hits. So this is at least a no-hitter if Humber is still pitching. I fired up the audio broadcast and hit up Twitter, which as always is the best place for breaking news. I saw all the OH SHIT OH SHIT OH SHIT OH SHIT tweets from @nothawk (fake Twitter account of one of the White Sox tv guys, who is the greatest sports commentator of all time this side of John Madden, and one of the most brilliant contributions to Twitter) and I knew what was going on.

Fox finally, in the bottom of the 9th inning, switched from the stupid-ass game it was broadcasting to the Sox/Mariners game (at first on a terrible split screen). So I got to see the last three outs of Phil Humber’s perfect game. It was glorious and I almost cried. And I’m really bummed that Soren was napping when it happened. Soon, though, little guy. There will be lots of White Sox moments like this for us to share.

Written by Tracy

April 23rd, 2012 at 9:30 pm

Hawk Homerism

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Song of the day: You Remind Me of Something by R. Kelly
_______

I just read this GQ post, “The Best (and Worst) from MLB’s Broadcast Booth.” Guess who’s the worst: Ken “Hawk” Harrelson and Steve Stone of the Chicago White Sox. Ho hum. I’m not surprised, because hating on Hawk is about as easy as being a drunk Cubs fan who can’t name five players on the active roster. But still, that’s kind of lame.

This is the author’s biggest rip on Hawk:

Hawk is an unbearable homer. . . .

Well, sure. Hawk is a homer. My first question is: Is it okay to be a homer, as long as you’re not an “unbearable” homer? Where does that line get drawn? I’d guess that most, if not all, local sports announcers are homers to some degree.

I don’t think there’s anything wrong with that. In fact, I like homer sports announcers, as long as they’re local. (I believe national sports announcers and reporters have a duty to be neutral. I also believe they have a duty to crawl out from up LeBron’s butt, but that’s an impossible dream.) I’d rather listen to someone like Hawk who’s a gung-ho crazy White Sox fan than someone who’s just going to objectively call the game.

The only time I can see being annoyed by a homer announcer is when you’re stuck watching the opposing team’s broadcast. I remember wanting to chew my arm off in a misguided attempt to escape a couple years ago while listening to a couple Red Sox broadcasts when the White Sox were in Boston. Now, however, thanks to the miracle of modern technology, this here internet, and mlb.tv, I can listen to Hawk and Steve Stone broadcast every game (or, with MLB At Bat on my iPhone, I can listen to Ed Farmer and Darrin Jackson, who are awesome, too).

I won’t pretend I’m not biased here — I love Hawk Harrelson. He’s  my favorite broadcaster in all of sports and my love for him probably borders on being is completely irrational. I know he’s not for everyone, though. I just don’t think the fact that he’s a homer is a valid (or interesting) criticism.

Written by Tracy

July 12th, 2010 at 2:15 pm

Hawk Harrelson Soundboard

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I saw this link posted on Twitter today and it’s so awesome I have to share. If you like Hawk Harrelson, check out the Hawk Harrelson Soundboard, where you can listen to 45 “hawkisms,” including “sit back relax strap it down,” “stay fair it will,” “dadgum it,” “this game is ova,” and of course “you can put it on the board yeeeees!”

I’m going to suggest that Ben work some of these into a mashup. If this happens, I’ll post the result here.

Written by Tracy

June 4th, 2010 at 12:39 pm

Summer is for baseball.

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Well, it’s starting again. The fall catalogs have arrived, showing plaid wool skirts that I might’ve worn back when I listened to the Jesus and Mary Chain and big clunky Frye boots. And the sports people are starting to talk about football.

Granted, the local radio guys never really stopped talking about football. I guess that’s what happens when your local baseball team sucks ass, your local basketball team was a big disappointment, and there’s not much else to talk about. I’ve heard more about the Broncos in the last month than I care to hear about, well, ever. (I officially broke up with the Broncos this summer — we’ll get some ice cream and I’ll tell you all about it soon.) But now it’s kind of everywhere. People are talking about Brett Favre and fantasy football and shit, I’m just not ready for that. People, it’s summer! It’s baseball time!

As a flaky person with ADD, I’m always doing shit and thinking about 100 other things. It’s really hard for me to (and this sounds like total new-agey bullshit and for that, I apologize) um, “be in the moment.” But for some reason, I can be in the moment with sports. Totally and completely. It’s kind of like running, you know? When you’re running, you might be listening to your iPod and watching a game with the closed captioning on, but you’re really just running. There’s not a whole lot of room in your head for anything else — or at least that’s how it is for me, because let’s face it, I’m not all that good at running, but I do it because it’s hard.

That’s how it is with me and sports. At any point, the sport that is in season is my favorite sport ever. When it’s summer, I’m watching baseball. I’m not thinking about the upcoming football season, or about what the Nuggets might do (although I do sometimes hope they don’t trade Marcus Camby). Baseball is my boyfriend and I’m not thinking about other sports. Baseball and I spend almost every evening together and I get pissed on Saturdays when that stupid exclusive Fox deal keeps my team away from me. I go to Coors Field at least three or four times a month and drink beer and yell and get in trouble for giving kids water guns that they use to squirt unsuspecting strangers, some of whom aren’t all that cool.

It’s the height of summer right now, and nothing is on my sports mind except baseball. This even is a good summer, if you can believe that. Sure, my Rockies suck, but that’s more than made up for by the fact that my White Sox are in first place. I’m dreaming about a White Sox/Cubs World Series (hoping for it but dreading it, too).

Fall is for sweaters and chili and skinny scarves and football and pumpkins, mornings with fresh coffee setting my lineup and waiting for the 11:00 kickoff. Winter is my crappy fantasy team, a nice porter or stout, and running from the Auraria Campus parking lot to the Pepsi Center because we just missed tipoff and is for football and basketball. Spring is basketball and then baseball.

But summer belongs to baseball alone. I love baseball so much there’s not room for anticipation of what’s to come next. Now, I love watching the tiny Alexei Ramirez hit balls out of the park, listening to Hawk Harrelson talk his magic, riding my bike to Coors Field and getting nachos and a Snake Dog IPA at Blake Street after the game before riding home to the ‘hood (and lately hoping nobody gets shot).

So I guess I’ll just be late for the party. I don’t want to think about Randy Moss just yet. He’ll still be there when I need to put my fantasy team together the night before the NFL season starts. For now, I just want to hang out with Carlos Quentin.

Hey, just as I was writing that, he hit a home run. See? Summer is for baseball.

Written by Tracy

July 9th, 2008 at 7:43 pm

Dear Mark Buehrle: We love you.

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The White Sox and Mark Buehrle finally worked out a deal yesterday, ending a little bit of the pain Sox fans have been suffering this summer. Buehrle agreed to a 4-year, $56 million contract that lacks the complete no-trade protection he wanted, but he says he’s happy with the deal. So are we, Mark. So are we.

Buerhle tarp

In Rockies news, Matt Holliday will participate in tonight’s Home Run Derby. My money, if I had any, would be on Justin Morneau to win the thing, not that it really matters.

Jose Mesa pitched his 994th game on Friday against the Rockies. Of course he didn’t play when I was at Coors Field (sitting next to the bullpen — pictures coming soon) on Saturday, but we were treated to a rain delay and some minor tarp drama (nothing like yesterday’s tarp drama, though).

Written by Tracy

July 9th, 2007 at 12:10 pm

MLB Opening Day

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MLB Opening Day 2007 (condensed version)

-I took the day off from work and went to the gym in the morning. ESPN was all atwitter with opening day excitement, but much to my dismay, here are the feature stories I got to watch while running on the treadmill:

1. Yankees
2. Barry Bonds
3. Red Sox
4. Yankees

This was immediately followed by a Yankees game.

I’m hoping that at some point, ESPN will crawl out from up the Yankees’ ass.

-I spent an hour trying to get MLB.TV to work on my Mac. I thought about making a voodoo doll of everybody related to the DirecTV bullshit that prevents me from watching out-of-market games on cable, but already was running late.

-It’s probably for the best that I didn’t get to watch the White Sox game yesterday, because my mom could’ve done a better job pitching than Jose Contreras.

-I again failed to find comfortable shoes to wear to sporting events, although I did not discover this until halfway to Coors Field.

-The Rockies suck. The good thing is that they lost the game because of crappy relief pitching. Also, during the game, I heard someone in the stands say “Jose Mesa” — although I have no idea what he said about Jose Mesa, that’s the shit right there.

-The Rockies suck, and Clint Hurdle had his contract extended — through 2009. This convinces me that the Rockies, as an organization, care more about Jesus than they care about winning. That’s some mad crazy bullshit.

-To recap: ESPN only cares about the Yankees, Barry Bonds, and the Red Sox. The White Sox got pounded. The Rockies are set to languish in their love of the lord and mediocrity for a couple more years. My feet really, really hurt. MLB.TV doesn’t like Macs. The perfect end to the perfect day of baseball suck occurred when we were out for pizza and beer after the game. I noticed a guy wearing a Cleveland Indians shirt — the team that just killed my Sox. But it gets even better — when he went outside for a smoke, I realized that he was actually wearing an Omar Vizquel jersey. Omar Vizquel. I wanted to go outside and throw my ranch dressing container at him, but Ben talked me out of it. I’m pretty sure that an Omar Vizquel fan would find it incredibly amusing if a Jose Mesa fan threw a relatively harmless object at him outside a bar, but I suppose I could be wrong — and the way this day was going, there was no sense risking it.

On a positive note, it took a while and I got mad and swore and considered throwing the computer out the window, but I finally got MLB.TV working on the Mac (I downloaded the most recent free version of Flip4Mac WMV player — screw what they say about Windows Media Player for Macs — that didn’t work). I watched one good highlight from yesterday’s game and got to hear Hawk Harrelson yell “You can put it on the board YES!!!”

Oh, baseball. You kind of suck, but I really love you.

Written by Tracy

April 3rd, 2007 at 4:10 pm