To the casual baseball fan, Hawk Harrelson might not be a household name. For those lucky enough to live in the metropolitan Chicago area, however, Harrelson is the voice of the game — and a loud one at that.
Harrelson, well-known for his home run call of "You can put it on the board!" and his take-no-prisoners approach to discussing umpires, has been in rare form this year while his Chicago White Sox battle for a postseason berth.
While broadcasting the ChiSox on WGN, the 70-year-old has time and time again found his way into the headlines by not mincing words when it comes to the men in blue.
Harrelson went off the rails again after a controversial call last Saturday, when Chicago manager Robin Ventura and catcher A.J. Pierzynski got the boot arguing balls and strikes. "The Hawk" tore into umpire Lance Barrett, drawing the attention of Chicago Tribune columnist Steve Rosenbloom.
Rosenbloom wrote a column on Tuesday wondering whether or not Hawk's ranting and raving might in fact be hurting the White Sox as umpires begin to resent the attacks coming from the team's broadcast booth. To which former MLB vice president of umpiring Mike Port says, no way.
In an email to Rosenbloom, Port denied that the umpires would hold grudges against a team's broadcaster, calling Harrison "an incorrigible, tired act."
"A quick review of Harrelson's umpiring 'expertise' would seem to indicate that Harrelson is one of those who thinks that because he once flew on a 747 that he can pilot the damn thing," Port wrote.
"I doubt the umpires really care about Harrelson," he continued. "One thing I found them to be excellent at is recognizing ignorance."
No word on whether or not Port dropped a microphone after clicking "send," but it's more fun to imagine that he definitely did.
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