Nobody seems to be taking the Chicago White Sox's mistakes harder than television play-by-play man Ken "Hawk" Harrelson, not that it should come as a surprise.
On two separate occasions during Monday’s broadcast on Comcast SportsNet Chicago, Harrelson’s frustration nearly came to a full boil. And this was in a game the White Sox ended up winning 2-1 in the 11th inning.
He was most steamed in the ninth inning on a play when the White Sox had actually tied the game after not scoring at all before that.
Two batters after Paul Konerko had grounded into a bases-loaded double play with no outs, Alexei Ramirez hit a ground ball up the middle with the bases loaded again. Kansas City Royals shortstop Alcides Escobar bobbled the ball and instead of getting a force out at second base to end the game, the White Sox scored to tie it.
But pinch runner Jordan Danks rounded third base too far and was caught in a rundown to end the half inning. It was the second of three White Sox baserunning blunders on the day. Dewayne Wise had the other two, one when he was picked off first base and another after he slid over the bag and was tagged out on what had been a double.
Harrelson, who developed the catchphrase “You’ve got to be bleepin’ me,” in recent years, nearly had to be bleeped after Danks was tagged out in the ninth.
“Now they got him caught up at third … dadgummit … and they put it on him,” Harrelson said on the air. “Son of a … I wish could … I wish I could cuss.”
Danks later redeemed himself in the 11th inning with a go-ahead home run that led to a 2-1 victory. Harrelson capped the home run with his trademark “He looks up, you can put it on the board … yes,” call. Harrelson even added a second “yes” for good measure.
In the seventh inning Harrelson sounded as if he was about to lose it just as the broadcast cut to a commercial. Ramirez hit what looked to be a go-ahead home run, but it was ruled a foul ball and a subsequent replay review did not overturn the call. Ramirez then struck out.
“It’s hard to say it’s definitive, but that ball was fair and we’ll go to the bottom of the seventh trailing 1-0,” Harrelson said. “That’s …”
At that point Harrelson’s audio was cut off and the broadcast went into the break a second later.
Harrelson is widely criticized for openly rooting for the White Sox on the air, but there is no denying his genuine love for the organization. Now in his 29th season in the White Sox’s booth, the former 1968 American League player of the year has twice been named Illinois Sportscaster of the Year and has won five Emmy Awards.