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Wednesday, June 19

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White Sox Fri Jun 01 2012

Heave the Hawk? No.

By now, I'm sure you've heard and seen Hawk Harrelson's tirade against umpire Mark Wegner during Wednesday's White Sox-Rays game. Hawk, always known to be an unabashed homer, has received some heat over the last few days regarding his outburst.

My take?

Was the rant over the top? Sure. Was it funny? Of course. Was Hawk right, that the ejection was unwarranted? Either viewpoint is acceptable. But can you blame Harrelson for it? Can you scrutinize him for it? Can you be outraged over it? Not if you like or accept the Hawk.

I always thought Hawk Harrelson as the Sox announcer is comparable to a Twinkie. (My apologies to podcast maven Adam Carolla for stealing his world-class analogy.)

You see, although a Twinkie can be considered a baked good or a pastry, it's not. Sure, Twinkies are made of cake, like so many other snacks, and the cream filling is seen in many other dessert products. But, for a combination of reasons -- perhaps because Twinkies are so artificial and manufactured -- Twinkies are not really considered pastries. They are their own separate thing.

Basically, you cannot truly compare a Twinkie to, say, a homemade strudel. Or fresh cupcakes from Molly's on Clark Street. Or Eli's Cheesecake. Although a Twinkie can be placed under the same labeling umbrella as those items, comparing it to them would be apples-to-oranges.

Same thing for Harrelson. Since he has never claimed to be anything but biased, and since he makes it known that he is fully rooting for the Sox every telecast, no one that likes Harrelson can judge.

This is Harrelson's shtick. No other announcer in MLB does what he does, so we cannot compare him to other announcers. And this isn't just about the tirade; anything Hawk says, anything at all, cannot be held in the same regard as other broadcasters.

Though Hawk calls the games, he is, quite simply, a fan in the booth. A cheerleader. For better or for worse, that's what he is. Since he's been calling Sox games since 1990, I'll take it that most people enjoy or are fans of the Hawk Harrelson experience.

Fans who care for Harrelson, and people in the Sox organization who've had him in the booth forever, should know the Hawk is going to openly cheer for the Sox and criticize the umpires, even if he takes it to the extreme sometimes. It's just who he is.

And, as cartoon genius Lisa Simpson once said, "You can't create a monster, and then whine when he stomps on a few buildings!"

Unless his employers, media personnel or even people who listen to Hawk on TV are huge hypocrites, and gets reprimanded further, expect this to be another Hawk moment that will be long forgotten in no time. Maybe as soon as the next time he over-cheers a Sox hit, or blasts a bad call.

In other words, it will be forgotten tomorrow.

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