The idea of Chicago White Sox announcer Hawk Harrelson winning the Ford Frick Award for broadcasting excellence is really frightening. It's akin to posthumously giving notorious Anti-Semite Henry Ford the B'nai Brith Award for outstanding service to the Jewish community.
It's on par to granting Illini backup QB Reilly O'Toole the Heisman Trophy.
It would be parallel to giving Vinny Del Negro the NBA Coach of the Year Award.
I know I said in a previous post I would stop critiquing Hawk Harrelson, because it's gotten old and at this point it really is very low hanging fruit. However, he just won't go away and leave us alone.
Secondly, the main point of this post is showing you how others have critiqued him. And beautifully at that.
Maybe it's not even critique, they're just presenting the 2013 Hawk Harrelson body of work and letting you make up your own mind.
I will say this, Hawk Harrelson is as much to blame for my baseball hiatus as any single human being.
Before we proceed, follow the advice of Deadspin in this article.
Play this video of the Hawk Harrelson greatest misses from 2013 in the background while you go and do something else on the internet. To just watch this video and focus on it directly is to give yourself a painful ice cream headache from which you will never recover. Just let it be background noise.
I really enjoy the work of South Side Sox. Even though I officially went on baseball hiatus in May, and kind of hate the sport at this time, SSS does FANTASTIC work.
They have compiled a season's worth of Hawk's superlatives—every time Harrelson anointed someone the "best" or the "worst" or the "scariest" or the "greatest" or the "hardest on himself than maybe I've ever seen anybody."
An excerpt from the South Side Sox piece:
"It's hard to say anyone is the best."
Hawk Harrelson said that sentence -- or a derivation thereof -- a handful of times over the course of the season. Meanwhile (as Hawk might say), he spent the entire season disproving that very idea.
One of the best approaches to the pitch in all of baseball: Jose Bautista
One of the greatest approaches in creating hang time in all of baseball: Jose Bautista
(All of these players received "one-of" praise over the course of the season. Beltre, Franco and Sheffield are renowned for their vicious cuts and line drives. Gomes seems premature, but had a good year. Adam Rosales was DFA'd roughly 38 times in three weeks this season.)
Back to Hawk Harrelson and how he's partially responsible for my baseball hiatus.
Well, he's so horrible at his job that I refuse to watch any White Sox game he calls on television. Which is nearly all of them. So when you can't watch your team on television, you lose interest. Remember how the Blackhawks wouldn't televise home games prior to 2008? And you recall how bringing up the Hawks in conversation led to crickets chirping back then?
Secondly, the Sox and MLB in general have zero interest in accommodating so-called "new media."
So that's depleted my interest in the White Sox and baseball as much as Hawk Harrelson has. The only thing the Sox do, to even try and recognize bloggers, is a conference call with White Sox prospects every 3-4 months or so. I participated in these for a couple years. However, in 2013 I checked out and whenever I see an invitation to these calls in my INBOX I say "WHO CARES?" in my head and instantly hit the delete button.
I'm not the only one, as a few of these reply-alls have been followed up with a "hey, I only heard back from one or two of you guys about this conference call. Does anyone else want to participate? Can you write me back please?"
Clearly, I'm not the only one who doesn't care to talk to the best prospects within a very weak farm system. The Sox don't have any blue-chippers worth writing about right now. Certainly not at this point when I can't even generate page views for the parent club. Who's going to read about the minors when no one reads about the majors?
White Sox material has been web traffic death for so long that I don't even write about them anymore at The Sports Bank. Even trade deadline stuff went terribly un-clicked.
TSB is a national site, based in Chicago. But there is nothing White Sox related of national interest in '13. This site is a local site, and I assume there is still local interest in the White Sox? The page view numbers I have for Sox material on Chicago Now only convey massive apathy instead.
There's been such terrible web traffic for the Sox historically, reaching nadir this summer, that I didn't even bother to write about that Hawk Harrelson documentary on MLB Network. And that was a huge Chicago sports media story, but I still felt it wasn't worth my time, because no one would care.
Just like no one cares about these Sox prospect conference calls. However, kudos to South Side Sox for transcribing those for all of us! Thank you, it saves us all a lot of time.
I haven't watched a second of postseason baseball this year, and probably won't at any point. You can blame the unholy trinity of Hawk Harrelson, MLB/Sox Media Relations and the extreme apathy of web users for that.
Paul M. Banks is the owner of The Sports Bank.net, an affiliate of Fox Sports. An analyst for 95.7 The Fan and 1620 The Zone, he also writes for Chicago Now. Follow him on Twitter (@paulmbanks), Facebook, and RSS
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