Friday, September 15, 2006, 2:35 pm
The weekend ahead will be fun. Let’s take 2-of-3 or sweep and then see what the Tigers series brings next week. Of course, there is that haunting stat of past performances in the Bay Area that looms over our heads … like we have won four of the last 24 games we have played there since going 4-2 in 2000. To recap the memorable moments, we were 0-3 in 2001; 0-6 in 2002; 1-2 in 2003; 1-5 in 2004 and 2-4 in 2005. So the publicist in me draws the line at 2003 … we are 4-7 since then (not quite as bad). Realistically, none of past performances by prior teams in Oakland really matter. It’s all of us who remember sitting up late at night watching all of these debacles who are haunted. I don’t think Pablo Ozuna or Javier Vazquez care a whit.
Until last season’s September heroics (or great escape depending upon your glass full/glass empty approach to life), most winning White Sox seasons lacked pennant race drama (again a good thing or bad thing depending upon your point of view). Well, this year, we certainly have a three-headed race and it looks like it’s going down to the wire. It really is a charge to wake up each morning, read the newspapers (or online sites for anyone under 35), watch television and catch up on all the news impacting your team. Who won? Who lost?
There is something special about a pennant race.
Which Brings Me To …
Sitting in my car last night listening to the Indians/Twins game on XM (what a gift from the gods) swearing and hanging on every pitch. Then wondering what has come of my life that I am spending an off day (evening, really) letting my blood pressure rise and fall based on the Indians bullpen (I assume Cleveland fans can empathize).
But such was our lot …
Hawk And The Heinie Bird
What a great headline! Kudos to the Trib copy writer who came up with that one. If you haven’t seen it, give John Kass’s column a read today in the Chicago Tribune. It’s a hoot (ornithology references for 500 please, Alex).
By now, everyone has weighed in on whether Hawk was right or wrong to mention Freddy’s emag tcefrep Wednesday.
This letter from Bob Vorwald of WGN TV went to Jay Mariotti at the Sun-Times in response to Jay’s column yesterday (don’t bother reading it, you can pretty much imagine what he wrote).
I read with amusement this morning your latest attempt to go after Hawk Harrelson and I couldn’t disagree with your premise more. Your stated fact that it is a "traditional code" for a baseball announcer to not mention a no-hitter in progress is simply not true. You fail to mention Jack Brickhouse and Harry Caray in your article, both of whom are Hall of Fame baseball play-by-play legends and both of whom did exactly that. I don’t seem to remember Brick’s accurate description of the game and use of the word "no-hitter" on WGN telecasts denying Don Cardwell, Ken Holtzman, Burt Hooten, and Milt Pappas their place in the record books. You also inaccurately twist the story of Len Kasper and Bob Brenly calling Glendon Rusch’s game last year when they were obviously having fun with this "taboo" by using every phrase possible except "no-hitter" or "perfect game".
When ESPN cuts into programming to show us a no-hitter or perfect game in progress, are they breaking this "rule" as well? How in the world was Nolan Ryan, for example, ever able to pitch his last few no-hitters while such transgressions occurred? Is it your opinion that a broadcaster should do a disservice to the viewers and not fully inform them of possible history in progress? Fine, those are the type of arguments that make baseball a wonderful sport. However, that doesn’t mean that we should ever avoid our responsibility to fully inform our viewers, especially those that might be tuning in late to see an afternoon game from the West Coast, of everything that is transpiring on the field.
The superstitions of the baseball dugout make for wonderful stories and are great to follow, but that’s where they belong – in the dugout. Hawk was doing his job in accurately informing our viewers about an exciting storyline in what was otherwise a blowout win by the White Sox. Baseball announcers have many different styles, preferences, and beliefs. Again, that’s what makes the game so great. To say that Hawk and WGN were "committing the ultimate sin" and "violating a traditional code" is simply untrue.
Thanks to Bob for permission to reprint this letter.
Anyway … what do you, the fans, think? What would you like out of a telecast in that situation?
I’d be interested in hearing from you.
And while I am on that topic, visit whitesox.com to vote on your preference, 7:05 pm starts on Friday nights or 7:30 pm?
We moved the start times back 30 minutes this year because of our concerns about construction delays on the Dan Ryan with folks trying to get home and then to the ballpark on already busy Friday nights.
As we plan for 2007, we want to hear what you think. Feel free to vote (but unlike the Final Man vote, please vote just once).
By the way, what are the chances that the powers that be will ever let another Sox player onto that list? We will be victims of our own success …
A reminder that FOX TV will now televise next Saturday’s game against the Mariners, so game time is 12:25 pm. Please mark your calendars. Friday’s game will now feature fireworks.
Let’s enjoy a big, big weekend in the Bay.
See you Monday.