Last night's White Sox game was irritating. I don't really want to talk about it. So, before I do, I'm going to talk about one of my favorite topics: Hawk Harrelson. Not that Hawk is one of my favorites, rather I really enjoy talking about how annoying he is
. Hawk, why do you insist on making everything about you? Last night's Danger Duck Trivia Question had to do with Gaylord Perry's final season. Perry wrapped up his career in 1983 with the Royals. So, of course, Hawk launched into a story about the White Sox facing Perry that season, which is an excuse for Hawk to state that he was good friends with Perry. Hawk said that when the Sox faced Perry that season, Perry told him before the game that he wouldn't even try to get hitters out that night, but rather would let the hitters get themselves out. Hawk claimed that for the first 2 or 3 innings that night -- the first time through the order -- the Sox potent line-up proceeded to pound ground balls straight into the ground, or pop-ups straight into the air. Hawk said he enjoyed a good laugh as he let Don Drysdale in on the secret in the booth. Finally, the second time through, the Sox line-up figured out what was happening and quickly sent Perry to the showers. This story served Hawk well. He got to name drop both Gaylord Perry and Don Drysdale, and demonstrate what a great buddy he was with each of them. The problem is: Hawk made the whole thing up. The Sox faced Perry once during his Royals tenure. After working a 1-2-3 first inning, Perry gave up two runs in the second (obviously, still making his way through the Sox order for the first time), and then settled down to pitch eight strong innings.
I love retrosheet. The Sox wound up winning the game off Dan Quisenberry in the 10th
, but the details of the game itself aren't important. What is worth pointing out is that rather than say something about Perry, or simply describing the action on the field, Hawk fabricated an entire event just so he could talk about himself and what good friends he was with Perry. The man has no shame. The time has come for someone to put his foot down, and that foot is me.
(Note: The Sox faced Perry one other in time in 1983, when he was still with the Mariners, but that game doesn't fit
Hawk's tale either.)
(Update: It turns out that Perry was all over the place yesterday. In this LA Daily News column
Kevin Modesti explains that Perry's cheating, which consisted primarily of greasing up the baseball, was ok because it required skill. Steroids on the other hand, he argues, are wrong because "jamming a needle in your backside while hiding in a clubhouse bathroom stall is the act of an oaf, a dullard and a coward." Personally, I'd rather spit on a baseball than stick a needle in my butt, but I wouldn't do either in front of 30,000 people. Nothing against Perry though, we're willing to trade looks for a certain... morally casual attitude.)