I know you will be shocked by this confession (ok, maybe not if you have read me in the past) I’m about to make but according to a recent project at Fangraphs, Hawk and Stone come in last in their off season ranking. I can’t say I disagree with this too much. Mainly because I am not a fan of Hawk.
There. I said it. I’ve said it before, but in the context of who Hawk was working with (i.e., Tom Paciorek.) However, in looking at things on their own, I am still not a fan.
Why? Because the things that make him enduring to some are what drive me bonkers. He’s a homer for sure. And there is nothing wrong with being a homer. Except for when you are such a homer that you can’t fairly criticize when criticism should be levied.
There is also the seeming dismissiveness of the person in the booth next to Hawk. Sure, Hawk has been around the game of baseball for a VERY long time. So long in fact that you can pick up some interesting history if you can listen long enough to hear it.
Along with Hawk’s history are also stories of his playing days. And of course, OF COURSE a story about Carl Yastrzemski. These always crack me up. Not because of something to do with Yaz, but because it is one of those things that you can rely on while watching a Sox broadcast.
Another thing that is annoying with Hawk is his seeming lack of appreciation for the use of stats. When watching games ever since the PitchFX has been shown during games, it is like you can see him seething. He thinks a pitch is a ball that was called a strike. PitchFX shows it was a strike. Hawk thinks it’s wrong. In his world, how is this possible?
Speaking of possibilities, have you noticed that every time things don’t go well for the White Sox, Hawk has a tendency to blame the umpires? It has gotten so bad with him blaming them that when there might be a legitimate beef with the men in blue, you can’t take it seriously when it comes from Hawk ranting. Rarely does he actually say, hey player y, you screwed up. Get your shh together and play better. For me, that is another example of the extremem homerism where criticism of a player is warranted, yet never comes.
I am sure, in fact, I know many of you will disagree. Feel free to try and sell me on why Hawk is not the worst announcer. For a different take on Hawk, be sure to read this article on South Side Sox. There is plenty that is said in that article I agree with, particularly on impartiality. But as you can see from my mini rant above, I think Hawk takes things a *tad* too far at times.
And don’t forget to see yesterday’s post on new stats to track this season. You can win a Roger Bossard Bobble Head!