Chicago White Sox announcer Ken “Hawk” Harrelson has never been one to mince words. He has no problem letting people know when he’s angry and frustrated. If you need proof of that, just look at all the YouTube compilations dedicated to his calls.
The broadcaster put that trait on display last Sunday, saying he would never go back to Wrigley Field. In true Harrelson fashion, he doubled down on that sentiment a week later, telling Bruce Levine of CBS Chicago it’s time for Wrigley “to be replaced.”
“It’s just time for that ballpark to be replaced. It’s just that simple. I’m only saying stuff that everybody knows who goes there. But nobody wanted to say it, so I decided yeah (to say it). I’ll never step another foot inside Wrigley Field.”
Most of the interview focuses on Harrelson reiterating his earlier points. He’s frustrated that Wrigley’s visiting clubhouse is old, and he hates the stadium’s broadcast booths.
There was, however, one other interesting thing to jump out of Levine’s conversation with Harrelson. He wants to release a book, and it sounds just as combative as you might expect.
He also wants to release a book around Opening Day in 2018, and he promises to go after those who have defamed or criticized he and his friends.
“Yes, it is about defending my friends and myself,” Harrelson said of his book. “It is also setting the record straight for my grandchildren. That is the reason I want to go until 2020. That will put me in that very exclusive club that has only four people that they can find that is in it — Vin Scully, Don Zimmer, Dave Garcia and Tommy Lasorda. That is being in pro baseball all or part of eight decades. Those kids who are 13, 10 and four have a right to know that some things that were said about me were probably not true. That is what I will try and clear up in this book.”
Even if you’re one of the many who despise Harrelson’s calls, you have to admit you’re a little interested in reading that. If nothing else, it should be incredibly entertaining.
Wrigley Field is the second oldest ballpark in the majors, but the team has made efforts to renovate the park. Ownership announced a plan to upgrade the park in 2013, and has taken significant steps to doing just that over the past few winters. The park has new videoboards now, among other modern amenities.
In fairness to Harrelson, the Cubs saved updating the press boxes for the 2018 season. Maybe he would change his mind if he made it back there for a game next season. Based on his comments, that seems unlikely.
Harrelson can criticize the park all he wants, and may even make a few valid points, but he’s fighting a losing battle. The baseball world is going to say “he gone” to Harrelson far before Wrigley Field.
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