9:44 AM CDT, May 31, 2012
The good thing about a sleepy, half-empty domed stadium like Tropicana Field is that everybody got to hear Hawk Harrelson go off on Mark Wegner.
If you missed it, I assume you’re reading this in the hereafter. Whatever, here’s an extended play version of Hawk’s rant, all the way to “All right, we’ll be back.’’ The obvious reason for Hawk’s verbal vivisection wasn’t explained, but it’s pretty much that the home-plate umpire had not warned the teams.
Yes, Wegner had the right to eject White Sox starter Jose Quintana without a warning. The rules say so. But Wegner couldn’t have looked more wrong doing it. He took a simple series of baseball events and mucked it up.
In the third inning Wednesday, A.J. Pierzynski got drilled in the back, which was either payback for a hard slide at second base earlier in the series or just because he’s A.J. Pierzynski. In the fourth inning, Quintana threw a lot lower behind Ben Zobrist. Everybody’s even. That was the time for a warning, not an ejection.
But no. Wegner had another idea. The wrong idea. Look, the idea of issuing warnings is fairness and control, not whimsy.
I’m not a fan of plunking-for-plunking because the risk of throwing at one of their players is they’re going to throw at your best hitter, and Paul Konerko already has been drilled.
But players who get the self-policing idea also get the right way to do it. Quintana threw below the waist with a pitch so badly aimed that it wasn’t a threat to do anything except send a message. Even if he didn’t get the win, Quintana got a clubhouse full of teammates firmly behind him.
Umpires who don’t get it, however, will pull a Wegner.
Hawk made that last part pretty clear during his rant, and if you think he’s the least bit contrite the day after, forget it.
“I said what I said and I meant what I said,’’ Hawk said Thursday morning on WSCR-AM 670’s “Mully&Hanley Show.’’
Hawk also said he was so upset with Wegner that he took four Advil after that inning, then took four more on the plane, then took four more when he got home, and needed four more when he got up this morning.
Excuse me, nurse, but could you remind Hawk the Sox swept their second straight series and have won eight in a row?
Not that Wegner cared, but Quintana was giving the Sox the kind of game that made you wonder if Gavin Floyd was being put on notice.
A couple innings before Hawk charred Wegner, he and Tom Paciorek were talking about the new feeling in the Sox clubhouse, a different atmosphere compared to last season. Of course, threatening to score a couple touchdowns every game, a long winning streak, and being in first place after two months will do that for a clubhouse. But here’s the deal: It doesn’t matter if it’s true, it only matters that the players believe it.
Bases loaded, none out, top of the order coming up in the second, but the Sox got nothing. Bottom of the inning, Luke Scott went oppo to tie the game at 1. The Sox entered the game hitting .452 with runners in scoring position during their seven-game winning streak. Scott had one homer in his last 19 games. So baseball.
Adam Dunn is 6-for-36 (.167) in his last 10 games. Half of his hits have been homers and all of them have put the Sox ahead in games they would win. He also has 22 strikeouts and 9 walks. So Adam Dunn.
The Orlando Hudson-Brent Morel question: Should a player not lose his job because of injury or should a team not lose a player who has helped it win?
Hudson is hitting better than Morel, but then, Morel’s .177 wasn’t exactly scaling Mt. Konerko. Hudson also is making some big plays, and the former third baseman who manages the Sox sounds like he figured it out.
“(Hudson has) added a little infusion into the lineup,’’ Robin Ventura said. “Part of it is his personality. Part of it is the way he plays. But as soon as (Morel) comes back, we’ll see what we have.’’
That’s code for Morel was placed on the Disabled List because there’s no Unable List.
Is Hawk still going off on Wegner?
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