By Paul LaTour
Ken Hawk Harrelson wants to say it wont happen again. The next time he disagrees with an umpire decision, Harrelson said hell do his best to not criticize the umpire on air as he did with Mark Wegner during Wednesdays White Sox road game against Tampa Bay.
That doesnt mean it wont happen again.
Im going to do everything in my power not to let it happen again, Harrelson said Friday before the Soxs series opener against Seattle at U.S. Cellular Field. But who can say? Ive snapped before. If I tell you right now it wont happen again, I mean it. But I couldnt guarantee it.
Harrelson heard from commissioner Bud Selig and team owner Jerry Reinsdorf in the wake of his latest outburst. He wouldnt say exactly what was said, though he did say he wasnt told he had to apologize. He also said the conversations were decidedly one-sided.
As you all know, Im not afraid of many things, but if it had been a fight they would have called it in the first round, Harrelson said on the steps of the Sox dugout after he talked with general manager Kenny Williams.
Harrelsons rant has been the talk of the Internet for the past two days. Deadspin posted something about it before the game had even ended. Transcriptions and video replays are available with a simple search.
Yet somehow many of the Sox players claim they havent seen or heard the tirade.
I havent heard what Hawk said, but I bet its pretty funny, Adam Dunn said.
Ive heard some rumors about this, but I havent even heard what happened, Gordon Beckham said. Somebody said something that Hawk was pretty fired up about the ejection, but I promise you I havent heard it.
I still havent heard it, but I hear other people talking about it, manager Robin Ventura said. Again, were worried about what were doing, and not the peripheral things that go on around it.
A.J. Pierzynski also said he hadnt heard it in turning down a request to talk about it.
While they didnt want to discuss the actual incident, players were responsive to questions about having a guy like Harrelson in the booth ready to defend them so vehemently.
Hawk is a big proponent of ours and wants us to do well, Beckham said. Its always nice to have somebody in the booth who is behind you, good or bad, rain or shine.
Harrelson said he plans to address the matter on air in tonights broadcast, and then put it to rest. Hes hoping others will do the same. But he insists he'll never change his style in the broadcast booth.
If I do that Ill quit, he said.