White Sox

Hawk Harrelson calls it a career: 'I've been blessed, but it's over'

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AP

Hawk Harrelson calls it a career: 'I've been blessed, but it's over'

CLEVELAND -- He gone (for the most part).

Sunday’s broadcast marked the end of a 33-year run as the White Sox full-time play-by-play announcer for Hawk Harrelson. Harrelson, who also was the White Sox general manager for one season (1986), officially announced plans to retire and work a reduced schedule earlier in the season. He’s set to call 20 games in 2018 as Jason Benetti moves into the full-time role.

“Baseball’s been great to me,” Harrelson said. “I’ve been blessed. I love this game.

“It’s been a good ride. I’ve had a lot of fun. I’ve been blessed, but it’s over.”

The Cleveland Indians honored Harrelson with a video montage in the first inning. Harrelson spent parts of three seasons with the Indians (1969-71) and thinks his former team has what it takes to win the World Series this season. He also thinks highly of the White Sox chances, though believes they’ll be ready to compete in 2020, not 2019. Part of Harrelson’s belief stems from his trust in manager Rick Renteria as well as the influx of prospects.

“I’m going to have so much fun watching this club,” Harrelson said. “Three years from now this team is going to be a freaking monster. They’ve got the right guy in Renteria.”

Harrelson started to choke up as he discussed the highlights of a career in baseball that began in 1959. He’d like to stay involved in baseball until the 2020 season, which would put him in rare company. If Harrelson works until 2020, he’d join Vin Scully, Tommy Lasorda, Don Zimmer and Dave Garcia as the only people to work eight decades in baseball.

“I went to the World Series in the seventh game,” Harrelson said. “And I think my second-favorite moment was in 2005 when we won the World Series. I’ve had so many great moments that I’ve called. I had 11 no-hitters, a perfect game, Jim Thome’s 500th. Of course, my favorite is Mark Buehrle’s perfect game.

"I did something that I think nobody else has ever done or will ever do again. I called Jermaine Dye’s 300th home run, and the very next hitter was Paul Konerko, and I called his 300th home run the very next hitter. I don’t think that will ever be done again, back-to-back 300th home runs. I’m just so happy.”

Podcast: Dylan Cease raves about the White Sox farm system

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AP

Podcast: Dylan Cease raves about the White Sox farm system

Coming to you from Washington DC, we speak with Dylan Cease who competed in the MLB Futures Game along with his Birmingham Barons teammate Luis Basabe. 

Cease talks about the White Sox loaded farm system, what players have impressed him the most, where he gets his composure on the mound and more. 

Check out the entire podcast here:

Fernando Tatis Jr. is the prospect who got away: White Sox fans, read this at your own risk

Fernando Tatis Jr. is the prospect who got away: White Sox fans, read this at your own risk

WASHINGTON, D.C. — Fernando Tatis, Jr. is one of the brightest future stars in the game. MLB Pipeline ranks him as the No. 3 prospect in all of baseball, one spot behind Eloy Jimenez.

He’s a five-tool shortstop slashing .289/.359/.509 at Double-A San Antonio with 15 home runs, 42 RBIs and 15 stolen bases in 85 games. He’s bilingual, charismatic, the kind of guy who could be a face of a franchise.

And two years ago, he was property of the White Sox.

That was until they traded Tatis, who was only 17 at the time, to the Padres for James Shields. Tatis had yet to play a single game in the White Sox farm system, so it was tough to predict his future. However, speaking with Tatis before he competed in the MLB Futures Game on Sunday, the trade was definitely a shock to him.

“I was surprised. It was weird. For a kid that young to get traded, I had never heard of it. When they told me that, I couldn’t believe it. I was like, ‘What’s going on?’” Tatis said in an interview with NBC Sports Chicago.

No front office is going to bat 1.000, and when it comes to Tatis, this is a trade the White Sox would love to have back.

But first, more perspective.

In June of 2016, six months before the White Sox started their rebuild, they were 29-26, a game and a half out of first place. With Chris Sale, Jose Quintana and a healthy Carlos Rodon anchoring their rotation, they felt that with the addition of Shields, they could compete for the division.

Unfortunately, perception didn’t meet reality. Shields struggled on the mound with the White Sox in 2016 and 2017. His numbers have improved considerably, and he could return the White Sox another prospect if he’s dealt before the trade deadline. However, it’s unlikely they’ll receive a player with the potential that Tatis has right now.

“(The trade) was about getting a good starter so they could get to the playoffs. I understood. I know this game is a business,” Tatis said.

Before the trade occurred, Tatis looked into his future and saw a day when he’d be the White Sox starting shortstop.

“Yeah, that was my goal when (White Sox director of international scouting) Marco Paddy signed me,” Tatis said. “We talked about it when I started and that was the goal.”

His goal now is to make it to the major leagues with the Padres.

“I’m pretty close. I want to keep working. When they decide to call me up, I’ll be ready.”

As for his former team, he’s impressed with the talent the White Sox have assembled.

“They’re building something special. They have really good prospects. I wish the best for them.”

You can’t help but wonder what the rebuild would look like if Tatis was along for the ride. He’s the one who got away.