“Are you nuts!? ARE YOU NUTS?!?”
There are many all-time Hawk Harrelson rants. And this is most definitely one of them.
Mark Buehrle getting ejected from a game seemed to set Harrelson off more than anything else. And when Buehrle got tossed from the Aug. 1, 2005, game against the Baltimore Orioles, Harrelson blew a gasket.
The night before, Tadahito Iguchi was drilled with a pitch, and he wasn't in the lineup for this game. Then, in a 1-all contest in the top of the sixth inning, A.J. Pierzynski was similarly hit, the White Sox catcher taking a pitch off the elbow that was nowhere near the strike zone.
Harrelson was irritated by that, musing on his desire to eliminate the DH so that so-called “fearless” pitchers would have to come to the plate.
“We’ll see then how ‘fearless’ they are,” he said.
After taking the first three games in this four-game set, the White Sox grabbed a lead they would not relinquish in the top of that sixth inning, Jermaine Dye driving in the tie-breaking run with a base hit.
With two outs in the bottom of the sixth, Buehrle came to his teammates’ defense and plunked B.J. Surhoff. Home-plate umpire Brian Gorman had seen enough and gave Buehrle the heave-ho in an attempt to avoid an escalation in the beanball war.
Harrelson went off.
"What are you doing, Brian Gorman? are you nuts? ARE YOU NUTS?!"— White Sox Talk (@NBCSWhiteSox) April 30, 2020
Hawk was LIVID after Buehrle got ejected from this one... don't miss anymore, stream here: https://t.co/mpu73jJCIJ#SoxRewind (@SaintXavier) pic.twitter.com/pc375u1AWW
“Oh, come on! What are you doing!? You’ve got to be kidding me! What are you doing, Brian Gorman!?" he shouted. "Are you nuts!? Are you nuts!? You have got to be — that is total BS! They drill Iguchi last night. Pierzynski gets drilled. I tell you, that is absolutely BS!”
Not even a commercial break while Luis Vizcaino came into the game could halt the eruption of Mt. Hawk.
“It is so much BS,” he continued, “it’s unbelievable.
“Buehrle’s streak of 49 consecutive starts of going six or more innings (ends) because of an inept call by a possibly inept umpire.”
Indeed that was the end of an incredible streak for the legendary White Sox pitcher. He was cruising in this one, too, bouncing back from an unusually rough stretch in the middle of his excellent 2005 season. He came into this one with three losses and a 5.01 ERA in his previous five starts.
In 5.2 innings of work in this one, he allowed only one unearned run on five hits and a walk.
But the reaction coming from the broadcast booth was even more entertaining than watching Buehrle deal.
This was a preview of perhaps Harrelson’s most famous rant, when he lost it after Joe West charged Buehrle with a pair of balks and threw him out of a game in 2010. But this one deserves to be remembered, too.
“Are you nuts!? ARE YOU NUTS?!?”
— Pierzynski got his revenge on the Orioles for hitting him with a pitch in the sixth inning. He smacked a home run two innings later.
— The day prior to this was the trade deadline, and the White Sox acquired Geoff Blum in a deal with the San Diego Padres. Blum got into 31 games during the remainder of the regular season and only hit .200. But he came up with one of the biggest hits in White Sox history, smacking the game-winning homer in the top of the 14th inning in Game 3 of the World Series.
— Prior to this game, Rafael Palmeiro was suspended for steroids. Palmeiro had famously issued a forceful denial of steroid use while testifying in front of Congress, but he tested positive for a banned substance and was suspended for 10 games by Commissioner Bud Selig. Just two weeks earlier, Palmeiro joined the 3,000-hit club.
Since you been gone
While #SoxRewind is extensive, it doesn’t include all 162 regular-season contests, meaning we’re going to be skipping over some games. So what’d we miss since last time?
July 23, 2005: The White Sox outhit the Red Sox but were kept completely off the scoreboard. Manny Ramirez’s two-run homer off Orlando Hernandez in the first proved plenty. White Sox lose, 3-0, fall to 63-33.
July 24, 2005: The White Sox jumped on Bronson Arroyo for five runs in the first three innings, getting a two-run homer from Iguchi. White Sox win, 6-4, improve to 64-33.
July 25, 2005: Zack Greinke’s bad luck continued, getting pounded for five runs in the first inning. And the White Sox didn’t stop there, scoring 14 runs on a whopping 22 hits. Four South Side hitters had multiple RBIs, including four from Dye. White Sox win, 14-6, improve to 65-33.
July 26, 2005: The score was 1-all heading to the sixth inning, when the Royals unloaded a flood of six runs on Buehrle, including a Little League grand slam off the bat of Mark Teahen. White Sox lose, 7-1, fall to 65-34.
July 27, 2005: White Sox killer Mike Sweeney erased a 5-2 gap with a three-run homer off Cliff Politte in the eighth, which sent things to extras, where the Royals scored a walk-off win in the 13th inning. White Sox lose, 6-5, fall to 65-35.
July 29, 2005: A 15-year-old me witnessed Paul Konerko hitting a three-run dinger in the third inning, the key hit in the series-opening win at Camden Yards. White Sox win, 7-2, improve to 66-35.
July 30, 2005: Pierzynski and Dye went back-to-back with home runs in the eight inning to flip a 6-4 deficit to an 8-6 lead. White Sox win, 9-6, improve to 67-35.
July 31, 2005: The White Sox exploded against Rodrigo Lopez, scoring eight runs on seven hits, three walks and a hit by pitch in the first two innings, scoring nine runs total without the benefit of a homer. White Sox win, 9-4, improve to 68-35.
#SoxRewind rolls on Friday, when you can catch the Aug. 4, 2005, game against the Blue Jays, starting at 3:30 p.m. on NBC Sports Chicago. Iguchi delivers some game-winning heroics with the clutchest of homers.