The red-hot White Sox took on the Tampa Bay Rays earlier today in the third of a 3-game series in which Chicago had already taken the first two.
While you know every team will have a handful of chippy, emotional, and even violent games throughout the course of a regular season, you don’t expect them to come when teams from different divisions who rarely see each other square off.
But on Wednesday afternoon, that was just the case at Tropicana Field in St. Petersburg.
In Tuesday’s game, White Sox catcher A.J. Pierzynski took a questionable slide that the Rays did not appreciate. So on Wednesday, Tampa Bay pitcher Alex Cobb beaned Pierzynski as what seemed to be retaliation for the slide.
Later, Sox starter Jose Quintana threw low and in to Rays’ outfielder Ben Zobrist. Well, he threw low and behind Zobrist to be more precise.
Home plate umpire Mark Wegner immediately took off his mask, stepped forward, and ejected Quintana as the intention was becoming clear. And that’s when Hawk blew up.
Now it can’t be ignored that I’m a White Sox fan and love Ken “Hawk” Harrelson as much as anyone. He always advocates for his ball club, which he’s been involved with for over a quarter century now, and I don’t see anything wrong with that. Is it unique? Yes. Is it entertaining? “You betcha,” as Hawk would say.
Obviously there’s a strong argument that Hawk crossed the line with his several insults directed overtly at Wegner. But with no warnings having been issued to the benches prior to the ejection, Hawk’s side is understandable too.
As a fan that watches every White Sox broadcast, I can tell you that the rage you heard from Harrelson was not just because of the questionable decision from Wegner today, but because of growing frustration with potentially game-altering decisions that Hawk has noted in recent months and years.
Hawk supporter or not, you ‘oughta stay tuned for more Ken Harrelson highlight moments from here on out. As long as the White Sox are anywhere near being in first place or even just in contention, his emotions will be sure to shine through quite dramatically like they did Wednesday.