The Chicago White Sox currently hold third place in the AL Central, 10 games behind the Cleveland Indians with a record of 51-55, and have lost five of their past six games. Despite those struggles, Ken “Hawk” Harrelson is happy these days. At least with the recent White Sox game broadcasts on CSN Chicago and WGN.
Hawk told the Chicago Sun-Times Daryl Van Schouwen that he’s “rejuvenated” these days, largely because of a reduced schedule in which he’s mostly only calling road games, while Jason Benetti has taken over the home half of the schedule for the White Sox telecasts. But more importantly, Harrelson and analyst Steve Stone recently had a “clearing of the air” that appears to have improved the mood and banter significantly in the broadcast booth.
“There was a clearing of the air discussion that, I don’t know, maybe needs to happen every few years,” Stone told Van Schouwen. “The end result is there is a much better feeling in the booth, much more cooperation and he’s much more likely to make an observation that I can elaborate on. I’m much more apt to direct an observation at him that can tap into his expertise.”
For anyone that has never been forced to listen to Hawk Harrelson. Be so very thankful. pic.twitter.com/EeJQ3T3WxM
— Patrick Whelan (@PdiddyWay) August 3, 2016
What was the deal between Harrelson and Stone? Why did they seem to have zero chemistry in the booth, both acting as if they’d prefer to be on other sides of the press box from each other during ballgames? According to the two of them, it’s because they weren’t on the same page, resulting in little interaction between them while calling the game. So the pair had a discussion and addressed the friction that was affecting the telecasts.
“When things don’t come easy, and there is a little friction, if you don’t solve it, it will fester,” said Harrelson. “I’ve always been a guy, if there is a problem, I’m going to solve it one way or another.’’
Communication is the key in any relationship, yes? Whether it’s between co-workers, in an actual marriage, or an on-air marriage between broadcasters. Apparently, there were some issues between Harrelson and Stone that were festering and resulting tension and grumpiness made it onto the air (or didn’t make it on air, if the two weren’t engaging with one another).
But for now, all appears to be better. No one gone! Though Stone admits it’s only been a few days. Maybe this, other than Chris Sale’s continuing tensions with the White Sox front office, will be the most interesting storyline to follow surrounding the team for the rest of the season.