Four more years! No, this isn’t about the presidential election. Most of us are still trying to recover from that. No, this is about Hawk Harrelson and the Chicago White Sox. We’re not sure whether or not that makes you feel better.
If the longtime broadcaster has his way, Harrelson will be calling White Sox games for the next four years. That’s what he told CSN Chicago’s Chuck Garfien on the White Sox Talk Podcast on Tuesday.
Another four years would put Harrelson in a special category, in his view. Here is the exact quote from the podcast, courtesy of CSN Chicago:
“I’d like to go four more years. I’d like to go to 2020 because that would put me in a category that not many guys have reached. I know Vin Scully has been there, Don Zimmer, Dave Garcia and maybe a couple others, but if I go to 2020 that would put me in a category of being in baseball for eight decades. And the reason I want to do this is for my grandchildren. That would be nice for them to have a grandfather who was in baseball for parts of eight decades, and if I go to 2020 that would put me in that category.
“Seven is not bad, but eight is something special.”
Eight decades of Hawk Harrelson. And you thought the two to three you’ve lived through have already been enough. OK, that’s mean to say when he says he wants to do this so his grandchildren have something nice to remember him by. But this doesn’t exactly sound like love of the job, love of the game, or love of whatever else might compel anyone to stick with a job for eight years. But love on some level is probably implied with that great of a time span.
Prior to the 2016 season, the White Sox hired Jason Benetti to call the team’s home games while Harrelson worked the broadcasts on the road. Not only did that reduce Harrelson’s season workload, but according to him and broadcast partner Steve Stone, that also provided an opportunity to “clear the air” which led to a better working relationship between the two.
The White Sox surely won’t push Harrelson out the door when he’s made it clear that he’d prefer to stay on for an extended period. But would keeping Harrelson cost them Benetti, who’s become very popular among White Sox fans and Chicagoans?
Just 33 years old, Benetti has a bright broadcasting future ahead of what’s already been a promising career. He could surely find an opportunity to call a full slate of games for plenty of other MLB teams, if not clubs in other sports. (Prior to joining the White Sox, he called college basketball and football for ESPN.) He gone? That might be something the White Sox have to think long and hard about for their future.