2018’s going to be a year of change for the Chicago White Sox TV broadcasts, with long-time announcer Ken “Hawk” Harrelson working only 20 home games as part of a farewell season and Jason Benetti taking on more games. Harrelson spoke to media at the Winter Meetings Monday about his final season and his thoughts on the bright future of the club and their rivalry with the Cubs, while also reaffirming his desire to never go to Wrigley Field again.
Here’s video of Harrelson’s comments from Daryl Van Schouwen of The Chicago Sun-Times; this started with Harrelson talking about seeing Cubs’ owner Tom Ricketts at an event last month and discussing how the Cubs’ success would push the White Sox to get better.
Hawk still wants no part of Wrigley. pic.twitter.com/HFA3upBqxZ
— Daryl Van Schouwen (@CST_soxvan) December 11, 2017
“I congratulated him on winning a world championship (in 2016), and I also told him at the end that two years from now, our club is going to have a lot of fun playing his. Because they’re not going anywhere. They’re good. And that makes it good for us, because it makes us have to get better. And when you have to get better, it makes you work a little harder, sub-consciously or consciously. That’s the way sports is. It’s the inner drive, it’s that extra, that adrenaline, getting that adrenaline flowing. Chicago fans are going to to have a wonderful next decade in baseball. I mean, they’re going to have a lot of fun watching the Sox.”
“At least we get them six times this year, not some of those ridiculous Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday nights. How bad is that? We get them on the weekend. I’m going to do the three at our place, I told you I will never step foot in Wrigley Field again as long as I live. You couldn’t pay me to go to Wrigley Field again.”
But Harrelson might have an interesting broadcast partner for one of the games he is calling this year; Fox Sports analyst A.J. Pierzynski. Pierzynski was named a full-time game and studio analyst for Fox last season after previously working with them during the 2011, 2012, 2013 and 2015 postseasons (while he was still playing). Pierzynski was announced as a White Sox ambassador Monday, and spoke about that:
“It was [senior director of business development and broadcasting] Bob [Grim]’s decision to bring me back as an ambassador for the White Sox to do some stuff. Opening Day, the draft, do some stuff, come to some games and be around a little bit. It will be fun.”
He said one thing he’s hoping to do in that new role is call a game with Harrelson:
Pierzynski, who works as an analyst for FOX, said he will also team up with Ken Harrelson for a game in the White Sox TV booth in 2018. Harrelson will work a select amount of games as an ambassador next season. He had hoped to do it in 2017 but couldn’t line up a date with his schedule.
“I’ll move heaven and earth to make sure I’m able to get in at least one game with Hawk,” Pierzynski said.
“I’ll come out and ride on the Hawk’s coattails.”
That could be quite the memorable broadcast, and something that stands out amongst Harrelson’s final games. But we know that it won’t be at Wrigley.