From his home in Orlando, Hawk Harrelson gave Scot Gregor a number of strong opinions on a number of various topics, including a boast about his sixth sense:
I said, ‘I'll tell you what I think they're going to do. This club has got a chance to be the most talented ballclub that you and I have ever been associated with.' And I said, ‘I don't think it's going to get it done.'
She said, ‘What? Why?' And I said, ‘I'll tell you why. Last year (2010) we had a lot of talent on this club and we had a bad spring. We were flat coming out of spring training and we stayed flat all year long.'
I said, ‘This year it's the same thing. We are flatter coming out of spring than we were last year, and I don't see us coming out of it.' And dad-gum it, I was right. We were flat and as the season went on, we got flatter.
This leads me to two questions.
1) Can a "talented ballclub" remain flat for an entire season -- and supposedly give signs that they were going to be flat before flatting it up -- and still be called a "talented ballclub?"
2) If so, isn't that an indictment of the team's leadership? I guess Harrelson scratches the surface by saying "Ozzie was just not Ozzie the last couple of years."
If this is bumming you out, worry not -- Harrelson has a surprise for you.
Q: What are your thoughts on Adam Dunn?
A: I think he's going to give us two shocks. One shock was in 2011 and the next shock is going to be in 2012. I think he's going to come back and have a (heck) of a year. The last day of the season, we talked for a little bit and after that conversation I told my wife, she asked me: ‘Do you think he can come back?'
I said, ‘Honey, I'll tell you what I'll do. I'll bet you a dozen golf balls right now Adam's the Comeback Player of the Year. You could read it in his eyes. It was just like reading a book through his eyes ... ‘I will be back, I will be back, I will be back.'
Harrelson, the man who predicted the Sox would disappoint in 2011 but didn't warn anybody who could've changed things, is now thankfully alerting us to future events. Adam Dunn, Comeback Player of the Year in 2012. Book it.
Personally, I would have picked a sounder case to staple my reputation to, but Hawk wouldn't be the Hawk if he played it safe.
(Either that, or Dunn would qualify for Comeback Player of the Year by hitting .180 with 19 homers. Proceed with caution regardless.)