Today the esteemed Carson Cistulli revealed an offseason project over at Fangraphs: fan rankings of the 31 broadcast teams in baseball (
I'm assuming the 31st comes from either the ESPN Sunday Night Baseball team or Fox's Saturday broadcast crew Turns out I need to work on my reading skills. The Dodgers account for two broadcast teams). Rather unshockingly, Steve Stone and Hawk Harrelson came in last, mostly on the strength (weakness?) of our Uncle Hawk. The same complaints as always appeared "He's annoying! He's a homer!"
I feel like we read at least one article like this every year. And yeah, it's one thing for White Sox fans to complain about him. He's our announcer. And while I personally don't fill with rage at the sound of his voice as so many others seem to, I can see why people wouldn't like him. He is a homer. He lives and dies with the team. Is that necessarily a terrible thing?I always found it a bit odd that people expect an announcer to remain impartial. This isn't football. The announcers aren't randomly sent from city to city every week. Hawk is signed on to announce 162 games a year. He's been announcing games for the same team since 1982. 1982! I would be amazed if he had somehow remained wholly impartial. I like to think the announcer actually cares about the team like I do. With Hawk, I know that to be true. He can take it too far, but if every announcer treated their job the way Joe Buck or Joe Morgan do, baseball would be simply unwatchable with sound.
The part that always makes me laugh the hardest is the inevitable Cubs fan pile on that quickly follows these articles. Did they somehow forget how terrible Harry Caray and Ron Santo were at announcing? Harry Caray was a bumbling drunken asshole who couldn't pronounce names. Santo would seemingly go innings at a time without describing what was happening other than moaning and cheering. Yet somehow, Hawk is immeasurably worse than those two? Bullshit.