Hawk Harrelson has been fun for Chicago White Sox fans to listen to during TV broadcasts of White Sox games, but sometimes he gets out of hand when he bashes umpires. Harrelson's tirade on umpire Mark Wegner after he ejected White Sox spot starter Jose Quintana for throwing behind Ben Zobrist of the Tampa Bay Rays Wednesday was his most outrageous yet.
The tirade could be enough to warrant discipline.
Quintana, whom the White Sox called up to take the place of injured John Danks, threw behind Zobrist. Here's the video of Quintana doing so, followed by Harrelson's tirade, via the Huffington Post.
As one can tell from the video, the pitch wasn't close to the plate. The pitch was low from the release.
Whether Quintana intentionally threw behind Zobrist is up to Wegner's discretion. The umpire can best tell whether a pitcher hit a batter on purpose. A fan can watch and guess whether the pitcher did it intentionally, but an umpire knows better than a fan and makes the call dispassionately.
Harrelson went on for some time complaining about Wegner. He called Wegner "unprofessional." Also, he said Wegner should "go back to school."
Both comments, along with many others made in that tirade, were out of line. According to the Chicago Tribune, the MLB is reviewing Harrelson's comments, but they are unlikely to take action since he's considered an employee of Comcast SportsNet Chicago.
However, the MLB may take a closer look at Harrelson's comments due to their stance on the critiquing of umpires.
WSCR-AM 670 Chicago personality Dan Bernstein pointed out after the game that the MLB is very sensitive about criticism of umpires.
White Sox fans are used to having a TV color commentator who is a lightning bolt when it comes to umpiring. However, the White Sox could save face if their TV analysts were given a reason to cool down.
It might even make the broadcast more enjoyable.