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Tuesday night is Hawk Harrelson Night at the old ballpark, an evening to commemorate 25 seasons of hangwifums and duck snorts and more Carl Yazstremski adoration than you can shake a career .239 average at.
The team reports Hawkeroo "will be saluted by a number of special guests," although it is anyone's guess as to who these special guests may be. Perhaps any number of luminaries from the squad Harrelson assembled during his historic run as general manager, in which true baseball genius fully flexed itself, a lifetime of folksy wisdom come to life as the team that won an unprecedented 72 games in a single season.
I don't know, and I never will; not just because I would have problems celebrating my least-favorite element of a franchise that has so many times gone out of its way to make it tough to cheer for, but because going to Hawk Night means going to a Sox game and that, right now, is about the worst way I can think of to spend a Tuesday night.
Will Gordon Beckham continue his alarming plummet towards mediocrity?
How many two-strike pitches will Alexei Ramirez chase into the dirt off the outside corner?
Which of the four aces will come up snake eyes?
And to think, on top of all that excitement, I could also be sending telepathic mind-waves towards the Hawk himself, my love for his crossed-up stories and nonsensical philosophizing commemorated forever by a souvenir t-shirt describing the difference between not underplaying and winning the game of not letting the other guy not un-beat you. Because that, to hear a certain exalted someone tell it, is what good baseball is all about. At least, the kind of good baseball that wins 72 games which, to be totally honest about the 2010 team's chances, might be a bit of a . . . stretch. Sigh.
Week in Review: Jovi. Lose two, win one, repeat. It's all the same; only the names have changed.
Week in Preview: Sad. Three against the Tigers for divisional pride, followed by three against the small bears for the right to be less locally ashamed.
Hawkeroo's Can-O-Corn Watch: "Oh, I love it when these two ballclubs play. You know, you can say what you want, how our Sox playing the Cubs isn't the same anymore, that these two teams now have bigger prizes they're after, but that's how these rivalries get better: when one team isn't looking, the other will sneak up on them, take two of three and brag about it all the way home. You look at our Sox under Ozzie, you take the Cubs under one of the greatest managers of all time, I'll take this series, here, in the beautiful city of Chicago, I'll take that over anything, at least until our Sox are back in the World Series, and don't think Kenny Williams and Jerry Reinsdorf didn't build this team to do that: to make a team that can sneak its way to winning everything, even if the meaning of 'everything' isn't what it's not supposed to have been when you first thought it was."
Gordon Beckham Hall of Fame Update: Gordon Beckham strikeouts last week: 3. Mariano Rivera strikeouts last week: 2. Advantage: Beckham.
Alumni News You Can Use: Former White Sox outfielder Scott Podsednik no longer leads the AL in batting, having fallen to a lowly .292 average that would still be the club's second-highest were he still on the South Side. And thus, Juan Pierre's .318 on-base percentage somehow becomes okay, or something.
The "H" in "DH" Stands For: Heroic, as offensive superstar Mark Kotsay furthered his legend with a 1-for-12 run against the Rangers and Indians last week.
The Q Factor: Carlos Quentin journal entry, June 7, 2010: "Progress has become more elusive than I would like it to be. I'm hitting, but not truly batting; with so much suffering in the world, I find it difficult to focus my thoughts anymore, and yet I know there will be an appropriate time for addressing the ills of my fellow man. My hands, my arms, they may swing a bat, but my head and my heart want to swap that bat for a hammer, for a scalpel, for an airlift. Yet I know deep inside, the day will come where I am free to right the wrongs I see all around me. The day will come. I must never forget that."
Endorsement No-Brainer: The logical yet still theoretical White Sox fire sale for the 2010 World Cup: Ke Nako.
Cubs Snub: Aramis Ramirez would like you to know he hasn't forgotten how to hit, which is funny because he actually has. The White Sox Report predicts the Cubs' 2010 season will bottom out this weekend as interleague play resumes and the North Side squad gets shamed by the worst team in the American League.
The White Sox Report: Read 'em all.
The Cub Factor: It's funny because it's true.
Andrew Reilly lives in Chicago and is real excited about this upcoming hockey game. He welcomes your comments.