( Source ) – GLENDALE, Ariz. — Ken “Hawk” Harrelson was talking a few weeks ago with his good friend, Dewey Tomko, who is an expert poker player but more of a casual baseball fan. Tomko asked the White Sox television play-by-play announcer an important question.
“He asked me, ‘Is there a chance there could be a White Sox-Cubs World Series?'” Harrelson said. “I said, ‘Dewey, for the first time in my career, yes, there’s a definite chance it could happen.'”
Harrelson made this comment during a 10-minute sitdown with MLB.com on Wednesday, as he approaches his 31st season in the White Sox television booth. The colorful broadcaster almost always has his cup half-full of optimism, although he did admit that the 2013 White Sox season was the worst season he has experienced as an announcer or a player.
But with the vast changes made on both sides of town during one of the most baseball buzzworthy offseasons in Chicago in recent memory, Hawk has picked the Cubs to win the National League Central and the White Sox to win the American League Central in 2015. He couldn’t think of another general manager who has turned a ballclub around with the expertise of Rick Hahn on the South Side, and feels hiring Joe Maddon as manager stands as the best move made by the Cubs since president of baseball operations Theo Epstein has been there.
“Now this is going to be an exciting season for Chicago on both sides of town,” Harrelson said.
As for what a World Series between the Cubs and White Sox would feel like or look like, Harrelson smiled and responded, “Just let your mind run wild.”
Said Harrelson: “It would be awesome. And we deserve it.”
Hawk Harrelson is without a doubt one of the most polarizing figures in all of Chicago sports. A lot of people, Sox fans included, hate his fucking guts. Others like me happen to love everything about him. There is no denying his love for the game of baseball, White Sox baseball in particular, and love him or hate him, he’s always an absolutely fantastic interview. Is he completely pompous sometimes? Definitely. He only speaks in hyperbolic terms. If I had a penny for every time he’s said “Paul Konerko is the best I’ve ever seen at ______” or “Chris Sale has the best ______ I’ve ever seen”, I’d be rich as hell. Him claiming the Sox and Cubs could legitimately meet in the World Series this year is probably no different.
With that said, without looking ahead to 2015 and beyond, if the Sox and Cubs were to meet in the World Series this is the year it will happen. Sox fans knew years ago that the offseason that precluded the 2014 season would be the one where team administration would have payroll flexibility to make a big splash in free agency, and they did. Cubs fans knew that 2014 would be the year that their super prospects would finally don a Cubs uniform, and they also signed a true ace and manager. Will it be enough for either team to make the playoffs, let alone reach the World Series? No one knows at this point. While both fanbases are finally entering a season with extreme optimism, both are treading lightly at the same time. With all of the injuries and dumpster fires in the past few years in Chicago, we are afraid to get our hopes up too high.
I said it in my preseason blog, that this is the first time in my life I’ve actually in some what, shape, or form hoped the Cubs improved and make a legit run at the playoffs, only for the .000000001% chance that they meet the Sox in the World Series. If they did, it’d be the Chicago fire round II in late October, except this time it wouldn’t be because some old bitch’s cow knocked over a lantern in a barn. I getting giddy visualizing it now – Barstool Chicago and hundreds of Stoolies huddled around a TV during game 7 of a Sox/Cubs World Series at whatever bar we’re hosting a watch party at, half Cub fans, half Sox, and at least half of those people wanting to kill themselves at game’s end because their team lost. Insanity ensues. Cannot WAIT for April to get here.