CHICAGO -- Ken 'Hawk' Harrelson, the venerable White Sox television play-by-play man of 28 years, called Mark Wegner Saturday and left an apologetic message for his harsh criticism of the umpire.
The move to apologize was a decision made by Harrelson and Harrelson alone.
"I just felt bad about it to a degree after I sat down and thought about it," said Harrelson, talking briefly about the phone call after the White Sox lost in 12 innings to the Mariners by a 10-8 final.
Harrelson was critical of Wegner Wednesday on the air when he ejected White Sox starter Jose Quintana after the rookie southpaw threw a pitch behind Rays infielder Ben Zobrist with two outs and nobody on base in the fourth inning of the eventual White Sox victory. Quintana said he was crossed up on what pitch to throw to catcher A.J. Pierzynski, but Wegner disagreed.
Just two innings earlier, Pierzynski had been hit in the back by an Alex Cobb pitch, perhaps in retaliation to Pierzynski's hard slide to break up a double play in Tuesday's game. With that context, Wegner ejected Quintana without issuing a warning, sending Harrelson on his now-infamous rant.
Commissioner Bud Selig and White Sox chairman Jerry Reinsdorf both talked with Harrelson about his actions, or as Harrelson put it, they talked and he listened. And while Harrelson didn't apologize per se for the outburst when meeting with the media on Friday, he vowed to do everything in his power not to let such action take place again.
When first-base umpire Joe West called a balk on Hector Santiago in the seventh inning of Saturday's contest, Harrelson stayed calm after West's decision. Harrelson and television analyst Steve Stone both respectfully disagreed with West's call in further conversation.