Yesterday the Wall Street Journal, doing what it does best, published The Announcer-Bias Index, described as the “[n]umber of comments perceived as bias that were made by each club’s TV broadcast team over the course of one game – including the use of words like ‘we,’ ‘us’ or ‘our'; referring to a player by a nickname; or blatantly rooting for the home team.”
Interestingly, old Red Sox friend Ken “Hawk” Harrelson ranked as the biggest homer – for the Chicago White Sox.
A 30-Team Study Shows Some Baseball Teams Don’t Play It Straight; ‘The Good Guys’
If you’re wondering what’s going on in the American League Central pennant race over the next week, all you need to do is tune into a Chicago White Sox telecast and listen for the voice of the team’s play-by-play man, Ken “Hawk” Harrelson.
Harrelson is, to put it diplomatically, a bit of a “homer.” In other words, he’s unapologetic about his devotion to the White Sox, the team he routinely calls “the good guys.” According to one measure, Harrelson and his booth partner, Steve Stone, make more nakedly biased statements during a single game than every other TV broadcast team in the American League combined.
“Let’s just say that if we’re losing, you’re going to know it,” Harrelson said in a recent interview. “I won’t sound happy.”
Also interestingly, Red Sox announcers Don Orsillo and Jerry Remy wound up in a five-way tie for last in the bias index:
(Sorry to point out that the Yankee broadcasters are also cellar-dwellers.)
Regardless, Don’t Go, Sox!