Spring Training is months away, yet Hawk Harrelson is in midseason form, already rationalizing Adam Dunn’s career strikeout total. The newly acquired DH has over 1,600 whiffs and averages about 180 a season.
“When you’re as disciplined as Adam Dunn is, you’re going to strike out a lot. That’s just a fact,” Harrelson said. “He’s almost got too good of an eye.”
Hawk continued, “He knows the name of the game is to get the pitcher, so of course he swings at high pitches.”
Harrelson, who has spent more than 50 years in Major League Baseball, justified Dunn’s strikeouts by referencing his playing days.
“I once asked Ted Williams, ‘do you hack at pitches in the dirt?’ and Ted said, ‘You bet your heiny I do.’”
Harrelson’s practice of rationalizing a player’s poor performance dates back at least 10 seasons, when — throughout the summer of 2000 — Hawk consistently explained how the bad throws from shortstop Jose Valentin made Paul Konerko a better first baseman.