It’s easy to rip on Hawkeroo for his homerism. It’s easy to question the value of his golf jokes. We could go on all day about his goofy catchphrases, or his lame stories about being part of the 1967 Red Sox, or his Joe Mauer/Nick Markakis/Grady Sizemore man-crushes. But we won’t, because that’s cheap and we’re not here to rip on people who choose to love this team.*
At some point though, you have to wonder if the line between due respect to the opposition and total concessional delusion has been eliminated. During tonight’s broadcast, for example, you may have noticed Hawk gushing about a certain Mariners player. And in some cases this would be alright: Ichiro, Felix Hernandez, Raul Ibanez and Jose Lopez are all certainly fine players, each capable of some excellent baseball in their own right.
Hawk went about how this player “can do some amazing things” on the field. This player is “a great hitter.” Hawk specifically mentioned a bases-loaded double this player hit against the Sox in the Kingdome, which upon first listen makes you marvel at how announcers remember these small moments. A broadcasting career spanning not just years but decades, and a player can be forever associated with a small act of momentary greatness. You almost have to tip your hat to that kind of poetic recollection.
Except that player, that great miracle-working hitter, was none other than the .236/.292/.319 Miguel Cairo. To be fair, Cairo has had some good seasons and has probably done some amazing things. The catch here is that the Kingdome closed midway through the 1999 season and destroyed March 26, 2000. Cairo joined the Mariners organization in early 2008, meaning Cairo never could have hit that immortal double because Cairo never played against the Sox in the Kingdome.
So who or what is Hawk talking about? And is it too late for the Good Guys to claim him or it off of waivers?
(*) Only partially true.