Hawk champing at the bit after sitting out spring

Hawk champing at the bit after sitting out spring

By Ken "Hawk" Harrelson's calculations, this recently completed Spring Training represents the first one he missed in 56 years.

Harrelson -- the 2016 White Sox television play-by-play voice for road games, the home opener and the Cubs series at U.S. Cellular Field from July 25-26 -- felt as if he was in Arizona all along, thanks to his mobile devices.

"I can read all of the things, interviews and stories. I actually find out more on my iPad than I would if I had been there in person," Harrelson told MLB.com in a recent interview. "I told Aris [Harrelson's wife], I said, 'Honey, I've enjoyed missing Spring Training, but I really haven't missed it.' I'm starting to miss the sound of the ball and the smell."

Harrelson leaves his Florida home on Saturday for San Francisco and will be ready to go for Opening Day on Monday in Oakland, marking his 32nd season in the White Sox booth. He'll do the four games against the A's, the home opener against the Indians on Friday and then drive to South Bend, Ind., to get his house in order.

With basically one day off, Harrelson then leaves with the team for a weeklong road trip against the Twins and the Rays.

"I'm looking so much forward to getting out there," Harrelson said. "So as my buddy would say, my molecules are getting ready for baseball."

Jason Benetti worked Spring Training games with analyst Steve Stone, and Benetti will do the home games (minus the opener and the Cubs series) as well as the road series in Toronto from April 25-27. Harrelson likes what he has heard from his colleague.

"He's going to be terrific," Harrelson said. "He knows who he is, that's what I like about him. He knows he can do it."

Scott Merkin is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Merk's Works, follow him on Twitter @scottmerkin, on Facebook and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.