Fans lined up at Guaranteed Rate Field early Saturday to get their hands on the day’s free giveaway – a Ken “Hawk” Harrelson alarm clock.
The first 20,000 fans into the park received the alarm clock, featuring a caricature of Harrelson on the face and baseball bats for the hour and minute hands.
When the alarm goes off, the clock wakes you up with six Hawk catchphrases, including “You can put it on the board, YES!” “Stretch!” and “This ballgame is ova!”
“I’ve had over 400 requests,” Harrelson said of demand for the clock. “I told them to buy a ticket to the game. That’s the only way you are going to get one.”
The clock created quite a buzz when it was first announced, and fans began immediately listing the item on eBay after entering the park Saturday.
“When they first told me about it, I said: ‘That’s a pretty neat idea,’” said Harrelson, who also threw out the ceremonial first pitch. “As it turned out, it has grown. This thing has a little bit of a life of its own.”
Harrelson, 75, is in his 33rd year in the White Sox television booth.
Asking for help
First baseman Jose Abreu reached out to White Sox coaches Friday and asked for help on defense.
He spent the better part of an hour Saturday afternoon working with manager Rick Renteria on stretching and catching.
Renteria said it’s impressive to see a player hold himself accountable that way and praised Abreu’s work ethic. He went on to say he disagrees with the notion that Abreu is not good enough to be an everyday first baseman.
“I’ve seen him moving around the field, taking groundballs,” Renteria said. “And you see his feet, see his hands.”
Abreu has committed five errors this season, and the Sox’ five errors at first base are the most by any team in the American League and tied for the most among all teams.
During Thursday’s 7-6 loss to the Twins, Abreu committed an error on a routine, belt-high throw from second baseman Tyler Saladino on what should have been an inning-ending double play. Instead, The Twins scored four runs in the first inning and held on to win.
Abreu acknowledged his mistake and admitted he stretched too early when trying to make the play.
“It’s just basically trying to get himself back into a feel of making sure he knows the direction the ball is coming from, making sure his footwork around the base is working properly,” Renteria said. “And sometimes he tries to stretch too much. Allow the ball to do what it’s doing and put himself in a better position to receive the baseball.”
James Shields remains sidelined with a right lat strain, and Renteria offered no new information on a return.
Shields has been on the disabled list since April 21. At the time, Renteria was hopeful Shields wouldn’t miss much time calling the injury “a light strain.”
Carlos Rodon was scheduled to throw off the mound for the first time this season Saturday, Renteria said. Rodon has been on the disabled list since the start of the season with left biceps bursitis.