Hawk Harrelson: Jose Bautista Has a Little Cork in his Bat? (Audio)

The White Sox broadcasters were the latest media members to be treated to the Jose Bautista show. The Toronto slugger went 5-for-10 with a home run and three RBIs in the first three games of the Blue Jays-White Sox series this weekend, leaving Chicago’s TV team impressed. In fact, Bautista impressed the team of Hawk Harrelson and Steve Stone so much, it left Harrelson saying “If you didn’t know better, you’d say [his bat] had a little cork in it.”

Here’s the audio from the Hawk:

I know Hawk qualified his statement by saying “If you didn’t know any better,” but he’s still throwing it out there that Bautista is hitting the ball harder than everyone else, and he’s suggesting something may be up. Many people have suspected Bautista of using PEDs, and given the amount of successful major leaguers who have been busted over time, that wouldn’t totally be unfair.

The point is people have been looking to explain Jose Bautista’s evolution into the best hitter in the game. Last year I thought he was a fluke, but now I believe that he’s morphed into a slugger. Still, I wouldn’t be surprised to find out he were using some substances.

Now Hawk’s throwing it out there that if you didn’t know any better, you’d say he’s corking his bat. Well Hawk, if you know better, then why did you suggest it? That to me sounds like someone so impressed you don’t believe what you’re seeing, and that you don’t think it’s natural. You might as well say he’s getting injections in the tunnel to the clubhouse between innings. If you don’t think he’s doing it, then don’t throw it out there.

What do you think, is it possible he’s doing something like that?

High five to Eye on Baseball and The National Post for the tip

Around The Web

  • http://twitter.com/IntheOT Chad Margulius

    Shut up Hawk. If it was one of your White Sox players no way you would be making these comments. Hes so biased its sick. Just because Bautista is having success doesnt mean hes doing anything wrong. Like I have been saying the past 2 years prior to  his years in Toronto he never played over 100 games in a season therefore never having a legitimate chance.

  • http://larrybrownsports.com Larry Brown

    Hahahaha love it Chad. He should change his nickname from Hawk to Homer

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_AEWRGIK6VHMQPMFE3GKIYBXZRM Hammer

    It has been researched over and over that corked wooden bats, tennis balls in aluminum bats and helium in footballs just does not work.  HAWK, READ A LITTLE BIT MORE.  

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Dan-Berman/100000669729095 Dan Berman

    I don’t know about cork, but I am skeptical. But then I am skeptical of everyone these days.

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_5NDDWOXBFWID6V7IU66M6YBGCY Nathan

    There are two TV broadcasters in baseball that I don’t enjoying listening to because they sound like uprofessional clowns … Hawk Harrelson and the guy who does radio for the Yanks.  However, the announcer for the Yanks has far more class and respect for non-home teams than Harrelson.

    I’d be embarressed if Hawk was a broadcasters for the Blue Jays.  He uses childish and stupid catchphrases for plays that just make me want to turn the radio off.  On Sunday he was backing up Dank’s yelling at Bautista.  On Saturday he couldn’t even call the walk-off home run agains the Sox.  I couldn’t believe it!!  Broadcasters should be rooting for the home team, but showing respect for the game as a whole.  Hawk is terrible!!  

    Sooo … it doesn’t suprise me that Hawk is making stupid statements like he did about Baustista’s bat.
    One thing is forsure … Alex Rios NEEDS cork in his bat and the Jays are glad the ChiSox were gullible enough to pick him up.  Go Jays.

  • Anonymous

    Be as suspicious as you like Larry. There’s a ton of anecdotal evidence all over the internet indicating that Bautista always had tremendous bat speed, but lacked the ability to repeat his swing, and to consistently square up the ball. Check out Olbermann’s blog (http://keitholbermann.mlblogs.com/2011/05/29/mickey-manto-saw-jose-bautistas-success/), for instance. There are many, many others. Nevertheless, you remain skeptical, you and people like this Berman twit who posts his utterly repugnant article on every site that mentions Bautista, day after day, week after week; I guess he doesn’t get that we’re all sick of his “insight” and frankly don’t believe for a moment that he actually enjoys baseball. Because one of the reasons baseball has “lifelong” fans is that of all sports it foregrounds the human factor. Stories like Bautista’s are what make being a baseball fan worthwhile.

    But keep it up. You have no evidence because there isn’t any to be had.

  • http://larrybrownsports.com Larry Brown

    Look, it’s quite possible he’s 100% clean and an awesome player. But 1) citing Olbermann as support is a joke. That dude is clueless. 2) Plenty of star players who rose to prominence turned out to be juicing. It would be naive to not at least consider the possibility. But I understand, you’re a big fan so you don’t want to think of the possibility. I get that.

  • http://www.twitter.com/scorebuzz stoeten

    You know what’s naive? Acting like Bautista is the only guy in baseball who’s found some sort of magical potion that’s undetectable to drug tests and turns you into a monster player without any perceptible physical changes.

  • http://larrybrownsports.com Larry Brown

    So who’s naive?

  • Anonymous

    Ok, fine. You don’t like Olbermann, so therefore Jeff Manto’s comments are BS. What about the scout who signed Bautista? What about Dwayne Murphy and Cito Gaston, both of whom were impressed by what they took to be Bautista’s potential, and figured out a way to allow him to put it to use? Etc. Etc.

    But yes Larry. Let’s consider, seriously, the possibility that Bautista’s improvement as a hitter has nothing to do with his talent, but with some PED that he’s now taking,  and that he began taking sometime in 2009. It must be new since it’s undetectable by MLBs testing protocols, to which Bautista has been subject. We know it’s not likely HGH, since one of the features of HGH is that it promotes and hastens recovery from injury; one would assume that if Bautista was on HGH, he wouldn’t have needed to miss 5 games due to a sore neck (from sleeping on it funny). Besides which, HGH wouldn’t seem to have any significant effect on such things as bat speed, which we are presuming Bautista didn’t already have. We also haven’t seen any abnormal growth in the player; in fact, he apparently came to Spring training this year a little lighter than years previous.

    I don’t know if you saw any of Bautista’s HRs prior to the “power surge” of September 09. I saw a few, and while they were rare, they were invariably scorched. But let’s say they weren’t, and that the bat speed occurred as a result of the mysterious drug he began taking. What is it? Where is he getting it? Is it in fact illegal? Since we don’t know of the existence of such a drug, and since nobody else seems to be benefiting from it, it might well be his mother’s special concoction of sugar cane and ginseng. Perhaps she should start marketing it.

    I’m sorry Larry, but I just don’t see what’s automatically suspect about a player learning, at age 28, to harness his potential and become a star. Yes, it normally doesn’t happen, but when ALL you do is look at the numbers, you miss the human element. I’ve been a follower of Bill James since the late 70s when his Abstracts came in xerox form from Kansas in a brown envelope, and I think sabermetrics has  advanced the understanding of the game no end. But  when numbers and average outcomes are used to discredit the achievement of someone when there’s zero evidence that he’s done anything wrong, along with abundant evidence that he’s worked hard and made legitimate efforts to improve, it seems stupid, and stupidity upsets me.

    Yeah, I’m a fan. I’ve seen nearly every game he’s played since he came to the Jays. And yes Larrry: I’ve considered the possibility, obviously. I think all of the existing evidence on the subject indicates that Bautista is not cheating. When you find some to the contrary, I’ll be happy to consider it, and my view may change.

  • http://larrybrownsports.com Larry Brown

    Mick, I said I believe in him as a slugger. I also wrote that I wouldn’t be surprised if  we found out he were using something. I don’t see what’s wrong with that. You’re getting super defensive for no reason. You even wrote as much in your comment:

    “Yes, it normally doesn’t happen, but when ALL you do is look at the numbers, you miss the human element.”

    Like I said, given the amount of stars in the game who turned out to be using, it wouldn’t be a surprise to find out that Bautista were in something. I didn’t say he is, I said it wouldn’t be a surprise. And it really shouldn’t be one for anyone who’s paid attention. You just don’t want to think about it because it takes away from your enjoyment of the game and I understand that. 

    Drug testing has helped clean up the game immensely and I love that. But let’s be honest, just because there is testing doesn’t mean players aren’t using some form of PEDs. Just most of them aren’t dumb enough to get caught like Manny.

  • http://twitter.com/plain_g plain_g

    how is your comment any different than harrelson’s?

  • http://larrybrownsports.com Larry Brown

    what comment?

  • http://twitter.com/DodgersKings323 DodgersKings323

    What i was wondering, also like that guy said i’m sure he never said anything about Konerko, Dunn or Thome when he was mashing for the Sox. I actually kinda like this dudes Homer schtick but this is uncalled for.

  • http://larrybrownsports.com Larry Brown

    Let me see if I have this correct: A player needs to show physical signs of using PEDs in order to be questioned? 

    Is that right? A player needs to have swollen up and developed cartoonish muscles in order for it to be OK for us to suspect PED use? 

    I guess someone forgot that the very first player suspended by MLB’s drug testing was Alex Sanchez, a skinny outfielder who weighed 180 pounds and had six career home runs in 1,651 at-bats. 

    Or what about skinny and lanky Mike Morse who was busted later in the year? How about Guillermo Mota? Two skinny rails, I don’t remember too many muscles on either of them.

    Oh yeah, Rafael Palmeiro — that guy was ripped. Of course he was using steroids! 

    I’m sorry Bautista didn’t show up packing 20 pounds of muscle on him otherwise then it would have been OK to suspect things in your eyes, Andrew.

    I never pointed out Bautista individually, it’s too bad you didn’t read carefully enough to realize that. I think it’s fair to suspect that anyone having highly unusual success may be on something. Now if you disagree with that point, then you disagree, but I feel my viewpoint is valid given the culture within baseball that’s been created. I’m not trying to tell you how to think, I’m explaining my point of view and it’s fine to disagree. 

    I think it’s a little sad you have to resort to the language you do in order to make your points, but I guess it’s to be expected with a site named “Drunk Jays Fans.”

    Your buddy 24_70 seemed to refute your comments and arguments pretty well. I guess just because he was in your forum you treated him well.

    Seems to me I responded fairly to two of your commenters — Mick in Ithaca in this thread and Fullmer Fan in another. I have no problem debating issues and being faced with opposing viewpoints. It’s just unfortunate some people don’t do so using more tact.