The Kansas City Royals and Chicago White Sox are just playing out the string this weekend at U.S. Cellular Field, but at least they teamed up to give us one final unusual play and one last memorable Hawk Harrelson sound bite before they left the stage.
During the sixth inning of Kansas City's 6-1 victory on Saturday night, White Sox shortstop Alexi Ramirez skied a fly ball to left field that played all kinds of tricks on Alex Gordon. As the ball carried, Gordon drifted back to the wall and momentarily lost sight of it as he changed directions. As the ball continued to carry, Gordon even climbed the fence to prepare for an impossible-looking home run robbery attempt. Then he realized something — the ball had stopped carrying, or at least wasn't going to carry into the left-field stands.
[Photos: Playoff-clinching champagne celebrations]
At that point, Gordon disengaged the fence. Then, perhaps more impressively than robbing a home run would have been, he landed on his feet and almost simultaneously made the catch against the wall
It was a bizarre play to say the least. And to make things even more, well, odd, the organist at U.S. Cellular Field began playing "Na Na Hey Hey Kiss Him Goodbye" before the ball even came down.
In fact, it seems everyone took their eyes off the play the second Gordon hopped on the fence, because seconds later the fireworks that always accompany White Sox home runs began exploding in the sky above the stadium.
Even starting pitcher James Shields admitted to being fooled.
"He deked the whole stadium," Shields said. "When he climbed up on the wall, I figured it was a home run. I looked back at the umpire, Jerry (Meals), to ask for a new ball.
"The fireworks are going off, and I'm looking at Salvy (Perez), who's saying, 'He caught it! He caught it.' I looked back, and (Ramirez) is still rounding the bases and thinking, 'What's going on right now?'"
And then there's Hawk Harrelson and broadcast partner Steve Stone. They both thought it was gone too, with Hawk completing his usual "put it on the board" home run call.
You can view their awkward call around the 0:45 mark in the video.
[Also: Cuba allowing athletes to defect]
Poor Hawk. What a long and painful season for him. So long and painful, in fact, this wasn't even his first confused home run call of the year. Or his best for that matter. To his credit, though, he's the only TV broadcaster in the game today that can give us a call this entertaining during a game with such little meaning.
No, we aren't bleepin' you, Hawk. You're the only one.