The halls of academia are paved with studies featuring results that were known long before a single test was ever conducted.
Along those lines, the Wall Street Journal sports department has released one of the biggest "no duh" findings in baseball history: Chicago White Sox broadcaster Hawk Harrelson is the biggest homer in the sport — and by an incredibly large margin.
How large? According to the paper's study, Harrelson and broadcast partner Steve Stone made a total of 104 biased comments as defined by use of the pronouns like "we" and "us" and nicknames for team members. The WSJ also noted instances of "unrestrained glee" and "excessive moping," two of Harrelson's specialties. Those 104 tallies were more than the other 29 television broadcast teams combined.
Again, this is no real big surprise and the WSJ might as well have told us that Prince Fielder isn't svelte or that Bobby Valentine wears baseball's biggest smirk. Harrelson wears his homer status proudly — he told the WSJ it had just made his day after learning of the findings — even though it makes him one of the divisive men in the game. (It's no secret which side I take.)
Other findings from the WSJ:• The Cleveland Indians team of Matt Underwood and Rick Manning came in a distant second, making 23 biased statements in the game that WSJ watched.
• Five different broadcast teams called their games straight, offering no biased comments over the course of nine innings. The least surprising name on the list was Vin Scully of the Dodgers, a pro's pro if there ever was one. Also listed: Gary Cohen, Ron Darling and Keith Hernandez of the New York Mets; Michael Kay, Paul O'Neill and Ken Singleton of the New York Yankees; Don Orsillo and Jerry Remy of the Boston Red Sox; and Buck Martinez and Pat Tabler of the Toronto Blue Jays. Judging from the geographical location of those teams, it would appear that East Coast baseball fans appreciate just being told like it is.
• The sample quote the WSJ offered for the Pirates announcing team of Greg Brown and Steve Blass was "Old McDonald has an arm. E.I. E.I. You're out!" Which, to be fair, is something that even Harrelson would be embarrassed to say.
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