Hawk Harrelson pays a visit to Chicago Cubs' Maddon
Chicago White Sox broadcaster Ken "Hawk" Harrelson likes to play up his dislike for all things Cubs and Wrigley Field, but he was a visitor to the Chicago Cubs' clubhouse both Friday and Saturday.
Harrelson was in to visit with Cubs manager Joe Maddon, who previously was in the American League as manager of the Tampa Bay Rays. This is Harrelson's final weekend in the Sox broadcast booth.
"When I was with the Rays, he'd always come see me down in Tampa whenever the White Sox came down there," Maddon said Saturday. "Really kind. He's always been kind. Conversationally, he's liked what we've done in the past, there and then here. So we've had good conversations."
Maddon said one topic gets both men going.
"Talking hitting yesterday, it's interesting how our hitting philosophies really line up well," he said. "I like when he brings up some former guys, like Mr. (Ted) Williams, as an example. Then you hear that what he talked about lines up with what you think. It's that bridge.
"My teaching tenets are really rooted historically more than new-age stuff, and I kind of like that. Especially when it comes to hitting, I don't think tried and true is ever going to go away. So it's good to talk to him all the time. Kind man. Really kind with me. It's good to get teaching thoughts reinforced."
Cubs select Freeman for depth:
The Cubs have selected the contract of infielder Mike Freeman from Class AAA Iowa. The move gives the Cubs depth with shortstop Addison Russell on administrative leave as Major League Baseball investigates allegations of domestic abuse against Russell.
Freeman, 31, played 15 games for the Cubs last season. At Iowa this year, he went .274/.330/.396 with 6 home runs and 38 RBI in 78 games.
He was at home in Greenville, South Carolina, with his wife, Caroline, who is due to give birth to the couple's first child Oct. 1. He had been working out at Clemson and Furman universities to stay in shape.
Freeman said it was good to come up and see familiar faces. Last year, he made six professional stops, including in the big leagues at Seattle and with the Dodgers.
"To see a lot of familiar faces that I've been around, to be in one organization the whole year is a comfort compare to last year," he said. "It's been a lot of welcoming faces and a good fit so far."
Turning the page:
Joe Maddon seemed confident that 24 hours would erase the bad feelings from Friday, when the Cubs learned of Addison Russell being placed on administrative leave and the team losing 10-4 to the White Sox.
Did the Russell situation and the travel from Phoenix after Wednesday night's game have an effect on Friday?
"I don't know," Maddon said. "It's hard to say that it didn't. You walk into the locker room, and there's a different kind of a buzz going on outside of the game itself. We did have to meet as a group to talk about things. We still did get in at 6 o'clock in the morning the day before.
"Yesterday was just one of those days. I have a lot of faith in our guys. What it really comes down to is either you have trust and faith in your guys or you don't. And I do. Yesterday was a tough day. I respect all of them. And I think today we'll show up a little bit differently."