Hawk Harrelson is always fun. Whether feuding with Jay Mariotti or waxing philosophic during White Sox radio broadcasts, he's become the eccentric uncle who still lives in the bomb shelter he built down in the basement during the Cold War. His latest theory you may find a little odd, though, even for him. Harrelson maintains that the reason home runs are up in the Major Leagues this season (273 so far; more than a 10 percent increase over last season's start and the most hit at this point since 2001, according to Stats Inc.), comes from the way the balls are woven at the factory in Costa Rica. Call it the "tightly-wound finger-ball theory," which Hawk explained to WMVP-AM (1000) radio:
They have different shifts down there, and they take out the baseballs at different times. When the workers come on, the first hour or two of their shifts, their fingers and their hands are strong. And then the longer, obviously, they work, they get [more tired], so those balls are not wound quite as tight. So you take the balls that are wound in that first hour or so, they will go farther. Teams are using the tightly-wound balls.
We'll resist making a Darren Daulton joke here, as we're sure others will have those bases covered. So we'll just end by saying that we haven't seen this kind of goofy in sports since the basketball game in Cuckoo's Nest. For more Harrelson pearls of wisdom, by the way, Yard Work has another well-crafted column up.