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Harrelson pays tribute to Fregosi

GLENDALE, Ariz. -- When White Sox television play-by-play announcer Ken "Hawk" Harrelson first heard about Jim Fregosi's untimely passing, he admitted that, "I cried."

"Jimmy and I were really close, obviously," said Harrelson of Fregosi, who passed away on Feb. 14 after experiencing a stroke on a cruise. "But on one side of the page, I'm just glad he didn't have to suffer loss of quality of life. That's the good thing about it.

"Baseball is going to miss him. Everybody loves Jimmy. He always had, he had more b.s. than I did. That was one of the reasons we got along so well."

Harrelson was general manager of the White Sox in 1986 when he hired Fregosi in-season to replace Tony La Russa as manager. One of the reasons for the hire was that Fregosi understood pitching about as well as any manager Harrelson has ever witnessed. Fregosi managed through the 1988 season with the White Sox, compiling a 193-226 record.

"He was a terrific asset to the game, and that's the way you judge people. Was he a negative or a positive?" Harrelson said. "He was a positive. He was very instrumental in the success of the Braves. I don't think they made a move without him. I know [Braves president John] Schuerholz adored him. So I'm just going to remember him for all the good things."

There was a lot of good living put into Fregosi's 71 years by his friend's estimation.

"Let me tell you what, he did," said Harrelson with a smile. "He put about 120 [years] into 71."

Scott Merkin is a reporter for Read his blog, Merk's Works, and follow him on Twitter @scottmerkin.
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