Though the Sun-Times’ Jay Mariotti is generally a target of ridicule around these parts, he does rare common sense this Wednesday in picking (another) fight with the one man in Chicago more despised than himself. Well, other than Rex Grossman.

Ensuring that illiteracy remains in the Chicago sports media for four more years, the White Sox have handed a contract extension to alleged broadcaster Ken (Hawk) Harrelson (above). This means listeners in an otherwise sophisticated town will be punished with more hillbilly twang, which is almost as embarrassing as Harrelson’s .239 career batting average and his short-term flop as the general manager who fired Tony La Russa.

Harrelson doesn’t bring in audiences as much as he scares them away or makes them cringe, whether it’s throwing one of his dead-air fits, blaming every loss on the umps or lowering himself to pick fights with media members far more professional and accomplished than him.

Consider it one more reason, along with the extension given to Ozzie Guillen, that the Sox are locked in as Chicago’s second-class ballclub for years to come.