This is a fabulous idea:
Chicago White Sox manager Ozzie Guillen will
join Fox Sports as an analyst for the World Series. He will have
pregame and postgame duties. Guillen,
known for profanity-laced criticism of his own team at times, just
completed his sixth season as manager of the White Sox.
I know a couple of sports writers. One of them spends a fair amount of time around the White Sox. Guillen, I’m told, will hold court for long, off-the-record stretches before ballgames just talking about whatever pops into his head. Politics, entertainment, social issues, sex, race, fans in the stands during batting practice, you name it. It’s almost all hilarious and almost all 100% completely unfit for television or public consumption of any kind. The man is brutally honest, but he is the last guy I’d want to put in front of a camera to talk if I was at all worried about my job security as a television producer.
But I’m not a producer. I’m a fan who wants to be entertained. Which means that, unlike when stiffs like Kevin Kennedy and Mark Grace are the big draw, I am almost certain to watch the FOX pregame shows this year.
I hope you don’t have any plans tonight at around 10PM Eastern time, because that’s when we get a pitching matchup for the ages as Max Scherzer will take on Clayton Kershaw at Dodger Stadium. When they meet tonight it will be the first time two pitchers with three or more Cy Young Awards have matched up since 2006. That year, and in 2005 and 2000, Roger Clemens faced Greg Maddux. In 2001 Clemens faced Pedro Martinez.
Kershaw won his hardware in 2011, 2013 and 2014, with an MVP award in 2014 to boot. Scherzer collected trophies in 2013, 2016 and 2017. Each has started the 2018 season in Cy Young form. Kershaw is 1-2, but that record is due to poor run support. He has a 1.73 ERA and has struck out 31 batters and has walked only three in 26 innings. Scherzer is 3-1 with a 1.33 ERA and a whopping 38 strikeouts to only 4 walks in 27 innings.
This will be the third time that Kershaw and Scherzer faced each other if you include the playoffs. The first meeting was a decade ago when both were rookies. They most recently faced off in Game 1 of the 2016 NLDS, way back when Scherzer only had one Cy Young Award to his credit. Kershaw beat Scherzer in that playoff game and the Dodgers beat Scherzer’s teams in the two regular season matchups, with neither guy setting the world on fire. As so often happens in baseball, the hype hasn’t been matched by reality.
Still, there’s always a chance it will. And even if, in the end, this turns into a slugfest, the first couple of innings should at least give us some hope of something good. I’ll be watching.