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.
The Arizona Fall League competition came to a close on Saturday, concluding with the Peoria Javelinas’ 8-2 win over the Mesa Solar Sox for the championship title. No one stood out more than Braves’ no. 1 prospect Ronald Acuna, who took home honors as the AFL MVP after slashing .325/.414/.639 with a league-leading seven home runs and second-best 1.053 OPS in 83 at-bats.
At just 19 years old, Acuna is the youngest prospect to receive the award. He made his presence felt even before he suited up for the AFL, earning promotions to the Braves’ Double-A Mississippi and Triple-A Gwinnett and batting a remarkable .325/.374/.522 with 21 home runs across three levels in 2017.
Acuna was also a major factor in the Javelinas’ win on Saturday, but he wasn’t the first to make some noise. The Solar Sox got to right-hander T.J. Zeuch in the first inning, leading off with three singles and a run-scoring sac fly to get a 2-0 edge over the Javelinas. It was the only lead they’d get all afternoon and it lasted just two innings. Luis Urias snapped the shutout with a sac fly in the bottom of the second inning, and the Javelinas took the lead with a game-tying RBI single from Acuna and two-run base hit from Braves’ no. 16 prospect Alex Jackson in the third.
From then on, it was smooth sailing for Peoria. Andrew Case, Andres Munoz and Art Warren combined for 3 1/3 scoreless innings in relief, while the offense tacked on another handful of runs with Acuna’s fourth-inning two-RBI single and Michael Chavis’ eighth-inning triple. With runners at the corners and one out, the Solar Sox lifted right-hander Dakota Bacus for fellow righty Nolan Blackwood. Even he was flummoxed by Acuna, however, who grabbed hold of the first pitch he saw and returned another sac fly to center field for the Javelinas’ eighth and final run of the game.
Only 131 days left until Opening Day, folks.