There was our Ozzie at Yankee Stadium last night with his Fox Sports World Series pre- and post-game partners Chris Rose and former major leaguers Eric Karros and Mark Grace.
My first impression is that Ozzie is a natural and I applaud the Fox folks for including him in the coverage. He looked great and showed glimpses of his unique knack for humor that certainly will be more apparent as he gets used to his new role.
That said, I do have one suggestion–let Ozzie be Ozzie. It seems that the back and forth among the four is too programmed, too rehearsed. It’s fine for Rose, Karros and Grace because they have the experience and know-how to banter. But the beauty of Ozzie is his spontaneity. The producers should let the others follow a script, but let Ozzie freelance. That’s when the real Guillen charisma will show up.
A pet peeve of mine for years is that the nation only knows Ozzie for his outbursts, because that’s how the national media portrays him. The truth is that he’s an outstanding manager and the kind of personality that baseball sorely needs. And it appears that this faulty portrayal was a factor in Ozzie agreeing to work with Fox.
“I want to prove that I’m not the guy they see curse or be mad at the players or be mad at something,” Guillen said. “I have a little knowledge. I know about the game. And I want to show people another way to look at Ozzie Guillen. It might be the last time I do it, but at least I can say I did it. I’m having fun. It’s not easy.”