White Sox

Ozzie Guillen to expand NBC Sports Chicago role in 2019, joining White Sox Pre/Post Game Live

ozzie-guillen-522.jpg
NBC Sports Chicago

Ozzie Guillen to expand NBC Sports Chicago role in 2019, joining White Sox Pre/Post Game Live

Chicago, IL (March 20, 2019) – NBC Sports Chicago - THE Home of the #AuthenticFan - has announced Chicago White Sox legend & 2005 World Series champion/’05 American League “Manager of the Year” OZZIE GUILLEN (@OzzieGuillen) will be joining the network as a game day studio analyst on “White Sox Pregame Live presented by Aurelio’s Pizza” & “Subaru White Sox Postgame Live” beginning this MLB season. The announcement was made by Kevin Cross, Senior Vice President/General Manager, NBC Sports Chicago.

Guillen’s first appearance as the network’s new White Sox studio analyst takes place on Opening Day (Thursday, March 28), as the White Sox travel to face the AL Central rival Kansas City Royals (NOTE: NBC Sports Chicago’s Opening Day coverage begins with a special, hour-long expanded edition of “White Sox Pregame Live presented by Aurelio’s Pizza” at 2:00 PM CT; live stream to authenticated subscribers available at NBCSportsChicago.com and via the “MyTeams by NBC Sports” app).  

In addition, Guillen will also continue his role as an analyst on the sophomore season of the network’s popular weeknight 7:00 PM CT game start lead-in program, “Baseball Night in Chicago” (airing Monday-Friday at 6:30 PM prior to every White Sox or Cubs game on NBC Sports Chicago), along with making additional contributions on a variety of NBC Sports Chicago’s cross-platform offerings throughout the MLB season.  

“I’m extremely excited to be joining the team at NBC Sports Chicago,” said Guillen. “Their dedication to providing the best sports coverage to the greatest fans in the world is unmatched.  I consider myself very lucky to have the opportunity to contribute to their wonderful team.  Chicago will always be my home, there is no better sports town in the world and I can’t wait to get started.”

“Along with being one of the most skilled athletes and colorful personalities to ever play or manage in this city’s history, Ozzie has also grown to become one of the finest baseball analysts in the business” added Cross.  “The addition of Ozzie to our network’s overall roster of expert analysts once again showcases our year-round commitment to be the primary multi-platform destination for every Chicago sports fan.”

An electrifying defensive shortstop throughout his entire playing career, Guillen spent 16 seasons in the big leagues (13 with the White Sox from 1985-97), earning American League “Rookie of the Year” honors in 1985, along with three All-Star Game appearances (1988, 1990, 1991) and a Gold Glove Award (1990).  Guillen finished his major league playing career by participating in 1,993 games, amassing 1,764 hits and 619 RBI.  Following post-playing career coaching stints with the Montreal Expos (2001-02) and the World Series champion Florida Marlins (2003), Guillen was named the manager of the White Sox during the 2003 off-season, making his rookie managerial debut in 2004.  Guillen’s sophomore season as White Sox manager in 2005 was one for the ages as he guided the White Sox to an AL Central first place title with a 99-63 record, and an amazing 11-1 postseason record, which included a 4-0 World Series sweep over the NL’s Houston Astros, earning the White Sox their first championship title in 88 years, along with American League “Manager of the Year” honors for Guillen.

NBC Sports Chicago, a partnership between the Chicago Blackhawks (NHL), Chicago Bulls (NBA), Chicago Cubs (MLB), Chicago White Sox (MLB) and the NBC Sports Group, features over 275 live pro games in high definition each year.  In addition, NBC Sports Chicago delivers extensive pre/post-game coverage for its core pro team partners, as well as Chicago Bears postgame coverage, local sports discussion programs that includes SportsTalk Live, and massive cross-platform coverage provided by the network’s growing digital platform, NBCSportsChicago.com, the new “MyTeams by NBC Sports” app, and its variety of fan-focused social media outlets. Fans can follow the network on Twitter via @NBCSChicago.  

NBC Sports Regional Networks is NBC Sports Group’s portfolio of nine regional networks that delivers more than 2,200 live sporting events and original content to more than 35 million homes. Aligned within Eastern and Western Divisions, the NBC Sports Regional Networks are: NBC Sports Boston, NBC Sports Philadelphia, NBC Sports Philadelphia +, NBC Sports Washington, NBC Sports Washington + and SNY; and NBC Sports Bay Area, NBC Sports California, NBC Sports Chicago and NBC Sports Northwest. For more information on NBC Sports Group properties, including press releases, photos, talent and executive bios, headshots and logos, please visit www.NBCSportsGroupPressBox.com

White Sox Talk Podcast: Zack Collins on hitting, catching and a Dylan Cease story you have to hear

3-10zackcollins.jpg
USA TODAY

White Sox Talk Podcast: Zack Collins on hitting, catching and a Dylan Cease story you have to hear

Chuck Garfien and Ryan McGuffey speak with Charlotte Knights catcher Zack Collins about

-His hot start to the season at the plate (5:30)

-How James McCann helped him with his catching during spring training (7:20)

-How he's changed his approach at the plate this season (13:10)

-What he orders at Chick-fil-A (15:40)

-Why he's not thinking or worrying about getting called up to the majors (17:50)

-An incredible story about Dylan Cease (20:30)

-His thoughts on Tim Anderson's bat flip (28:20) and more.

Listen to the entire podcast here or in the embedded player below.

<

White Sox Talk Podcast

Subscribe:

Click here to download the new MyTeams App by NBC Sports! Receive comprehensive coverage of your teams and stream the White Sox easily on your device.

A Jose Abreu awakening could make an already productive White Sox offense even more fearsome

A Jose Abreu awakening could make an already productive White Sox offense even more fearsome

Hitting has not been the biggest problem for the White Sox. But even after a win to kick off this week's series against the Baltimore Orioles, they're still under .500 and in fourth place in the aggressively weak AL Central.

There's a ton of baseball left, and their spot in the standings on April 22 indicates nothing about where they'll be at the end of September. But the issues that have cropped up in the early going — many of them having to do with what's gone on on the pitcher's mound — have signaled that another losing season in the thick of the ongoing rebuilding process wouldn't come as a great shock.

That point being established, there's still been more to smile about in the early going this season than there was perhaps in the entirety of the 2018 campaign, what Rick Hahn described from the beginning as "the toughest part of the rebuild." That turned out to be prescient, with the White Sox losing 100 games. This year, the early season emergence of Tim Anderson, Yoan Moncada and, to a lesser extent, Eloy Jimenez have made it so there are exciting reasons to pay attention to what's going on on the South Side, all the while making for a lineup that can push across a good deal of runs.

Now imagine if Jose Abreu wasn't hitting below the Mendoza Line.

He's not anymore after a big night Monday, but the guy who's arguably still the team's best hitter when everything's right hasn't been right very often so far in 2019. That could be starting to change, though, and if it does, a lineup that's already a heck of a lot more threatening to opposing pitchers than it was at any point in 2018 could become even more fearsome, even more productive. And that leads to more wins, important not just for fans hoping for a surprise run at relevancy given the weak state of the division, but for a team building a lineup for the future that it hopes is scoring a whole bunch of runs in meaningful games in seasons to come.

Abreu went 3-for-5 in Monday night's 12-2 laugher in Baltimore, the White Sox bats looking even better with an opportunity to feast on Orioles pitching, which entered as the worst staff in the majors with a 6.21 ERA and owned a 6.37 ERA after Monday's blowout. But it's a three-game hitting streak for a guy whose average was down to .174 after Thursday's series-opener in Detroit. Since, he's 6-for-15 with a homer and seven RBIs.

Maybe it's just a nice three-game stretch, boosted by a chance to swing against the big leagues' worst pitching staff. But it allows the White Sox to dream about a lineup made ever more dangerous by the regular production of a two-time All Star and one of the AL's reigning Silver Sluggers.

Again, offense has not been the main reason the White Sox are still underwater, from a win-loss perspective, at this point. They aren't exactly blowing the doors off the league when it comes to their offensive prowess, middle of the pack in baseball with 106 runs scored this season. But they entered Monday's game with a 5.44 team ERA, one of the four worst marks in the bigs. The bullpen's ERAs are still on their way down after short outings from the starting staff in the season's first couple of weeks forced them into unenviable situations. One run allowed in Monday's bullpen day should help with that. The team ERA shot down to 5.27 after Monday's game, still not enough to vault them out of the bottom six teams in the league.

But reliable versions of Anderson (who's still hitting over .400), Moncada and Jimenez are pieces this lineup didn't have last year, and they've been three of the best parts of it so far in 2019. Leury Garcia has been quietly productive if not flashy while doing it. James McCann, who hit a three-run homer to start the scoring in Monday night's rout, has put up good numbers in limited time while splitting catching duties with Welington Castillo. Even Ryan Cordell, only the team's starting right fielder for a few days, has shown promise with a couple homers already. There have been holes, of course, chiefly Yolmer Sanchez — who was still hitting under .100 on April 13 but is now batting .231 after a three-hit night Monday — and the sent-down Daniel Palka. Abreu and Yonder Alonso, in the middle of the White Sox order, have been unproductive, as well, while the younger guys have flourished around them.

But an Abreu turnaround — or, really, an awakening, considering how early it still is — would boost the numbers and make the lineup capable of even more on a regular basis.

It could also be another factor in the ongoing conversation about a potential Abreu contract extension. While Hahn has suggested it's unlikely that such a deal would be struck during the season, it wouldn't be surprising to see it come before Abreu is set to hit free agency once the 2019-20 offseason begins. The White Sox are such big fans of what Abreu does in the clubhouse and as a mentor for younger players that production might not play as big a role as it normally would. But obviously the consistency of that production in Abreu's first five big league seasons certainly helps. To keep that production going with a late-April awakening would be all the more reason to keep Abreu around for the transition from rebuilding to contending.

The White Sox lineup has been promising to this point. It could become downright potent if Abreu starts knocking the ball around as we all know he can.

Click here to download the new MyTeams App by NBC Sports! Receive comprehensive coverage of your teams and stream the White Sox easily on your device.