My latest Chicago Tribune column is on Frank Thomas, who will be analyzing the World Series for Fox.
You can access the entire column via my Twitter feed at @Sherman_Report.
From the column:
Baseball came easily to Frank Thomas as he was on the fast track, barely spending a season in the minors before launching his Hall of Fame career with the White Sox in 1990.
Broadcasting? Now that’s a different story.
Thomas admits he still is a work in progress.
“I want to get better at this,” Thomas said. “You don’t know all the questions when you step from one arena to another. Being a ballplayer for 20 years prepares you to be in front of the camera. But doing live commentary is a little different. I’m learning every day.”
While his ascension hasn’t been as quick, Thomas has reached a pinnacle in his second career. Next week, the former Sox slugger will be on site at the World Series in his role as a studio analyst for Fox Sports and Fox Sports 1.
Chuck Garfien, Thomas’ long-time partner on White Sox studio shows for CSN, isn’t surprised with his rise on the national level. Physically, Thomas still has an imposing presence, only now in a custom-tailored suit instead of a baseball uniform.
“The camera loves Frank Thomas,” Garfien said. “Certain people have that charisma and can light up the screen. Frank has that.”
Yet none of that matters if there isn’t substance behind that charisma. The learning curve is steep, especially when you’re playing in Fox’s ballpark.
So far so good, said John Entz, Fox Sports’ executive vice-president for production. He has been impressed with Thomas’ approach to the job.
“A lot of times you work with a guy with his credentials who thinks he knows it all,” Entz said. “Frank’s not that way. He works really hard. He’s putting in the time to get better.”