After much speculation, Fox Sports is parting ways with Frank Thomas to make room for another Hall of Famer, Derek Jeter, per Andrew Marchand of the New York Post. The affable former slugger had been a baseball analyst for the network since 2014.
“Frank has been an integral member of the FOX MLB studio team for nearly a decade and has helped raise the bar on our coverage while continuously growing the game of baseball,” a Fox Sports spokesman told The Post. “Although he is not a part of our coverage this season, ‘The Big Hurt’ will always be a member of our Fox Sports family and we wish him all the best in his future endeavors.”
Many fans saw this move coming due to the other household names that fill Fox’s panel. Reuniting Derek Jeter with former New York Yankees teammate and occasional rival Alex Rodriguez could make for intriguing reality television that no executive was going to pass up.
The duo worked together last year on ESPN’s KayRod – an alternative broadcast during Sunday Night Baseball in the same vein as the Manningcast for Monday Night Football- and seemed to have no tension between them. Fox Sports are probably hoping for some playful back-and-forth and a strong chemistry built from years of shared history. Add in David Ortiz to foster a Yankees-Boston Red Sox rivalry and it was clear Thomas was going to be the odd one out.
The swap is interesting in that both players served as faces of their respective franchises (Chicago White Sox for Thomas) for more than 15 years while also carrying largely pristine reputations off the field during the infamous Steroid Era.
Unfortunately, the Big Hurt has again been overshadowed by his bigger-name contemporaries.
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