Announcements are coming fast and furious with the debut of Fox Sports 1 just eight days away. Surprisingly, the rumor mill is probably more active than the Major League Baseball trade deadline was.
First, an official one: Fox announced Friday afternoon that they have hired former major league outfielder Gabe Kapler as their MLB analyst for Fox Sports Live. Fox will likely have to build a stable of baseball analysts as they will be launching a live MLB whip-around show in 2014. Kapler's hiring only concerns the nightly studio show for now, but I'd love to see him get a shot on Fox Saturday Baseball as the season winds down.
Why Kapler, you might ask? Kaplar has recently started to make noise as a columnist for WEEI in Boston, writing some thoughtful, interesting pieces -- including one on how players can adapt to and learn newer statistics. He's clearly an intelligent voice, and one that has roots in the modern game. Along with Chris Chelios, he's probably the most intriguing "ex-jock" hirings Fox Sports 1 has made.
"I'm ecstatic to join the already brilliant Fox Sports 1 team," Kapler said. "The collection of talent assembled is second-to-none. I'm honored and beyond excited to be in a position to add my MLB spice to this recipe."
"With years of baseball experience in several capacities, Gabe brings a well-rounded perspective of the sport to Fox Sports 1," said Fox Sports studio producer Scott Ackerson. "He knows the inner-workings of several clubs and is well-connected, enabling him to cut to the heart of the news and highlights from a variety of viewpoints."
That covers baseball, but other than Brian Urlacher, Fox has also started to make some new football hires (host Mike Hill, analyst Ronde Barber) leading up to its launch of FS1 and their daily football show called Fox Football Daily. A report by Pro Football Talk suggests that they're about to shake it up, hiring former superstar wide receiver Randy Moss. He will likely be announced as part of the cast of that show when the proclamation is made on Monday. A spokesperson for Fox Sports declined comment.
Moss would certainly be one last attempt at building buzz for the network, which premieres Aug. 17, and the football show, which debuts Aug. 19. Mostly, though, it'll just be great that he's on the same network as Joe Buck.