Aaron Boone, former MLB All-Star and the man responsible for me drinking a gallon of White Tavern on October 16, 2003, will be calling his first College World Series for ESPN this weekend. To celebrate, he was gracious enough to sit down with me this morning to talk college baseball and how the world's biggest stage could affect the eight teams left vying for an NCAA Championship. As it turns out, he prefers streaks over experience, selective batting over dominant pitching, and Texas teams under the bright lights.
Here are some of the questions that Mr. Boone - who missed a trip to Omaha by only a year when he was playing his college ball with Southern California - was gracious enough to answer for us:
- You're calling the Texas/UC-Irvine game tomorrow - a game that Commodore fans will be very invested in. After scouting each team, who would you pinpoint as each program's biggest weapon in a potential showdown with Vanderbilt?
- Louisville is on a five-game winning streak, tore through the first two rounds of the NCAA Tournament, and holds a regular-season weekday win over Vanderbilt - so why are oddsmakers giving them the seventh-best odds to win the title in a field with only eight teams in it?
- Is Augie Garrido the best coach in Omaha this weekend? If not, who is?
Tune in to the clip below to find out what the former All-Star had to say about Vanderbilt, the College World Series, and each of Vandy's prospective opponents for this weekend.
I'm still working out the kinks of editing our audio clips, so enjoy an awkward introduction before we get down to the brass tacks of the College World Series.
The former All-Star and professional ruiner of Boston dreams will be in Omaha tonight not only to call this weekend's games, but to participate in Allstate's Good Hands in the Stands promotion. Allstate will be donating $10,000 to Omaha's Boys Town for the first foul ball caught in the stands of each half inning. They'll also be providing those fans with a trophy to reward their tremendous act of ballpark alertness.
If you're in Omaha tonight, you can catch Aaron at the CWS Fan Fest where he'll be signing autographs from 5-6 PM. If you can't make it to that, you can always catch up with Mr. Boone through his Twitter feed: @AaronBoone_ESPN