Smokies outfielder Guyer overcoming misfortune

Smokies outfielder Guyer overcoming misfortune

Wednesday, Aug. 18, 2010
9:50 AM

By Kevin Czerwinski
CSNChicago.com

Bad fortune certainly seems to be following Brandon Guyer to some degree this season. Yet, the Tennessee outfielder, who sports a gritty, run through a wall-type of attitude, is determined to keep pressing forward despite the fact that at times fate seems to be conspiring against him.

Guyer returned to Smokies lineup Monday night after missing three games with a case of conjunctivitis pink eye. The inflammation in his eyes left him unable to put in his contact lenses, rendering him unable to play. While the three games he missed waiting for the problem to subside wouldnt normally be an issue a little break in August never hurt anyone Guyer was in the midst of his hottest streak of the season.

The former fifth-round 2007 pick from Virginia was riding a 16-game hitting streak at the time his eyes went wacky. He returned to the lineup against Chattanooga, though, and collected three hits to extend his streak to 17 games, two shy of the longest streak in the Southern League this season. Hes hitting .477 during the 17 games with four homers and 22 RBIs.

I would have been able to play if I could have put my contacts in, said Guyer, 24, who has pushed his season average to .331, second best in the Southern League. That was one of the more frustrating things about it. I felt like I didnt lose too much of my timing, though and I was glad I could get back out there.

It wasnt the first time Guyer missed action this season. He missed two weeks in late April and early May after injuring his shoulder, a recurrence of an injury he suffered at the University of Virginia in the weeks leading up to the draft. Guyer slid head first into second base against Birmingham and jammed the shoulder on April 28.

Guyer was hitting .283 at the time but when he got back into the lineup on May 10, he played in only two games before missing two more weeks. When he returned in early June his average slumped and he spent a month working toward getting his stroke back. He finally began to come around in July and believes the current streak on which he finds himself is more of an indication of who he is as a player than the one who struggled for much of June.

I felt better when I came back but it took time to get comfortable again, he said. Im just getting up to the plate now and keeping it simple. KISS. Keep it simple stupid. If I have a bad at-bat I just say KISS, KISS over and over. I dont go up there and try to do too much. I just want to keep it simple and hit line drives.

Tennessee won the first-half title in the Southern Leagues North Division and appears headed to repeat in the second half. It holds a three-game lead over West Tenn heading into Wednesdays action at Mississippi and Guyers play of late has been a big reason why. Hes anxious to finish what he and the Smokies have started.

First off, were in a playoff hunt and Id like to finish this off and get a ring, he said. Id also like to keep on the roll that Im on and end the season the best possible way I can. Other than that, I cant think about anything else. I feel that if I go out and do what I can do, that other stuff promotions will happen naturally.

Should Guyer continue to play the way he has been, a trip to Iowa may be in the offing. The I-Cubs are in the midst of a playoff chase as well and would likely welcome the help. Guyer has been demonstrating an ability to hit all pitches to all fields, an ability he says he didnt possess when he came out of college. Hes spraying the ball more, though, using the whole field now and the results speak for themselves.

I feel like have more to work on but this year I have made huge strides, he said. Maybe I need to be more patient at the plate in certain situations, maybe hit for some more power. Stealing bases, Id like to get better at that.

Deep down, though, I always knew I could produce at this level. Its all been about hard work and confidence.

Oh, and overcoming a bit of misfortune.
Kevin Czerwinski can be reached at ktczerwinski@gmail.com.

Indiana announces OG Anunoby is out indefinitely with knee injury

og-anunoby-0119.jpg
AP

Indiana announces OG Anunoby is out indefinitely with knee injury

Explosive Indiana star OG Anunoby will be sidelined indefinitely, the team announced Thursday.

Hoosiers head coach Tom Crean said in a statement that Anunoby suffered a knee injury when he fell awkwardly at the end of the first half of Wednesday night's win over Penn State.

"OG sustained a knee injury in this past Wednesday night's game against Penn State and is in the midst of ongoing medical evaluations," Crean said. "He will be out indefinitely. On behalf of OG and our entire program, we thank you for all of the support and well wishes that have been sent his way."

Anunoby is one of the better players on the Hoosiers, currently ranking fourth on the team with an 11.1 points-per-game scoring average. He's also averaging 5.4 rebounds per game, 1.3 blocks per game and 1.3 steals per game. Anunoby has made a habit of landing on the highlight shows with his thunderous dunks, like this one from last week's game against Maryland.

Anunoby's absence is tough news for an Indiana team off to a tough start to Big Ten play. After Wednesday's win, the Hoosiers sit at 3-3 in six league games.

Bears announce additions to John Fox's coaching staff

Bears announce additions to John Fox's coaching staff

The Bears announced Monday several additions to John Fox's coaching staff in 2017.

Roy Anderson has been hired as the assistant defensive backs coach, Curtis Modkins has been named the new running backs coach and Jeremiah Washburn is the new offensive line coach. The team also announced that outside linebackers coach Clint Hurtt's contract was not renewed.

[SHOP: Gear up Bears fans!]

Anderson was the assistant defensive backs coach for the San Francisco 49ers last season, and spent his previous seven years with the Indianapolis Colts (2012-15) and Baltimore Ravens (2009-11). He replaces Sam Garnes.

Modkins has 22 years of coaching experience, and also spent the 2016 season with the 49ers as the team's offensive coordinator. His previous stops include the Detroit Lions (2013-15), Buffalo Bills (2010-12), Arizona Cardinals (2009) and Kansas City Chiefs (2008). Modkins replaces Stan Drayton.

Washburn served as the Miami Dolphins assistant offensive line coach last season, and spent his previous 14 years with the Lions (2009-15), Ravens (2003-08) and Carolina Panthers (2002). He replaces Dave Magazu.