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Former players vie on 'Guy's Grocery Games'

@harding_at_mlb
April 7, 2020

DENVER -- Former Rockies closer Brian Fuentes will try to nail down a victory against a couple of former Major Leaguers whose best days were with the Giants -- all for charity. Fuentes, Jeremy Affeldt and Rich Aurilia will face off in a cooking competition on an episode of “Guy’s

DENVER -- Former Rockies closer Brian Fuentes will try to nail down a victory against a couple of former Major Leaguers whose best days were with the Giants -- all for charity.

Fuentes, Jeremy Affeldt and Rich Aurilia will face off in a cooking competition on an episode of “Guy’s Grocery Games” that airs Wednesday night on the Food Network.

Fuentes spent 12 years in the Majors, including seven with the Rockies from 2002-08. Affeldt, a Rockies reliever from 2006-07, earned three World Series rings with the Giants. Aurilia, a former infielder, played 12 of his 15 Major League seasons with the Giants.

The show, hosted by Guy Fieri, requires competitors to race against time to gather items from a staged grocery store and then try to out-cook one another, earning the grace of a panel of experts. The “Big League Teams” episode featuring the former players will air first at 9 p.m. ET on Wednesday, but that time can vary depending on the local carrier.

“I met Guy through a mutual friend and told him I was a big fan of the show, and he said, ‘Why don’t you come out and watch a taping sometime?’” Fuentes said. “I watched it, then he came up with the idea of having some retired athletes. He asked Jeremy, Rich and myself, and I said, ‘Heck yeah,’ and we did it.”

Fuentes, 44, who retired and has found success as an almond farmer in his hometown of Merced, Calif., was not at liberty to discuss the results of the competition, which he said was taped about six months ago. But he left knowing he wasn’t going to become a cooking star.

“I’m OK at cooking,” Fuentes said. “But when I got there and they started going over the store with me, telling me all the things they had for me to use, half of them I didn’t know what they were. It was pretty humbling, kind of like I was in Rookie ball again.”

Fuentes said on the show he had picked the Merced Boys & Girls Clubs as beneficiary of his charity, but he has since decided to also make a contribution to a firefighters charity in the Merced area that helps sponsor youth sports and other activities.

Thomas Harding has covered the Rockies since 2000, and for MLB.com since 2002. Follow him on Twitter @harding_at_mlb and like his Facebook page.