There could be a major shake up coming to ESPN’s “Sunday Night Baseball” broadcast.
The World Wide Leader in Sports says it is considering its options for its primetime broadcast, although removing Alex Rodriguez from the booth is not one of them, writes Andrew Marchand of the New York Post.
“Alex Rodriguez is safe, according to sources. With one more year on his ESPN deal, A-Rod will be back, no matter who else is in the booth,” Marchand reported.
“The rest of ESPN’s trio, play-by-player Matt Vasgersian and analyst Jessica Mendoza, have a 70% chance of returning, according to sources. But ESPN will look around, seeing if it is worth trying to upgrade its booth even as ratings were slightly improved on the Sunday telecasts in the trio’s second season.”
Vasgersian, Mendoza and Rodriguez were teamed up before last season, and have been met with middling-to-poor reviews throughout their two-season run in the booth, something not uncommon for any national broadcast team these days, really.
Marchand reported that Mendoza likely only would be removed from the booth role if ESPN “can find another significant way to utilize” the trailblazing commentator. Mendoza, an Olympic gold medalist softball player, also is an adviser to New York Mets general manager Brodie Van Wagenen, which has caused for the occasional awkward occurrence regarding conflict of interest. David Ross, an adviser for the Chicago Cubs, has run into similar issues as a commentator for ESPN.
Rodriguez also is featured on FOX Sports’ postseason coverage as a studio analyst, a role he seems a bit more well-suited for alongside former rival David Ortiz.
Mendoza is the only one of the trio whose contract extends past next season, Marchand reported.