ESPN shows how they really face Jessica Mendoza with David Cone's decision

<pre><pre>ESPN shows how they really face Jessica Mendoza with David Cone's decision

When ESPN redesigned the game program "Sunday Night Baseball", it was initially decided to remove Jessica Mendoza from the three-person stand.

Although ESPN presented the downgrading as a kind of victory for Mendoza and rewarded them with a contract extension and a place in a now crowded World Series radio booth for three people, the network's true feelings – its actions – spoke louder about its intentions.

It was addition through subtraction in her eyes.

This is becoming clearer as ESPN has ended its persecution of David Cone to join Matt Vasgersian and Alex Rodriguez. Cone confirmed the decision to The Post, while ESPN declined to comment.

Vasgersian and A-Rod are the most likely two-man team choices to stay on Sunday Night Baseball, ESPN's most prestigious MLB game broadcast. Buster Olney is expected to remain as a built-in reporter.

ESPN may want to make it official at some point since spring training has started.

ESPN has considered Jon (Boog) Sciambi and Karl Ravech to replace Vasgersian. Both Vasgersian and A-Rod are entering the final years of their contracts.

ESPN has also shown interest in Chipper Jones and Curtis Granderson, but it seems far more likely for midweek games and / or studio work.

During this long off-season process, ESPN turned to Cone to measure his interest and then, according to sources, even discussed the parameters of a contract.

"No real formal offer was made for me," said Cone.

Cone worked with A-Rod and Michael Kay on YES last year. ESPN managers liked the sound, which is part of the reason they chased Cone. However, ESPN has decided to change course to Cone Midstream.

Instead of fully tracking Cone for Sunday, ESPN wanted Cone to work on Monday or Wednesday, but YES – where Cone has established itself as perhaps baseball's best baseball analyst – was only willing to allow Cone to work on Sunday.

ESPN's exclusive Sunday window would not be in direct competition with YES compared to ESPN television programs on weekdays, which is why YES took its stance, according to sources.

This season, Mendoza will in turn work as a solo analyst on weekday games and will join Dan Shulman and probably incumbent Chris Singleton for the World Series radio call. Three in one radio booth are one too many, but Singleton has done nothing wrong and deserves to stay in its place.

As for Cone, the old adage of "wait until next year" could be in play.

"We left it on good terms," ​​said Cone. "I'm still very much in the mix for future potential work that you said. I was happy to meet and talk to you. I feel pretty good about it."

Cone will edit his full list of 75 YES games.

Fast clicks: The XFL ratings were really good for week 1, but the story will be week 2. The big advantage of the XFL over AAF – moreover, it seems that it has the right funding – is the distribution. While the AAF started a bang with CBS and gymnasts, at week 2 it was relegated to less respected CBSSN and non-all-sports gymnasts. The XFL will be on ABC / ESPN and Fox / FS1, which will likely make it easier for casual fans to stumble across. …. The first month of radio ratings appears on Monday. Happy New Year!… NFL Networks “Good Morning Football” is so well produced. The show had CC Sabathia the other day. In general, having a baseball player in a soccer show can be tedious, but they created segments that worked. It hasn't hurt that Sabathia is a legit sports fan and a die-hard Raiders fan.

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