There is nothing that Alex Rodriguez likes more than being the center of attention. In ESPN's leading baseball game broadcast, A-Rod will be just that.
ESPN decided that its new Sunday Night Baseball broadcast team would be Matt Vasgersian and Rodriguez, with Buster Olney returning as a built-in reporter, according to The Post.
The only change is that ESPN dropped Jessica Mendoza from Sundays.
This means that Sunday evening will be the Alex Rodriguez Show more than ever.
The new Sunday team's first regular season broadcast will actually take place on Thursday, March 26, the opening game between the news Astros and Mike Trout & # 39; s Angels.
Mendoza received a new contract extension and will call TV games as a single analyst and the World Series radio show. However, the actions of the ESPN hierarchy show an addition-subtraction approach on Sunday to improve baseball's second-largest level after Fox's World Series team.
ESPN also changes lead producers because Jeff Dufine has replaced Andy Reichwald.
With the new setup, Rodriguez can show that he is really as committed to the game as his Instagram posts confirm. Rodriguez will either show that he really is a baseball gym rat, or he will be guilty of misrepresenting something on social media, like many before him.
At the two-person booth, Rodriguez will have even more room to move, go deeper, and demonstrate that he can be as good at games as he is at Fox & # 39; Studio.
He and Vasgersian are in the last year of their contracts.
While Mendoza didn't speak that much on Sunday, she was another voice that Rodriguez could rely on. The recurring problem, however, was that Vasgersian was forced to fill too many gaps when the analysts were absent.
Ideally, three are in the cabin for a regular season baseball game in most cases the right number when the rest breaks of the modern game are in action.
There is a lot of time to fill. So if ESPN had hired David Cone for Rodriguez, it would be better positioned for a strong weekly show.
The pitcher-hitter dynamic makes sense, as Ron Darling and Keith Hernandez prove every night on SNY. Cone, who will stay with YES, will continue to be a potential ESPN option.
The aspect of Sunday night that puts the broadcasters in the spotlight is that despite the exclusive national window, the matchup really isn't that unique. Exactly the same teams played on Friday and Saturday.
Regardless of who plays, the nature of baseball makes it so likely that about a third of the approximately 25 games they play on Sundays will stink. Then the stand becomes even more important.
In the meantime, Vasgersian will broadcast in his hiking year. ESPN considered replacing him with Jon Sciambi or Karl Ravech this season. It decided to keep Sciambi and Ravech on TV games on weekdays. Although Vasgersian has not been an issue in the past two years, the off-season has not been a vote of confidence.
The importance of ESPN's top baseball crew could increase in the coming years. ESPN / ABC is expected to play more MLB playoff games. In this case, ESPN's top seat would become even more prestigious.
Vasgersian and Rodriguez, with Olney at their side, have the first crack to claim it. Rodriguez, who begins the opening night with the scandal, will be the center of attention.