A couple of weeks ago we learned that Jessica Mendoza would no longer be on Sunday Night Baseball for ESPN. Today we learn who is replacing her: nobody. That’s right, ESPN just announced that they are going back to a two-person booth for MLB’s flagship broadcast.
There had been some speculation that, perhaps, they’d change who those two people would be, but they announced today that it will be incumbent play-by-play guy Matt Vasgersian and incumbent analyst, Alex Rodiguez. Buster Olney will still do his sideline thing.
My personal preference has always been and always will be a one-person booth because I don’t believe that viewers need so much crosstalk and someone talking about the grip on a cutter 28 times a game. I realize, however, that outside of venerable holdouts like Bob Uecker, that ship has sailed. The move into three-person booths has been exponentially worse, with even more crosstalk and long stretches in which no one seems to even be paying attention to the game on the field.
The ESPN Sunday broadcast is still likely to be a difficult watch given their penchant for trying to recap the entire week’s baseball news during the course of the broadcast rather than concentrate on the game at hand, but doing it with two people is preferable to three. This is a definite improvement.