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Is ESPN Planning a Bigger Role For Mendoza?

Jason Barrett

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The past six weeks have transformed Jessica Mendoza from someone largely regarded as a softball analyst to one of the lead baseball voices at ESPN. She has performed so well in place of Curt Schilling on Sunday night games and during the Houston Astros’ 3-0 victory over the Yankees in the American League wild-card playoff game Tuesday night that ESPN has no option but to give her a high-profile slot.

“Six weeks? No, it’s hasn’t been that long,” she said on Wednesday in a telephone interview. “It’s felt like one long day because I never wanted it to stop. I never wanted to let off the gas.”

On Tuesday night, she showed her primary expertise in batting analysis, most notably on how the Astros’ George Springer was able to hit a double over Brett Gardner’s head: by standing far back in the batter’s box to react to Masahiro Tanaka’s splitter. But she also did good — and quick — work on pitch selection and outfield positioning.

“I find that as far as my first step in, I talk to hitters, coaches and managers, and that’s the insight I want to share with viewers,” she said. “I’m hoping to build up to defensive strategy and pitching.”

What she will do in 2016 will probably depend, in part, on whether Schilling has a future at ESPN — on Sunday night games or anywhere. He was initially suspended by the network for sharing a Twitter meme about Muslim extremists that featured a photograph of Adolf Hitler. His short punishment was then extended because of an angry response he emailed to an article on the website Awful Announcing about his activities on social media. His first day back was Wednesday, when he worked from an ESPN studio at the company’s headquarters in Bristol, Conn.

Mendoza said she traded texts about pitching with Schilling after Tuesday night’s game.

“He’s someone I’ve known a while and respect his knowledge, so we went back and forth about Tanaka” and Astros starter Dallas Keuchel, she said.

So far, Mendoza has not heard from ESPN officials about what she will do next season. “And I haven’t even asked,” she said. “I’m as curious as anyone. I’m hooked. This is something I want to do more of.”

And she will. John Wildhack, ESPN’s executive vice president for programming and production, lauded her in a way that offered little doubt about the company’s intentions.

“You can expect that she has earned and will have a prominent role in our baseball coverage,” Wildhack said. “Her knowledge of the game is comparable to any baseball expert out there, and her knowledge of hitting might be the best of any analyst out there.”

He added, “She deserves all the credit for displaying her talents, and it’s awesome that she got to do it on a big stage last night at Yankee Stadium.”

Translation: Expect her to replace Schilling. It will be a smart and progressive move.

To read more visit the NY Times where this story was originally published

 

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‘NFL Total Access’ Comes to an End After 21 Years on NFL Network

“Today is our last show and while our team is disappointed, we are excited about what’s next for us at NFL Network.”

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NFL Total Access

‘NFL Total Access’ has been a part of the NFL Network since 2003 and today it is set for its final episode. The news of the show coming to an end came down earlier this month. Many of the current show participants took to social media to post their thoughts including hosts Mike Yam and Kimmi Chex along with analyst Chase Daniel.

“Tonight marks the last ever episode of NFL Total Access,” said Chex. “I was 7 years old when this show aired meaning that I spent my life watching. Co-hosting our flagship program this past season has been the honor of my career. I’m not going anywhere but for now, it’s goodbye TA.”

Yam said, “It’s been an absolute thrill hosting NFL Total Access. Today is our last show and while our team is disappointed, we are excited about what’s next for us at NFL Network. “Thank you” isn’t nearly enough to express the gratitude I have for the team. See you at 7est for 1 more run.”

A report from The Athletic said the show would be replaced “at least in the interim” by Insiders with Ian Rapoport, Mike Garafolo and Tom Pelissero.

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NBCUniversal Names Olympic Hosts for USA, CNBC and E!; Kathryn Tappen Headlines

“We are excited to have an experienced group of hosts to present the most compelling stories, news, and interviews as we take viewers from event to event throughout the Games.”

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NBC Olympics Logo and photos of Cara Banks, Laura Britt, Trenni Casey, Lindsay Czarniak, Carolyn Manno, and Kathryn Tappen

NBCUniversal announced its hosts for coverage of the Olympic Games Paris 2024 on USA Network, CNBC and E! Cara Banks, Laura Britt and Trenni Casey will all be a part of the coverage on CNBC and E! Lindsay Czarniak, Carolyn Manno and Kathryn Tappen will all take part in the USA Network coverage.

The Opening Ceremony of the 2024 Paris Olympics is Friday, July 26 on NBC, Peacock, and Telemundo.

Coverage on USA Network, CNBC, and E! is expected to include Team USA men’s and women’s basketball, soccer, and volleyball, as well as swimming, gymnastics, and track & field, and more.

“We are excited to have an experienced group of hosts to present the most compelling stories, news, and interviews as we take viewers from event to event throughout the Games,” said Rebecca Chatman, Vice President and Coordinating Producer, NBC Olympics Production in a release.

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Mike Tirico, Danica Patrick Return to Host Indy 500 for NBC Sports

Seven-time NASCAR Series champion Jimmie Johnson will join NBC’s pre-race and race coverage. When his broadcasting duties are completed, Johnson will be flying to Charlotte Motor Speedway to drive in the NASCAR Coca-Cola 600.

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Logos for Indy 500, NBC Sports and photos of Mike Tirico and Danica Patrick
Photos Courtesy: NBC Sports

With less than two weeks until the event, NBC Sports has officially announced its team of race and studio commentators for the 108th Running of the Indianapolis 500. For the sixth year in a row, we can expect to see familiar faces such as host Mike Tirico and studio analyst Danica Patrick contributing to pre-race, in-race, and post-race coverage.

The race will air at 11 a.m. ET on Sunday, May 26, on both NBC and Peacock.

Seven-time NASCAR Series champion Jimmie Johnson will join NBC’s pre-race and race coverage. When his broadcasting duties are completed, Johnson will be flying to Charlotte Motor Speedway to drive in the NASCAR Coca-Cola 600.

Leigh Diffey, Townsend Bell and James Hinchcliffe will call the race for the sixth consecutive year. Marty Snider, Dillon Welch, Dave Burns, and Kevin Lee will serve as pit reporters. Former NASCAR driver Jeff Burton and Kim Coon will serve as roaming reporters.

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