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John Smoltz, Fox’s New Ace Analyst

Jason Barrett

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John Smoltz is a Hall of Famer and World Series champion as a pitcher, and he long has seemed to be on a similar trajectory as a TV voice, working three league championship series for Turner in the early 2010s.

But as satisfying as that was, Smoltz did not get where he was as a player by settling. His goal was clear from the start of his television career: return to the World Series, this time as an analyst.

And so it shall be in October.

Late last year Fox announced that it would move Smoltz into its No. 1 booth alongside Joe Buck, where he will replace Harold Reynolds and Tom Verducci, who filled the role for two seasons after the departure of Tim McCarver.

“I believe that in everything that you want to do, if you don’t shoot for the top you’re short-sighting yourself,” Smoltz said. “I remember telling my agent when I first starting doing work for TBS I wanted to do the World Series. So whoever got the World Series (rights), that’s what I wanted to do. It’s the pinnacle of our sport. I love seeing the best of whatever sports has to offer. I didn’t want to just do the job to do the job.”

There is little doubt in baseball or TV circles that he is ready for the spotlight, given his playing resume, personality and broadcast experience. But Smoltz said he still has much to learn.

“I don’t have this thing licked,” he said. “I work really hard and I have a complicated life. It’s a lot more busy than I thought it would be, post-retirement. My simple rules apply in broadcasting, as they did in baseball. If I can’t learn from my mistakes, something is wrong. If I can’t laugh at myself, something is wrong. I’m still trying to perform and refine my craft. It takes me five hours every game day to get ready for a game. So it is not just relying on my knowledge. It’s trying to do the work to be as equipped as I can.”

He will work 15 regular-season games for Fox, 15 to 18 for MLB Network and 80 to 85 days in MLB Network’s New Jersey studios.

To read the full article visit Newsday where this article was originally published

 

Sports TV News

Peter King: Sean McVay Wants to be a Star, ‘Not Just Some Guy on TV’

“I do think he had some regret over not taking a two- or three-year hiatus last year and taking one of the big TV jobs. Amazon? Maybe FOX? But if he really wanted to jump after winning the Super Bowl, he would have.”

Jordan Bondurant

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L.A. Rams head coach Sean McVay will remain at his post for the 2023-24 season. The team tweeted that news Friday afternoon, seeming to, at least for now, put the rumors of McVay leaving coaching for a TV job to rest.

ProFootballTalk’s Peter King wrote in Football Morning in America on Monday that McVay understands the kind of position on television he’s looking for may not necessarily be there for him.

“I don’t think that was the only thing about TV that appealed to him, but I don’t think McVay was interested in being Just a Guy on TV,” King wrote. “I do think he had some regret over not taking a two- or three-year hiatus last year and taking one of the big TV jobs. Amazon? Maybe FOX? But if he really wanted to jump after winning the Super Bowl, he would have.”

King noted that McVay has been told to “Do what makes you happy” by folks with the Rams. He also said he believes coaching is what Makes McVay happy. Especially with a chance to shake up his coaching staff and being involved in trying to bring the team back from a 5-12 season in their follow-up campaign to winning the Super Bowl.

“He wants to be challenged, and this staff wasn’t doing it,” King said. “Offensive coordinator Liam Coen may not have been what McVay wanted in an OC—a coach who would challenge him and bring new ideas to him—and that could be why he’s going back to the University of Kentucky as a coordinator.”

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Sports TV News

Lisa Salters Makes Monday Night Football History Completing 11th Season on Sideline

“Salters has been with ESPN for almost 23 years. She started as a general assignment reporter before moving to sideline reporting in 2006.”

Jordan Bondurant

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Monday night’s Cowboys/Bucs wild card playoff game set a new milestone for ESPN sideline reporter Lisa Salters.

The network tweeted that Salters completed her 11th season in that role. That makes her the longest tenured reporter in Monday Night Football history.

Salters has been with ESPN for almost 23 years. She started as a general assignment reporter before moving to sideline reporting in 2006.

“When I first got the call to do Monday Night Football, I would have never thought that 10 years later I would still be doing it,” Salters said last year in a video reminiscing on ten years on Monday Night Football. “I was at home and I got a phone call from my boss Vince Doria and he said, ‘Hey, I was wondering if you would be interested in being a sideline reporter for Monday Night Football‘, and I couldn’t believe what he just asked me.”

Salters is also featured on network coverage of the NBA, something she’s been doing since 2005.

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Sports TV News

No Conspiracy Behind ESPN Monday Night Playoff Game Selection

“The decision to continue with 4/5 games in the Monday night window came down to convenience.”

Jordan Bondurant

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ESPN has only carried NFL playoff games on Monday night for two seasons but has been a part of wild card weekends dating back to the 2014-15 campaign.

With the exception of one season, a 4-seed versus 5-seed matchup has always been covered by the Monday Night Football broadcast team in that stretch of nine seasons. That continued with Cowboys/Bucs this year.

In 2021-22, with the NFL expanding the playoff field to seven teams, the first Monday night playoff game was played. The Rams cruised past the Cardinals 34-11.

Last week, the decision was the source of much speculation. TV executives shared a number of theories about why ESPN landed the game that had the most star power in the Super Wild Card round of the playoffs.

Andrew Marchand of the New York Post wrote that no speculation was necessary. The decision to continue with 4/5 games in the Monday night window came down to convenience. The new format, the games that have a likelihood of altering seeding for the divisional rounds have already been played.

The 4/5 games this weekend proved to be pretty entertaining. The Jaguars rallied from down 27 to beat the Chargers. Al Michaels and Tony Dungy were ripped on social media for how they called a particularly exhilarating game for NBC. So it turns out Joe Buck and Troy Aikman would’ve called either one of the weekend’s best games.

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