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Jessica Mendoza Called Out For Conflict Of Interest

Brandon Contes

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When ESPN analyst Jessica Mendoza was hired by the New York Mets as an operations adviser last season, many people around the game raised an eyebrow at the feasibility of holding both positions. Receiving league-wide access as a baseball analyst for ESPN, while also having the ability to report to the Mets, seemed like an obvious conflict of interest.

In the last few months, one of Major League Baseball’s worst cheating scandals was uncovered, in large part due to a willingness by pitcher Mike Fiers to reveal the Houston Astros sign-stealing scheme. An active player stepping forward to expose the scandal, was an unprecedented move that has been lauded by many for leveling the playing field. 

Thursday morning, Mendoza made it clear she disagreed with what Fiers did. “To go public with it and call them out and start all of this, it’s hard to swallow,” Mendoza said while appearing as an ESPN analyst on their morning radio show Golic and Wingo.

Later appearing on ESPN’s First Take, Mendoza doubled down on her Fiers take, stating he “ratted everyone out,”” again expressing concern for his decision to make the scandal public. 

At the same time, the Mets were mulling how to handle their recently hired manager Carlos Beltran, who was found to have played a “key role” in the Astros sign-stealing scandal. Mendoza is entitled to her opinion, but attempting to shame Fiers while the MLB organization she works for is in flux, caused questions about her perspective. 

Mendoza then took to Twitter to clarify her criticism of Fiers. But the clarification can also be viewed as a backtrack,as she credited Fiers for stepping forward. The ESPN and Mets employee also stated she believes Fiers should have alerted Major League Baseball, not a reporter about the Astros’ cheating scheme.

“In regards to the Mets, I want to make it extra clear that my advisor role with the team does not shape my opinion in any way, shape or form on this matter,” Mendoza added. “I feel this way regardless of what, teams, players or managers are involved.”

During a conference call to discuss the decision to part ways with Carlos Beltran, Mets general manager Brodie Van Wagenen was asked about Mendoza’s comments on ESPN.

“Jessica was speaking as an ESPN analyst, not as a spokesperson for the Mets,” Van Wagenen said. “I have not had the opportunity to speak with her yet.”

Mendoza’s opinions on Fiers’ decision to make the scandal public are valid. But talking about it as an ESPN employee, while her other employer the New York Mets became inadvertently involved in the scandal, exemplified the concerns about Mendoza working for both entities. 

Brandon Contes is a freelance writer for BSM. He can be found on Twitter @BrandonContes. To reach him by email click here

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Ryan Leaf: Jay Glazer ‘Is a Fraud When it Comes to Anything Mental Health or Wellness Related’

“Phelps is an inspiration but it gives me pause that he muddies his mind with that con man.”

Barrett Sports Media

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Photos of Ryan Leaf and Jay Glazer
Leaf Photo Credit: Houston Chronicle Glazer Photo Courtesy: FOX Sports

Swimmer Michael Phelps was a guest on NBC’s Meet the Press this weekend and as he has done before, he talked candidly about the challenges he has had with his mental health and his bouts with depression. He spoke with Kristen Welker and talked about FOX Sports football insider Jay Glazer being his “mental health buddy.” This brought quite the response from former Chargers quarterback and current football analyst Ryan Leaf.

“Jay Glazer and I, we’re both mental health buddies,” Phelps said. “We both struggle, and when we’re both having our bad days, we go through similar ups and downs. And we do similar things when we’re down, if that makes sense. We both had this conversation the other day because when it happens to me, I reach out to him. When it happens to him, he reaches out to me. I have a couple of friendships like that where we’ve kind of been really able to form a bond.”

In response to a social media post about the interview, Leaf held nothing back as he posted his thoughts about Glazer.

“Glazer is a fraud when it comes to anything mental health or wellness related,” Leaf wrote. “He uses it for his benefit and really isn’t invested in any of it unless it benefits him and his brand. Phelps is an inspiration but it gives me pause that he muddies his mind with that con man.”

Leaf has been vocal as well about his struggles with depression, addiction and a suicide attempt. Leaf also spent 32 months in prison when he violated the terms of his probation by breaking into a home to steal prescription drugs.

Back in 2018, a story from the New York Post talked about Leaf and Glazer working together on Glazer’s ‘Merging Vets and Players’ (MVP) initiative.

Glazer, who was recently married and has been on his honeymoon, posted on his X account in response to Phelps’ interview, “Brother, I am so honored to walk this walk with you!!! We save each other my dude!”

Glazer has not yet commented on the post from Leaf. Should he respond, we will update this story.

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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.”

Barrett Sports Media

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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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