The 2021 MLB season has arrived, and with it comes another stint in the Sunday Night Baseball booth for Alex Rodriguez. The businessman and retired player is approaching a half-decade broadcasting baseball. On Wednesday, AROD shared a few thoughts on the 2021 season and reflected on his time broadcasting baseball games.
Joining Rodriguez on ESPN Sunday Night Baseball is play-by-play voice Matt Vasgersian and Senior MLB Insider Buster Olney. Being part of that trio of experienced and talented broadcasters is what keeps Rodriguez feeling good about the network’s presentation for baseball fans.
“My chemistry with Matt is getting better and better,” Rodriguez said. “We spoke already this morning, and Buster Olney is as good as it gets. I’m surrounded by great talent.”
One thing Rodriguez has learned after three years behind the microphone is a comfortability with his own talent.
“One of the greatest guys that I’ve ever seen in my career over the last 25 years has been Joe Buck, and I think he’s the greatest, and he gets a hard time,” Rodriguez added. “It’s a business that you’re never going to get everybody’s thumbs-up.”
Broadcasting is “just like playing baseball” for Rodriguez, who tried to purchase the New York Mets in the offseason. “We gave it a great run, and the Mets are a fantastic franchise with a great fan base, and I think the ownership is going to do a fantastic job,” Rodriguez said. “I also think they have very much a competitive advantage — when you have 29 teams that have been bleeding, and you have one owner that’s coming in hot and ready to win a World Championship, I think there’s an immense competitive advantage.”
Rodriguez praised MLB for its experimentation with mic’ing up players on the field, noting some conversations he had during playing days in between the lines would’ve made for great content. There’s been a great response to that side of the broadcast and it’s seen as a positive way to welcome a younger generation of fans to the game.
“I want to see them (players) driving home and coming to the stadium,” Rodriguez said. “The more, the better.”
Rodriguez is on the call for New York Mets vs. Washington Nationals at 7 p.m. ET on Thursday, April 1. He’ll be part of ESPN’s Opening Day quadruple-header working with Matt Vasgersian and Buster Olney.
Warriors Fans Throw Objects At Charles Barkley On Inside the NBA Set
“Barkley yelled back at the crowd but never actually left the set.”
Charles Barkley is no stranger to being the object of fans’ ire. The cities of San Antonio and Cleveland have a history of being the butt of the Round Mound of Rebound’s jokes. Thursday night in San Francisco, fans of the Warriors took things to a different level, throwing objects at Barkley on the Inside the NBA set.
The TNT studio show was broadcasting live from outside the Chase Center. The crowd chanted “Chuck, you suck!” at Barkley before the game. After Golden State clinched a birth in the NBA Finals, things got physical.
Fans threw things at the set, including a rolled-up t-shirt, which hit Charles Barkley in the back of the head. That resulted in Barkley leaving his seat and bowing up to the audience.
“Come on Chuck!” Ernie Johnson pleaded as Kenny Smith repeatedly said “Sit down Chuck.”
Barkley yelled back at the crowd but never actually left the set.
Now that the Western Conference Finals are over, TNT’s NBA schedule has concluded. That doesn’t mean Charles Barkley won’t return to San Francisco for the NBA Finals, but it is highly unlikely given the reception he has received there.
Barkley spent most of the postseason telling Golden State fans they were annoying and need to shut up and saying the city of San Francisco has “dirty ass streets”.
Jon Miller To Call MLB Sunday Leadoff Game On Peacock
“According to a press release, Jason Benetti has a scheduling conflict.”
Legendary play-by-play man Jon Miller will be returning to the national broadcast booth on Sunday. He will call the San Francisco Giants vs. Cincinnati Reds game for Peacock. He’ll be joined in the booth by Barry Larkin and Shawn Estes.
According to a press release, Jason Benetti has a scheduling conflict. Benetti, the regular play-by-play voice of Peacock’s MLB Sunday Leadoff, is also the television voice of the Chicago White Sox. NBC Sports Chicago has prioritized this weekend’s series between the White Sox and Cubs, making Benetti unavailable to the national broadcast.
Miller has been calling Giants games since 1997 and previously shared the Sunday Night Baseball booth on ESPN with hall of famer Joe Morgan.
The broadcast, called MLB Sunday Leadoff, will begin at 11 a.m. with pregame coverage hosted by Ahmed Fareed. The game broadcast begins at 11:30 a.m.
The game will take place in an exclusive two-hour broadcast window prior to the start of the rest of the league’s day of games.
Amazon Eyeing Pat McAfee For Thursday Night Football Megacast
“No deal is done yet. A source tells McCarthy that it hinges on McAfee’s very busy schedule, but a Megacast is appealing to the former punter.’
First it was the Mannings. Now it’s McAfee. Michael McCarthy of Front Office Sports reports that Pat McAfee could be at the center of an alternate broadcast of Thursday Night Football on Amazon in the 2022 season.
No deal is done yet. A source tells McCarthy that it hinges on McAfee’s very busy schedule, but a Megacast is appealing to the former punter.
Rumors of Amazon’s interest in McAfee began to bubble up last month. While he never directly addressed them, he did make mention on his show that he was “up to something” and insinuated that Amazon wasn’t the only company he was talking to.
McAfee has said on his show in the past that he wants to be part of an NFL broadcast. However, he is firm in that it would not be in the broadcast booth.
“I can’t call games. Not yet,” McAfee said on a show in February. “Have to be done with this show to call games. Because that’s like a 3-day, 4-day thing.”
In addition to his daily show, McAfee is also committed to the WWE. He is on the road for Smackdown every Friday.
There is no word on exactly what a Pat McAfee-centered broadcast would look like. When reports first came out regarding discussions with McAfee, Ryan Glasspiegel of The New York Post reported that moving The Pat McAfee Show to Amazon was on the table. If that happens, it would make sense to use his entire crew on the Thursday Night Football presentation.