The 2021 AL Wild Card Game on ESPN was Matt Vasgersian’s final broadcast as the voice of Sunday Night Baseball. He spoke with the Orange County Register about why he stepped back from calling the sport nationally.
Vasgersian is now looking to expand his role on Angels’ broadcasts, where he called close to 60 games in 2021, and continue his studio host/play-by-play role for MLB Network.
“I knew I had to make some choices, and there was no way I could continue doing these three things another season,” Matt Vasgersian said to the OCR. “I went into this season knowing it was a one-year thing that way.”
A new addition to the Angels broadcast team in 2021, Vasgersian got hooked by the ability to cheer on a team again.
“It just feels better to be able to root,” he said. “I believe this firmly: us vs. them is much more enjoyable than them vs. them. It’s the way it’s supposed to be. The appeal of baseball is only as strong as its regional value. While there will always be a place for a national presentation of the game – MLB Network and ESPN – it’s all about the regions. They care about baseball the most.”
Matt Vasgersian feels comfortable in Anaheim, where the Angels used a litany of broadcasters in 2021. Daron Sutton, Rich Waltz, Patrick O’Neal, Mark Gubicza, and José Mota all worked on the broadcasts at various points this season.
“I like the whole vibe around the Angels. Everything from the player roster to the people in the front office. I like the Bally people. It feels very good. Very organic.”
Matt Vasgersian and the Angels affiliate, Bally Sports West, are still hammering out the contract details for next season, but expect to hear plenty of his voice on Shohei Ohtani home run calls in 2022.
Katie Nolan ‘Crushed’ She Didn’t Land HBO Show
“I interviewed for it. got a little ahead of myself thinking I was gonna get it.“
Last week, Katie Nolan announced on Twitter that her time at ESPN had come to an end, not overly surprising considering her late night show Always Late was cancelled last year.
There were speculations as to where the former ESPN employee was going to end up next, some thought that she would end up at Meadowlark Media, founded by former boss John Skipper and former colleague Dan Le Batard.
“I have had good experiences in the past working with both Michelle and Katie. I think they’re both very talented individuals,” CEO of Meadowlark John Skipper said.
“I interviewed for it. Got a little ahead of myself thinking I was gonna get it. was crushed when I didn’t. BUT: the most important thing is that the show will exist, and bo is gonna knock it out of the park.” said Nolan in a now deleted tweet.
There does not seem to be any hard feelings coming from Nolan, and the future is still very bright for Nolan. She has said that she wants to continue her podcast, and with the strong endorsement from John Skipper, it seems she will land on her feet.
Bob Costas Hosting TBS Coverage Of Playoffs
“He currently hosts Back On The Record, on Warner’s HBO, and contributes to CNN from time to time.”
Bob Costas is returning to the host desk for the 2021 National League Championship Series on TBS. According to Variety, this marks the first time Costas has worked event coverage for WarnerMedia.
He currently hosts Back On The Record, on Warner’s HBO, and contributes to CNN from time to time. Costas is also calling play-by-play of the ALDS between the Chicago White Sox and the Houston Astros on MLB Network.
Bob Costas divulged to Adam Schein that he doesn’t quite feel 100% like the same play-by-play voice he used to be. He echoed those sentiments to Variety.
“It’s my job to kind of move everything along, be the traffic cop asking a few good questions,” Costas said in the interview.
“It’s easier to host than it is to do play by play,” says Costas, who is focusing on “the big picture stuff. There’s much less pressure involved.”
Costas has not hosted a major event like this since Liam McHugh replaced him on Sunday Night Football coverage in 2017. That being said, WarnerMedia is thrilled with the addition, and now McHugh and Costas are co-workers once more.
“Bob’s passion for baseball is undeniable,” Craig Barry, Turner Sports’ chief content officer, said to Variety. “At the end of the day, he’s going to elevate our broadcast.”
WarnerMedia’s news and sports operations chairman Jeff Zucker has a friendship with Bob Costas dating back to the 1988 Olympic Games in Seoul, where Zucker aided the broadcaster as a researcher. The company wouldn’t rule out a permanent role for Costas.
“Bob’s passion for baseball is undeniable, and his love for the game and his ability to contribute to the broadcast, I think it is something we are interested in,” Barry said. “He has a longstanding relationship with Jeff, and I think that has played to our benefit to have an opportunity to partner with him, and we are excited to see if that’s a fit.”
Game 1 of the NLCS plays out next Saturday, Oct. 16, on TBS.
Kyle Brandt Knew Right Away Mannings Didn’t Need A Host
“Brandt was part of a small group of candidates that actually had the chance to audition with the Mannings before ESPN, and the brothers decided they didn’t need a host.”
Sports Illustrated’s Jimmy Traina had Kyle Brandt on his podcast this week, and the NFL Network host shed some light on his audition for the Manningcast and finding Nate Burleson’s replacement on Good Morning Football.
Brandt was part of a small group of candidates that actually had the chance to audition with the Mannings before ESPN, and the brothers decided they didn’t need a host for ESPN2’s alternate coverage of Monday Night Football.
“There were some feeling-out meetings, a couple phone calls, and then we just did a straight-up audition, myself with Peyton and Eli,” Brandt described to Traina. “We did a game. And when it ended, one of the executives who was running the thing called me right afterward and said to me, ‘What do you think?’ And I said, the hype is real, they don’t need a host. They don’t need a third person. I think you should just do it with the two of them.”
Brandt’s old Good Morning Football teammate, Nate Burleson, left the show to pursue a hosting role on CBS Mornings. There are plenty of worthy candidates ready to replace Burleson, but the crew is making sure they check all the right boxes for the unique show.
“It’s a very difficult spot to fill, not only because of the obvious chemistry deal and the obvious work we’ve had behind us with Nate,” said Kyle Brandt. “It’s just like, we’re looking for an ex-player — he’s gotta be an ex-player, this is the NFL Network — and he has to be an ex-player who not only wants to get up at 4:30 in the morning every single day to go to a table to talk to three people who did not play in the NFL and are going to tell him his opinion is wrong. You also have to have that ex-player live in the New York-New Jersey area.”
With a month gone in the 2021 NFL season, there isn’t much of a rush to cement Burleson’s old spot. GMFB can take their time finding someone ready to take the role.
Listen to the full podcast appearance here.