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ESPN Releasing Barry Bonds E:60 Special

“The slugger was a famously prickly personality who rubbed a lot of his teammates and the media the wrong way.”

Russ Heltman

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Courtesy: ESPN

ESPN is releasing BONDS on Sunday. An E:60 special feature on the life, career, and controversy that surrounds Barry Bonds to this day. Bonds has failed to crack the Baseball Hall of Fame every year of his eligibility so far and he’s running out of chances.

Bonds is entering his final year of eligibility and will be left to sands of baseball time should he not get 75% of the vote this winter.

The slugger was a famously prickly personality who rubbed a lot of his teammates and the media the wrong way. Bonds didn’t do his quest for the Hall of Fame any favors by acting like a heel to the media—especially at the end of his career.

One of the media members synonymous with Bonds during that time was Pedro Gomez, who unfortunately passed away in February at the age of 58.

ESPN did not list Gomez among the 18 names released as interviewees for the special, but he had plenty of first-hand interactions with Bonds throughout the years. 

“This was inevitable,” Gomez said when Bonds returned to San Francisco Giants Spring Training in 2014 as a hitting instructor. “The Giants and Barry Bonds will be linked forever. There’s no denying that. Bonds accomplished his greatest feats in a Giants uniform, so having him be a guest instructor is a no-brainer.”

Gomez was on the “Bonds Beat” in 2005 and 2007 as the star winded down his career.

“He was warm towards me today, reaching out to say hello and shake my hand,” said Gomez. “That was, to say the least, not always the case during my seasons of covering Bonds. He admitted [in Monday’s news conference] that was a ‘character’ that he may have needed [to portray] to play at such a high level.”

Gomez later joked that he wouldn’t be surprised if ESPN sent him back out to the Bay Area for another extended stint covering the all-time home run leader. We’ll see if the “Bonds Beat” sparks up again—from a hall of fame induction speech this time.

Sports TV News

Greg Olsen Believes He and Kevin Burkhardt Can Handles Games ‘On Any Stage’

“Obviously, the bosses get paid a lot to make hard decisions. You have to obviously do what your bosses decide. We’ll cross that bridge when we get there.”

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Greg Olsen

Kevin Burkhardt and Greg Olsen are on tap to call Super Bowl LVII in February, and Olsen told Front Office Sports he has the confidence to announce the game with no hesitations.

“If you’re asking me, I think Kevin and I have shown that we can handle a game on any stage – on any day. We just did it on Thanksgiving. We’ll do it again around Christmas. And obviously throughout the [NFL] Playoffs,” said Olsen. “So whatever decision they make. Obviously, the bosses get paid a lot to make hard decisions. You have to obviously do what your bosses decide. We’ll cross that bridge when we get there.

“But as of now, I anticipate Kevin and I, the two of us, with Erin and Tom down on the sidelines, the four of us, broadcasting the Super Bowl in February in Arizona. Until I’m told otherwise, that’s how we’re proceeding.”

Olsen also told FOS he has negotiated a new contract with FOX Sports, but declined to share details. He is slated to be replaced on the top broadcast crew once Tom Brady ends his playing career. Brady will then begin a 10-year, $375 million contract to serve as the network’s top NFL game analyst and brand ambassador.

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Sports TV News

St. Louis Cardinals Announcer Dan McLaughlin Charged With Third DWI

It is the third time McLaughlin has been charged with DWI. He was charged with the offense twice within 13 months in 2010 and 2011.

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Dan McLaughlin

St. Louis Cardinals television play-by-play announcer Dan McLaughlin has been charged with DWI after being arrested on Sunday in Creve Coeur, Missouri.

According to a report from the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, police received at least two phone calls from concerned drivers that a white BMW was driving erratically, with one caller saying it was driving into oncoming traffic.

It is the third time McLaughlin has been charged with DWI. He was charged with the offense twice within 13 months in 2010 and 2011.

Bally Sports Midwest and the released a joint statement Monday.

“We have been made aware that Dan McLaughlin was arrested on suspicion of driving while intoxicated on Sunday night.. We are very disappointed to hear this, and are working to gather additional information before offering further comment.”

McLaughlin, 48, has served as the voice of the Cardinals for 24 years.

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Sports TV News

NFL Flex Scheduling Forces ESPN To Change Bowl Schedule

Jordan Bondurant

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The NFL flex scheduling an upcoming Las Vegas Radiers game out of Sunday Night Football on December 18 has forced ESPN to make a slight adjustment with its college bowl season schedule. But the change was something the worldwide leader was prepared to make.

The Raiders were originally scheduled to play the New England Patriots in the primetime window a week before Christmas, but with both teams losing ground in terms of the AFC playoff picture, NBC opted to go with a different game that night instead. Now fans will be tuning in to see the rematch between the New York Giants and the Washington Commanders.

The shift out of the Sunday night window for the Raiders forced ESPN to swap kickoff times for the Las Vegas Bowl and the New Mexico Bowl the day before on December 17. Florida and Oregon State will play in Vegas at 2:30 p.m. eastern, with BYU and SMU facing off in Albuquerque at 7:30 p.m.

The switch allows workers at Allegiant Stadium in Vegas enough time to switch the venue over from college bowl game to Raiders home game.

“We are accustomed to flexibility and we anticipated having to maneuver our event schedules based on the possibility of the Raiders game being flexed,” said ESPN Events vice president Clint Overby.

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