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David Cone Has ‘Butterflies’ For Sunday Night Baseball Gig

“It’s hard to find after you’ve been a ballplayer, after you’ve pitched in a World Series, it’s hard to find that juice again. This kind of gives it to me.”

Ricky Keeler

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One of the new additions to the ESPN Sunday Night Baseball crew in 2022 is current YES Network color commentator and former MLB pitcher David Cone. Cone has been calling games for YES since 2011 and will join Karl Ravech and Eduardo Perez in the broadcast booth this upcoming season. 

Cone talked about the new role on his podcast, Toeing the Slab with David Conealso hosted by Justin Shackil and James Smyth. The Cy Young winner mentioned how the exclusivity that Sunday Night Baseball provides is something that excites him about the position: 

“You get the butterflies back. You get that itch back,” he said. “It’s hard to find after you’ve been a ballplayer, after you’ve pitched in a World Series, it’s hard to find that juice again. This kind of gives it to me. Doing the YES games gave it to me, but this is kind of next-level stuff.”

One of the things that Cone said he hopes to bring to the broadcast is the hitter-pitcher dynamic that he would have with Perez and it is something that he has tried to do with Paul O’Neill when he is calling games on YES with O’Neill and Michael Kay: 

“For me, it is such a unique opportunity to work with guys like that and carve out our own niche because not too many people have had that seat,” he said.

David Cone has been a part of a different form of Sunday Night broadcasts before, just not in the broadcast booth. One of his favorite memories of Sunday Night Baseball came when he was with the Red Sox in 2001 when Mike Mussina was going for a perfect game with the Yankees and ESPN was trying out a new way to showcase the game.

“It was kind of a different game because they experimented with a home camera. It was the high home camera directly behind home plate, which gave you a different view of the game. That was one of the only games they used it. It’s a little bit different if you go back and see the highlights of that game.”

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After Losing Out On Big Ten Rights, ESPN Turns Focus to NCAA Championships

According to Front Office Sports, ESPN’s contract for 29 NCAA Championships ends in 2024.

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After reportedly losing out on the Big Ten’s television rights, ESPN is reportedly turning to securing the NCAA Championship rights from hitting the open market.

According to Front Office Sports, ESPN’s contract for 29 NCAA Championships ends in 2024. Those 29 championships include everything from Women’s basketball to ice hockey, wrestling, softball, and baseball. The network pays a reported $34 million for the rights to broadcast those championship events.

However, according to a study commissioned by the NCAA reveals that the women’s basketball tournament could be worth anywhere from $81 million to $112 million per year by its lonesome. The NCAA is reportedly considering selling the women’s basketball tournament rights as a standalone product in the next negotiation.

Sources told Front Office Sports ESPN remains interested in striking deals with the Pac-12 and Big 12 media rights, as well as renewing a deal for the College Football Playoff.

The news comes after Sports Business Journal’s John Ourand reported ESPN declined a final offer from the Big Ten for a portion of the conference’s media rights. The reported deal was seven years and $380 million per year.

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Sports TV News

ESPN Announces The Return of Stephen A. Smith to First Take

ESPN announced Smith will be returning to First Take on Monday, August 15th.

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Stephen A. Smith

First Take has been without it’s anchor since the day after the NBA Draft in June. That’s when the ESPN personality took some time off to undergo shoulder surgery and to rehabilitate. However, it appears the wait for his return is almost over.

ESPN announced with a tweet that Smith will be returning to First Take on Monday, August 15th. They also teased a guest appearance from Michael Irvin.

This comes a day after Smith tweeted that the countdown was on for his return and we are one week away from the event.

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Sports TV News

Field Yates Re-Ups With ESPN

After the departure of Matthew Berry to NBC, ESPN has locked down fantasy expert Field Yates with a new contract to remain in Bristol.

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Field Yates

After the departure of Matthew Berry to NBC, ESPN has locked down fantasy expert Field Yates with a new contract to remain in Bristol.

Yates, 35, would have been a valuable target for FanDuel or DraftKings, surmises Andrew Marchand of The New York Post — who first reported the news — due to his large following on Twitter.

Yates, who also works as a host of Fantasy Football Now and NFL Insider for the network, across multiple platforms including ESPN Radio, will continue in those roles in addition to an assumed expansion of fantasy football duties after Berry’s exit.

He has worked for ESPN since 2012.

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