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ESPN Reportedly Interested in Derek Jeter For a Broadcasting Gig

What kind of role could Jeter have with ESPN if he were to join the network? The obvious job would appear to be the analyst position on Sunday Night Baseball.

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Major League Baseball’s lockout didn’t take all of the sport’s headlines on Monday. Baseball’s other big story was Derek Jeter stepping down as CEO of the Miami Marlins. Jeter also gave up his ownership share of the club, a four percent stake believed to be worth approximately $45 million.

The obvious question is what’s next for Jeter. According to Front Office Sports’ Michael McCarthy, ESPN would like to speak with him about a television opportunity. No overtures have yet been made, but McCarthy reports that the network would love to go into business with him, presumably as an analyst.

Additionally, ESPN president Jimmy Pitaro is a big New York Yankees fan, which is apparently fueling speculation that he’d love to add The Captain to the network’s roster.

If so, Pitaro might want to have a word with Stephen A. Smith about messaging after the First Take host said on Monday’s show that he’d like to see Jeter return to the Yankees in some capacity.

Speaking of The Captain, that’s the title of an upcoming six-part docuseries chronicling Jeter’s Hall of Fame career with the Yankees that includes five World Series championships and 3,465 hits. So there’s already a working relationship of sorts between Jeter and ESPN.

What kind of role could Jeter have with ESPN if he were to join the network? The obvious job would appear to be the analyst position on Sunday Night Baseball.

But ESPN just overhauled its SNF crew with Karl Ravech calling play-by-play alongside analysts David Cone and Eduardo Perez. Would the network blow up its new team after one season (a season that hasn’t even happened yet)? Not to mention that two former Yankees in the booth probably wouldn’t be popular.

Even adding him for occasional appearances, as was suggested by one of McCarthy’s sources, seems problematic. Sure, it would draw attention (and potential viewers), but a three-man booth is crowded enough as it is.

McCarthy raises another possibility that Jeter could headline an alternate Sunday Night Baseball broadcast. Jeter’s former teammate Alex Rodriguez and Yankees broadcaster Michael Kay are already doing a “Kay-Rod” alternate SNF broadcast, but plans are for the two to only work eight of the 25 games ESPN will broadcast on Sunday nights.

That presumably leaves room for another telecast headlined by Jeter. (Some Yankees fans might also take delight in Jeter possibly upstaging and taking viewers’ affection away from A-Rod.)

All of this is speculation, of course. Jeter just left the Marlins and there’s been no indication that he’s interested in broadcasting. But if he is, ESPN is apparently waiting to add Jeter to a growing number of star personalities that includes Peyton and Eli Manning and, very soon, Troy Aikman.

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Chris Fallica Leaving ESPN for FOX

Neither FOX or ESPN would comment on the situation, but in the Awful Announcing report it’s believed that there will be a send-off of some sort for Fallica on Saturday.

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A prominent sports betting voice featured on ESPN’s College GameDay will be heading to rival FOX and their Big Noon Kickoff show starting in 2023. According to Awful Announcing, Chris Fallica, affectionately known as “The Bear”, will make his last appearance on GameDay will be this weekend.

Fallica has been with ESPN since 1995. Since 2013, Fallica had been featured on GameDay making betting picks with his patented “Bear’s Board”.

Neither FOX or ESPN would comment on the situation, but in the Awful Announcing report it’s believed that there will be a send-off of some sort for Fallica on Saturday.

Fallica joins Tom Rinaldi as the second former GameDay voice to jump over to FOX and be featured on Big Noon Kickoff.

Both shows have experienced incredible viewership growth this season. For GameDay, there have been several weeks this season that have seen some of the largest audiences in the show’s history.

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Tim Brando Believes Executives Look For Familiarity, Not Great Voices For Announcers

“Executives are going more for people they think they audience knows from having been in the studio. As opposed to man that’s a great voice, that guy really gets it, and his judgement is fantastic.”

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Tim Brando has seen the broadcasting industry has evolved in a lot of ways through the years, but one thing that’s remained constant is how infrequently some of the announcing gigs with major networks open up to younger voices.

That’s mainly because you have veteran talent already occupying those positions with no plans for the immediate future to step aside.

On a recent edition of The Sports Talkers Podcast, FOX Sports broadcaster and host Tim Brando spoke to Stephen Strom about the reality that many broadcasters face.

“Yeah there are a lot more jobs, but there are fewer great jobs,” Brando said. “A lot of guys are getting jobs, but it’s like a dead end.”

But in terms of hiring younger talent for network jobs, he thinks it’s become more about adding faces to broadcast booths rather than voices.

“There’s a tendency I think now in our business to hire more visible and perhaps more popular talent because they’ve been in the studio,” he said. “But they’re not ready to be in the booth. Not everybody can do both well.”

Tim added that there’s a nuance to calling play-by-play versus working studio coverage. Brando said that perhaps it has a lot more to do with young broadcasters bypassing getting their start in radio and going right into TV.

“It seems to me that in some circles anyway in our business, executives are going more for people they think they audience knows from having been in the studio,” he said. “As opposed to man that’s a great voice, that guy really gets it, and his judgement is fantastic.”

Brando did mention some of the younger voices at FOX who have risen to the bigger opportunities in the booth, and how they ultimately worked their way up. He said he’s had the chance to offer advice to a few of them and act as a mentor in a way, because that’s how it was for him breaking into the industry.

“I believe in pouring into the young broadcasters out there, I really do,” he said. “Because Curt Gowdy poured into me. I think there’s a responsibility and a level of accountability for the generation before to help those that are coming up that you really respect.”

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MLB Network Airing 38 Hours of Winter Meetings Coverage

Coverage will begin on Sunday at 7 p.m. with MLB Tonight leading into the announcement of the Contemporary Baseball Era Committee’s election results for the Baseball Hall of Fame.

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The annual winter meetings for MLB are set to take place in-person for the first time since 2019 next week, and MLB Network is ready to bring viewers all the coverage possible from San Diego.

The network is devoting 38 hours of live programming on-site, with shows like MLB Tonight, Hot Stove, High Heat, MLB Now and Intentional Talk emanating from the Manchester Grand Hyatt Hotel.

Coverage will begin on Sunday at 7 p.m. with MLB Tonight leading into the announcement of the Contemporary Baseball Era Committee’s election results for the Baseball Hall of Fame.

Fans tuning in to MLB Network can expect to see Greg Amsinger, Fran Charles, Brian Kenny, Stephen Nelson, Alanna Rizzo, Chris “Mad Dog” Russo, Lauren Shehadi and Matt Vasgersian hosting their respective shows throughout the week. Sean Casey, Mark DeRosa, Al Leiter, Cameron Maybin, Kevin Millar, Dan O’Dowd, Steve Phillips and Harold Reynolds will contribute coverage as analysts.

MLB Network will also carry coverage of the inaugural draft lottery from the winter meetings on Tuesday, December 6 at 8:30 p.m.

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