ESPN will have some new, but well-known new faces this spring when its Sunday Night Baseball broadcasts return.
The worldwide leader in sports announced this week that Yankee great Alex Rodriguez and Matt Vasgersian will join the program’s broadcast team. Jessica Mendoza will return, too. Vasgersian will be the program’s new play-by-play announcer, taking the place of Dan Shulman while Rodriguez will serve as analyst, taking over from Aaron Boone.
ESPN announced last summer that Shulman would be leaving the program after last season. While he stepped away from ESPN’s flagship MLB program, he is still working with ESPN covering Major League Baseball on its ESPN Radio broadcasts. He is also busy covering college basketball for ESPN.
Boone meanwhile will go from the broadcast booth to the dugout after being named the Yankees new manager during the off-season. Both Rodriguez and Vasgersian said in interviews that they were looking forward to joining ESPN’s MLB broadcast team.
“I’m looking forward to this new chapter in my broadcasting career,” Rodriguez said. “It’s an exciting time in baseball, and now I get that front row seat to tell that story every Sunday night on ESPN as well as calling my fourth post season on Fox where I started this journey.”
“Jon and Dan set the bar super high for Sunday Night Baseball play-by-play, so it’s a real thrill for someone who still remembers his first Minor League bus trip in 1991 to have a chair like this one,” he said. “I know firsthand how passionate both Alex and Jessica are about baseball, and I can’t wait to get started with them.”
Mendoza said she was looking forward to working with her new broadcast partners.
“I am incredibly excited to work with both Alex and Matt,” Mendoza said. “Matt has been a friend for a long time and someone whose work I’ve long admired. Alex’s achievements as a player speak for themselves, and I’ve been greatly impressed by the passion and dedication he has put into his broadcasting career. We’re going to have a lot of fun.”
Stephanie Druley, ESPN Senior Vice President of events and studio production said the new broadcast team was the right fit for ESPN because of its collective experience.
“Alex is one of the most recognizable personalities in all of sports, and he’s made a well-documented impact on the sports media landscape. His dynamic personality and incredible baseball knowledge, combined with Matt Vasgersian’s expertise, enthusiasm and poise, make for terrific additions to Sunday Night Baseball, with existing commentators Jessica Mendoza and Buster Olney,” Druley said. “We’re excited about the potential for this team and we’re appreciative to our MLB Network and Fox Sports counterparts, as all parties were more than willing to collaborate in order to serve Major League Baseball fans.”
ESPN’s current Sunday Night Baseball presented by Taco Bell schedule is noted below.
|Apr. 1||San Francisco Giants at Los Angeles Dodgers|
|Apr. 8||New York Mets at Washington Nationals|
|Apr. 15||Texas Rangers at Houston Astros|
|Apr. 22||Washington Nationals at Los Angeles Dodgers|
|Apr. 29||New York Yankees at Los Angeles Angels** – Olney’s Pick!|
|May 6||Chicago Cubs at St. Louis Cardinals|
|May 13||Washington Nationals at Arizona Diamondbacks|
|May 20||Cleveland Indians at Houston Astros|
|May 27*||San Francisco Giants at Chicago Cubs|
|July 1||Boston Red Sox at New York Yankees|
|July 22||New York Mets at New York Yankees|
|July 29||Chicago Cubs at St. Louis Cardinals|
|Aug. 19||MLB Little League Classic|
*Telecast to air on ESPN2.
Additional Sunday Night Baseball selections for June through September will be made up to two weeks prior to the dates.
This year marks the 29th year of Sunday Night Baseball on ESPN. Each game will be preceded at 7 p.m. on ESPN by Baseball Tonight: Sunday Night Countdown presented by Chevrolet.
More information on ESPN’s Sunday Night Baseball presented by Taco Bell schedule is available online now along with all of the latest MLB headlines at http://www.espn.com/mlb.
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