ESPN makes changes to their ‘Sunday Night Baseball’ broadcast team
In a somewhat surprising move, ESPN has announced Jessica Mendoza is now a permanent member of the “Sunday Night Baseball” broadcast team, along with former player Aaron Boone. Longtime analyst John Kruk will no longer be on the broadcasts, but will be a member of ESPN’s Baseball Tonight. The play-by-play man remains Dan Shulman.
While the Mendoza hire isn’t terribly surprising (she replaced Curt Schilling last season when he was suspended), John Kruk’s dismissal is. Kruk was the one voice inside the booth that provided insight beyond the numbers of the game (Schilling was a disaster). Mendoza, while a knowledgeable voice of the game, does not have the insight that Kruk has from actually playing in the show. I suppose that is why ESPN is also bringing Boone into the booth, but having three voices calling a baseball game has proven to provide little excitement.
FOX’s broadcast of the World Series this past season showed that. Joe Buck was alongside Harold Reynolds and Tom Verducci in the booth and were criticized repeatedly for their calls, or lack thereof throughout the series (hence why Reynolds and Verducci have been replaced). Bottom line, with three voices trying to get their own knowledge and views across, it can become a jumbled mess without bringing excitement to the game.
With baseball season quickly approaching, only time will tell if Sunday Night Baseball will be a success with the new crew in the booth.