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ESPN makes shakeups in baseball broadcast booth: here's what you need to know

You hear the cries from just about every social network out there; “baseball is dying!” Baseless or not, the average fan agreed changes need to be made to America’s Pastime. And this week, ESPN announced their results of a search for its new Sunday Night Baseball booth that spanned the nation for which voices fans wanted to hear breaking down its primetime contests.

Here are some of the changes ESPN announced this week.

Karl Ravech becomes new Sunday Night Baseball Play-by-Play Announcer

Ravech has been around the game of baseball his whole career. A Massachusetts guy born-and-raised, Ravech joined ESPN shortly after he graduated from Ithaca. He’s been around baseball ever since then in a variety of roles; he covered baseball at the SportsCenter desk & Baseball Tonight, was the primary Play-by-Play voice of the LLWS, and even called the KBO when COVID derailed the MLB from starting on time back in May 2020. This guy is truly a pro’s pro; any game that Karl Ravech has the call of will have me engaged and interested.

Baseball broadcast veteran Karl Ravech will be the new voice of ESPN's Sunday Night Baseball. PIC: ESPN Staff

David Cone joins as lead color analyst; Eduardo Perez joins

Arguably the best analyst that ESPN has had in its booth in recent years (of any sport), former Yankees ace David Cone will get the nod to SNB. Coney was a major driver for the Yankees’ success in the late 90’s; he won a Cy Young and has five World Series rings over his stint in pinstripes. Yankees fans have loved David Cone during his few years in the YES Network booth recently, as he’s able to embrace and integrate basic analytics without getting bogged down in technical details; simply put, he can explain them without fans losing interest. I’m excited for Cone to get an opportunity to shine on national television…fans will love him. He’ll join Eduardo Perez in the booth, who spent a good chunk of the last 15 years working for ESPN in different capacities. Perez played in the big leagues for 13 years, mostly at first and third base, and also is pretty sharp in analytics. Overall, these are two great moves for ESPN and the MLB.

Alex Rodriguez gets his own “ManningCast” with longtime Yankees announcer Michael Kay

A-Rod has been in the SNB booth for a few years now, and was met with mixed opinions. Some thought he made the call too much about himself, some loved him, and some hated him. So instead of kicking him to the curb, A-Rod was moved to his OWN broadcast format (talk about an ego-booster) for this year. Similar to ESPN’s ManningCasts for Monday Night Football, A-Rod will be paired up with YES Network’s Michael Kay to host an informal talk-show-style cast of the game. Apparently ESPN wants to incorporate a fantasy element along with predictive analysis. This will either be a huge hit or a massive failure, but I have hope that this will work. Twitter, on the other hand? Forget about it.

Yankees broadcaster Michael Kay (left) and Hall of Fame candidate Alex Rodriguez (right) will co-host an alternate broadcast of ESPN's Sunday Night Baseball in 2022. PIC: Getty Images

So long, Matty V

Play-by-play announcer Matt Vasgersian gets the boot in all of these shakeups. I can’t say I’m surprised, but I wish his stint lasted longer. Well-known as the voice of the MLB: The Show video game since its inception in the early 2000’s, Matty V was dwindling in popularity, compounded with his own interest declining as well. “I want to root for the team I’m calling,” he told the media when he stepped down a few months ago. Well, Matty V will presumably go back to calling the Los Angeles Angels in a full-time capacity. He will undoubtedly have success in that role.


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