A-Rod Rewarded for Mediocrity

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ESPN is hoping for lightning to strike twice in the success of a forthcoming Manningcast-style supplemental broadcast for “Sunday Night Baseball” featuring YES Network play-by-play voice Michael Kay and Alex Rodriguez. Having this supplemental broadcast being very Yankees-heavy already caters to one fan base enough as it is but that’s not the main issue here. 

The biggest issue is ESPN trying really (really) hard to make A-Rod the face of ESPN baseball coverage a thing.

After four awkward seasons in the Sunday Night Baseball booth, Alex Rodriguez has developed a reputation as an announcer for his takes: Ridiculous takes, laughable takes, downright awful takes…you get the picture. If you have watched a Sunday Night Baseball broadcast over the past four seasons, you will know what I’m talking about. We are talking about a commentator that actually said that he would penalize Francisco Lindor for hitting 25 home runs if he were the Mets’ hitting coach.

Rather than actually put two former baseball players that have some name recognition, bring actual insight to the game, and some humor to the broadcast, we’re being fed more A-Rod. This experiment by ESPN has the potential to be a trainwreck. A really awkward trainwreck that you just have to see to believe. It’s hard to imagine how this tandem of “Kay-Rod” will be able to fill an entire broadcast at the current pace of baseball games and actually add to the game to make it more entertaining.

One of the most unlikable personalities in baseball and yet major media outlets like ESPN are (for some reason) continuing to put A-Rod on one of baseball’s biggest platforms. It’s almost as if ESPN doesn’t care what the viewers think as long as it brings eyeballs to the product.

Love it or hate it, this move sparks conversation and attention, which is right in ESPN’s wheelhouse, and we as fans of the game of baseball will suffer because of it.

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Craig Campbell is the Manager of OTH Chicago at Overtime Heroics. He grew up in Michigan and is a graduate of Western Michigan University. Craig has been in sports media since 2019 and has been with the OTH team since 2021.