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Tuesday, January 28, 2020

ESPN is reportedly removing Jessica Mendoza from Sunday Night Baseball

It appears that ESPN is set to take Jessica Mendoza off Sunday Night Baseball. There’s been a lot of criticism of the “disaster” of the current SNB booth (Matt Vasgersian, Alex Rodriguez, and Mendoza) overall, and Mendoza in particular herself has been under incredible fire recently for her comments across ESPN shows bashing Mike Fiers for blowing the whistle on the Houston Astros’ electronic sign stealing (which drew extra criticism considering her role with the New York Mets and their hire of key Astros’ scandal figure Carlos Beltran).

Now, Andrew Marchand of The New York Post has reported that Mendoza appears set to be reassigned, although it’s not 100 percent certain yet:

“ESPN is working toward removing Jessica Mendoza from its “Sunday Night Baseball” booth, The Post has learned.

As for the rest of the SNB booth, ESPN executives are still determining its plan, though, Alex Rodriguez has been assured that he is welcomed back, according to sources.”

Should we be sending our cover letters and CVs to the Worldwide Leader?

QLE Posted: January 28, 2020 at 12:31 AM | 39 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: broadcasters, espn, jessica mendoza

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   1. villageidiom Posted: January 28, 2020 at 08:14 AM (#5919832)
I thought she was pretty good in the SNB booth, but while she's a Mets employee it's hard to take her as unbiased as ESPN would want us to believe. What's funny is that where I'd want an absence of bias is in interviewing and reporting, not in calling a game; yet they're going to restrict her from the booth and reassign her to... what's left?

If she openly rooted for the Mets in games she called, whatever, I'd actually be more surprised if she didn't. And sometimes* it's more entertaining to hear a game called where biases are known and on full display than when they're masked or muted. I didn't get the impression she showed much favoritism in the booth.

* The rest of the time it's Hawk.
   2. Howie Menckel Posted: January 28, 2020 at 09:00 AM (#5919837)
Mendoza proved that a female broadcaster is just as capable of spending 3+ hours spouting one banality after another as her male counterparts are.

so that's a mild step forward for equality, I guess.
   3. Jose Is Absurdly Chatty Posted: January 28, 2020 at 09:09 AM (#5919838)
I’ve never heard Mendoza say anything during a game that I found bothersome. Obviously from a journalistic standpoint her working for the Mets is a bad idea but she’s been fine as an announcer. I think the situation that came up recently with her commenting on the spying scandal was really unfair by ESPN to put her in that situation. I can’t believe no one at the network understood how bad that looked.

ESPN has done a terrible job over the years of hiring in-booth talent. Mendoza wasn’t great but she was perfectly acceptable. I’m not anticipating whoever replaces her to be an improvement.
   4. Perry Posted: January 28, 2020 at 10:39 AM (#5919858)
She was okay, but three in a booth is always one too many, no matter who it is.
   5. wjones Posted: January 28, 2020 at 10:40 AM (#5919859)
1. All of a sudden it's forbidden for an employee of a team to do a national broadcast? Hmmm. I think there have been examples of that every year. Ron Darling, from the same team, does national broadcasts now.

2. Guess that's what she gets for having her own opinions, rather than asking ESPN first. I hear Curt Schilling might be available.
   6. Bring Me the Head of Alfredo Griffin (Vlad) Posted: January 28, 2020 at 10:45 AM (#5919862)
Guess that's what she gets for having her own opinions, rather than asking ESPN first.


There's noting wrong with expressing your opinions, as long as they aren't stupid and off-putting, which that one was.
   7. Moses Taylor, glorified meat shield Posted: January 28, 2020 at 10:51 AM (#5919865)
She was better than ARod about 90% of the time. Most of the problems I had with that crew were decisions made above the booth's head - like specific storylines to push and run into the ground.
   8. JJ1986 Posted: January 28, 2020 at 10:55 AM (#5919868)
All of a sudden it's forbidden for an employee of a team to do a national broadcast? Hmmm. I think there have been examples of that every year. Ron Darling, from the same team, does national broadcasts now.
She works for the Mets front office. That's totally different than being a team's broadcaster.
   9. Itchy Row Posted: January 28, 2020 at 11:20 AM (#5919873)
She didn't add much, but she never got in the way. That's all I need from a baseball announcer, and a lot better than we usually get from ESPN announcers.
   10. base ball chick Posted: January 28, 2020 at 11:36 AM (#5919878)
a lot of guys complained a LOT about her. she certainly was better than joe morgan. and curt schilling. i can't see why, unless they just don't want to hear any female's voice broadcasting
   11. winnipegwhip Posted: January 28, 2020 at 11:54 AM (#5919890)
I like Vasgersian but the other two did not have a chance in my opinion because the Sunday Night Broadcasts were more about human interest stories and pop culture references than the game itself. In addition how many times can you provide fresh material when you have the same 8 ball clubs on Sunday night in rotation?

   12. Rob_Wood Posted: January 28, 2020 at 12:28 PM (#5919903)
She was fine, probably near the median of all baseball television commentators. However, the Vasgersian-ARod-Mendoza broadcasts were terrible. The three have no apparent chemistry and often spoke of three completely different things. MattV is an okay play-by-play announcer but ESPN's showcase baseball broadcast needs more. I imagine that they'll go with a Schiambi/ARod booth. (Of course, ARod is not a good baseball television commentator, but that is largely beside the point.)
   13. My name is Votto, and I love to get blotto Posted: January 28, 2020 at 12:36 PM (#5919907)
I'll agree with #12 in that neither Scambi and Mendoza have ever moved the needle for me one way or the other on the Sunday night broadcast. They were doing ESPN radio for the playoffs, and I did enjoy their banter.
   14. PreservedFish Posted: January 28, 2020 at 12:39 PM (#5919909)
I've really stopped caring about this issue. I've lost the capacity to get bothered by bad baseball announcers. I don't know if that's a good thing, if I've reached a higher plane of peace with the world or something, or merely a defense mechanism in reaction to decades of trauma.
   15. reech Posted: January 28, 2020 at 12:48 PM (#5919913)
A-Rod is a disgrace-
I don't care how much knowledge he has-
He is a piece of garbage for cheating and lying and MLB is better off not having him represent the game in any way- same as Pete Rose-
   16. . Posted: January 28, 2020 at 12:50 PM (#5919915)
The current iteration of ESPN Sunday Night Baseball is one of the worst broadcast productions in sports television broadcasting history.(*) Jessica Mandoza has little to do with that unfortunate reality, other than coincidentally being present at the disaster site.

(*) And, my God, there's a very decent chance that its next act will include being a, or the, signature event for gambling what with its exclusive window and all which will -- against all odds -- make it even worse. Good chance we're like three years away from Vasgergian snarkily doing a bunch of come-ons for viewers to place their bets.
   17. What did Billy Ripken have against ElRoy Face? Posted: January 28, 2020 at 12:58 PM (#5919919)
Of course, ARod is not a good baseball television commentator,
Right, but he looks commentatorish.
   18. . Posted: January 28, 2020 at 01:02 PM (#5919922)
Right, but he looks commentatorish.


I like how they hide his horse legs under the table so no one can see them. I, for one, am not fooled.
   19. JAHV Posted: January 28, 2020 at 01:04 PM (#5919924)
I'd rather they put A-Rod out to pasture. He annoys me far more than Mendoza.
   20. PreservedFish Posted: January 28, 2020 at 01:07 PM (#5919925)
Sorry, centaurs do not allow themselves to be put out to "pasture." They are noble, proud and independent creatures, not some farmer's chattel.
   21. PreservedFish Posted: January 28, 2020 at 01:15 PM (#5919930)
Right, but he looks commentatorish.

A review of sports television would suggest that commentatorishness is mostly judged by the ostentatiousness of one's pocket square and necktie combination.
   22. Panik on the streets of Flushing! (Trout! Trout!) Posted: January 28, 2020 at 01:15 PM (#5919931)
fooled.


foaled. FTFY
   23. The Yankee Clapper Posted: January 28, 2020 at 01:54 PM (#5919947)
Mendoza was just OK, which is a bit low for a nationwide prime time broadcast, or should be. In fairness, that’s where ESPN put her, rather than giving her time to develop. That’s part of ESPN’s problem - promoting their on-air talent (and other programming on ESPN & ABC) seems to be their priority. Schiambi is worse than Mendoza, since he’s more interested in talking about his interactions with the other broadcasters than the game.
   24. Mirabelli Dictu (Chris McClinch) Posted: January 28, 2020 at 02:00 PM (#5919952)
Mendoza was fine. Not a reason to tune in, but not a reason to mute, either.

As for play-by-play, Vasgersian is fine as well, although as noted he has no discernible chemistry with A-Rod or Mendoza. Of course, ESPN used to employ one of the best play-by-play men who ever lived (and the one whose voice still SOUNDS like baseball to me), but let him go in 2010 because reasons.
   25. JAHV Posted: January 28, 2020 at 02:01 PM (#5919953)
Sorry, centaurs do not allow themselves to be put out to "pasture." They are noble, proud and independent creatures, not some farmer's chattel.


To the glue factory, then, if his usefulness has been spent.
   26. Captain Supporter Posted: January 28, 2020 at 03:30 PM (#5919975)
If they replace her with David Cone, that will be a substantial improvement over Mendoza in baseball knowledge in every area. He is a thoughtful practitioner (and no, I don't think softball counts) with a keen interest in analytics. He also understands and is able to communicate knowledge about the finer points of pitching.

However, announcing per se is not the biggest problem with the ESPN broadcasts: its the incessant flogging of pre-selected story lines and the constant inane and annoying shilling of other ESPN events. This switch won't make Sunday night baseball watchable unless they change their whole approach to doing the games. I'm not holding my breath.
   27. Moses Taylor, glorified meat shield Posted: January 28, 2020 at 03:47 PM (#5919980)
Mendoza was just OK, which is a bit low for a nationwide prime time broadcast, or should be. In fairness, that’s where ESPN put her, rather than giving her time to develop. That’s part of ESPN’s problem - promoting their on-air talent (and other programming on ESPN & ABC) seems to be their priority. Schiambi is worse than Mendoza, since he’s more interested in talking about his interactions with the other broadcasters than the game.

I think you mean Vasgersian, as Schiambi doesn't do SNB. When Boog is on TV, he tends to be paired with Rick Suttcliffe, which is a whole other discussion. Boog is a good play by play guy, IMO; Vasgersian isn't.
   28. Joe Bivens, Elderly Northeastern Jew Posted: January 28, 2020 at 03:49 PM (#5919982)
She was okay, but three in a booth is always one too many, no matter who it is.


Oh god yes. They're so overprepared and need to blurt out ASAP all the stuff they looked up before the game, as if it isn't minutiae , it's all so much blah blah blah b;ah ####### blah just call the game and stop trying to educate, ####### baseball has been around all of our lives if someone doesn't know the game they aren't watching and if those folks are they're barely paying attention and the blah blah blah is a distraction. Just shut up and make believe we already know that Mookie Betts hit 17 of his HRs to LF on 2-1 pitches, or that we don't really care. And it's not a gender thing it's an industry disease.
   29. The Yankee Clapper Posted: January 28, 2020 at 04:40 PM (#5920017)
I think you mean Vasgersian, as Schiambi doesn't do SNB.
No, I commented on Schiambi because he is worse than Mendoza, IMHO, even if he doesn’t usually do the Sunday games. He’s still a rather prominent part of ESPN’s baseball broadcasts. Pairing him with Rick Sutcliffe, and then allowing them to constantly talk about each other rather than the game, is a crime against baseball.
   30. Never Give an Inge (Dave) Posted: January 28, 2020 at 04:53 PM (#5920030)

The Sutcliffe/Schiambi booth is pretty bad.
   31. Barry`s_Lazy_Boy Posted: January 28, 2020 at 05:01 PM (#5920038)
I find sports fans' constant complaints that all announcers and referees suck to be worse than the quality of announcers and referees.
   32. . Posted: January 28, 2020 at 05:17 PM (#5920046)
The Sutcliffe/Schiambi booth is pretty bad.


Unlistenable and unwatchable. Rick Sutcliffe may be my least favorite announcer in sports broadcasting. If he isn't in a class by himself, it doesn't take long to call roll. I'd far prefer Mendoza.

He’s still a rather prominent part of ESPN’s baseball broadcasts. Pairing him with Rick Sutcliffe, and then allowing them to constantly talk about each other rather than the game, is a crime against baseball.


This is the underlying problem with ESPN is that their broadcasts virtually always take on the tenor of just the backdrop for the ongoing sports conversation, which might not even have anything to do with the sport being broadcast, much less the game. So the announcers just wind up doing a sports talk radio show rather than reporting and analyzing what's going on in the game. It's as if people who turn in to the Illinois-Purdue basketball game give a single #### what Dan Dakich thinks about the college football playoff or the Super Bowl, yet Dan Dakich just runs his mouth about everything and anything anyway and almost everything he says is idotic and it's just stunning that the producers think the audience wants to hear that fool prattle on and on rather than reporting on the game he's sitting at courtside for. It's clownshoes, really.
   33. Never Give an Inge (Dave) Posted: January 28, 2020 at 05:45 PM (#5920052)

I find sports fans' constant complaints that all announcers and referees suck to be worse than the quality of announcers and referees.

I actually don't have a problem with most announcers. And the Mets' broadcast team, which I watch regularly, is very good.
   34. Jose Is Absurdly Chatty Posted: January 28, 2020 at 06:39 PM (#5920064)
I've liked Sciambi the rare times I've heard him.

Frankly I watch most baseball now without any sound. There are very few announcers who add to the experience (Don Orsillo is always great for a late night listen) but the majority of them are pretty generic.
   35. Jose Is Absurdly Chatty Posted: January 28, 2020 at 06:41 PM (#5920065)
This is the underlying problem with ESPN is that their broadcasts virtually always take on the tenor of just the backdrop for the ongoing sports conversation, which might not even have anything to do with the sport being broadcast, much less the game. So the announcers just wind up doing a sports talk radio show rather than reporting and analyzing what's going on in the game. It's as if people who turn in to the Illinois-Purdue basketball game give a single #### what Dan Dakich thinks about the college football playoff or the Super Bowl, yet Dan Dakich just runs his mouth about everything and anything anyway and almost everything he says is idotic and it's just stunning that the producers think the audience wants to hear that fool prattle on and on rather than reporting on the game he's sitting at courtside for. It's clownshoes, really.


To me ESPN (and Fox) both suffer from a lack of respect for the viewers. They seem to think the viewers need a reason other than the game to tune in. I contrast it to NBC which has hockey and soccer and IMO does a terrific job with it. The perfect example for me is NBC hiring Arlo White, a competent pro, for its signature soccer play by play role while Fox ran out and got Gus ####### Johnson who didn't even know who Andres Iniesta was. Yeah they moved on from Johnson but it just highlights the lack of respect in my opinion.
   36. Never Give an Inge (Dave) Posted: January 28, 2020 at 06:49 PM (#5920066)

Yeah, go back and watch some of Vin Scully's broadcasts for the ideal. He tells you what's happening but when there are things happening that need no explanation, he doesn't feel the need to fill the air with useless blather. Was just watching his call of the Bill Buckner play, and after he makes the call, he doesn't speak for nearly 2 minutes while they show the team and crowd celebrating, and even during the replay.
   37. Walt Davis Posted: January 28, 2020 at 08:27 PM (#5920079)
The Sutcliffe/Schiambi booth is pretty bad.

Not a fair test -- Sutcliffe with Vin Scully would be pretty bad. I think I might actually loathe Sutcliffe's work more than the Hawk's.

Granted, I don't know if I've listened to Sutcliffe in 15+ years. But a classic Sutcliffe "insight" (i.e. the times when he wasn't just mouthing off about whatever) would go like this:

"2 runners on, here comes the manager to the mound."
"He's got to stay with X here, he's a competitor, he knows how to get it done."
X stays in.
"That was absolutely the right decision."
2-run double on the next pitch.
"Here comes the manager to get X."
"Yeah, X is clearly out of gas, going to the bullpen here is absolutely the right move."
   38. JAHV Posted: January 28, 2020 at 08:34 PM (#5920080)
Granted, I don't know if I've listened to Sutcliffe in 15+ years. But a classic Sutcliffe "insight" (i.e. the times when he wasn't just mouthing off about whatever) would go like this:

"2 runners on, here comes the manager to the mound."
"He's got to stay with X here, he's a competitor, he knows how to get it done."
X stays in.
"That was absolutely the right decision."
2-run double on the next pitch.
"Here comes the manager to get X."
"Yeah, X is clearly out of gas, going to the bullpen here is absolutely the right move."


That's like Bill Walton except without inane blathering about volcanoes or organic peanut butter or whatever other random, uninteresting, non-basketball-related thoughts are rattling around in his skull. Bill Walton will go from calling someone a waste of space to having the game of his life in the span of two minutes of game time. He's the worst. But I'll grant that Sutcliffe is up there.
   39. Greg Pope Posted: January 28, 2020 at 08:50 PM (#5920084)
As people have said, Mendoza is fine. If they were bringing in someone better I'd be OK with it. But just getting rid of her is a mistake. First of all, there's a good chance they'll bring in someone worse. Second, if you're going to have someone who's been shown to be adequate, and it's a woman in a male-dominated field, I think you should just keep her. Let her be a role model and all.

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