The Fenway crowd is going mad at the ninth. The Red Sox are going to finish the Yankees hating the Wild Card. And, on ESPN, analyst Alex Rodriguez, out of the blue, thought it was time to look ahead.
“Matt, I’m going to make a prediction here,” Rodriguez told his partner Matt Wasserian. “Gerrit Cole is going to be your American League Cy Young winner [next year.] Second season here in New York is much easier than the first.
It was a poorly broadcast triple play, because it was a bad time, it wasn’t really based on any material and it went wrong. Cole’s third season with the Yankees next year.
This is not exactly correct, this is Rodriguez’s problem with game broadcasts. With his contract, Rodriguez’s future as ESPN’s lead analyst on “Sunday Night Baseball” is uncertain.
According to sources, although Rodriguez does not have uniform support in the ESPN lineup, he has enough of ESPN’s target.
ESPN “Sunday Night Baseball” ratings are up 18 percent from last year, but down from 9 percent two years ago.
Rodriguez already does a studio for Fox, which is his right. He only became the owner of the Minnesota Timberwolves. And they take lots of photos for Instagram and gossip pages. He has a full plate.
His partner, Wasserian, has already decided to drop “Sunday Night Baseball”, saying on Wednesday afternoon that he will focus on his role on the MLB network and the number of games he calls for the Angels.
“I decided to call it a wrap,” Vasgerian said.
Wasserian and Rodriguez came together at the same time four years ago. Vassazarian Rare ESPN Outsiders took the top play-by-play spot.
The fact that he has lived four years is a testament to his ability. He can call the game. He wasn’t perfect, no one said Cole didn’t play well when he walked out after two plus innings, no matter how poorly Cole performed in September, and every third WFAN caller clearly didn’t remember Cole’s demise.
Next year, ESPN’s regular-season load will be considerably lighter, making the jockeys more vocal on SNB. ESPN no longer has weekly Monday or Wednesday games, as the focus shifts to “Sunday Night Baseball” and selects marquee games and potentially extended playoffs.
There are fewer chairs in the booth. So the music has just begun – and this could be the “Jaws” theme.
Although Rodriguez is a clown on social media, he may be a Kingmaker. If ESPN achieves its goal of bringing Rodriguez back, he can tell his mate if he wants to make sure he is really successful.
A-Rod wanted to join David Cohn Wasserian and him in this forwards, but it fell apart. He did a game with Cohn and Michael Kay a few years ago and that was fine.
Cone is the best MLB analyst we hear, combining old-school and new-school ideas and a sense of television.
Rodriguez is assisted by Cone or his sidemen, because, to use the pitching phrase, A-Rod doesn’t have enough content to call a complete game. This has forced Wasserian to do more weight lifting through his play, though, and he is more uncertain of his return.
With Wasserian saying goodbye, ESPN is likely to look into the family with potential candidates Boog Siambi, Carl Ravech, Jason Benetti, Ryan Ruok, Dave Fleming and Kay.
Whoever it is, Rodriguez must lead.
In Tuesday’s first innings, Rodriguez was ahead of Cole’s fight. Cole Rafael Devers walked after the walk. It brought up Xander Bogaerts.
“Matt, to look up here, when you have a guy like Gerrit Cole, he’s very strong and you get a guy like Devers 1-2. Usually that kind of guy doesn’t let you climb out of that hole,” A-Rod said. “(A) It’s a sign to see that he walked by him. Maybe he doesn’t have his good stuff. And when he shows it, you want to get to him quickly.”
Boom, next pitch, Bogarts deep into a two-run homer. It wasn’t perfect, but it was very good.
ESPN thinks there’s more to it. This is a “wait until next year” sport and if A-Rod wants it, they are expected to come back to the booth.