Alex Rodriguez to Face Huge Pressure on ESPN’s “Sunday Night Baseball”

The network has decided not to replace Jessica Mendoza on "SNB"

Alex Rodriguez Facing More Pressure to Deliver at ESPN
Alex Rodriguez at the Boys and Girls Club of Miami on January 29th, 2020. (Manny Hernandez/Getty)
By Evan Bleier / February 20, 2020 11:13 am

Never known for coming through in the clutch as a player, Alex Rodriguez is facing mounting pressure to deliver for ESPN on Sunday Night Baseball.

Rodriguez and play-by-play man Matt Vasgersian will lead ESPN’s weekly broadcast as a duo this year, since the network has decided not to replace their booth partner Jessica Mendoza on SNB, according to The New York Post

That means Rodriguez will be tasked with livening up a broadcast that is often forced to show lackluster games that few out-of-market fans care about. It won’t be an easy role to fill and will test if Rodriguez, 44, can be as detailed and descriptive during games as he has been in the studio while working for Fox during the playoffs.

ESPN had reportedly been considering replacing Mendoza with former pitcher David Cone, but instead opted for a two-man booth for 2020. It is a somewhat curious move, considering that there is a lot of dead air to fill during the weekly broadcast and Rodriguez is still relatively inexperienced as an in-game commentator.

Rodriguez and Vasgersian are both in the final year of their contracts with ESPN, so this season will likely dictate their futures at The Worldwide Leader.

Buster Olney will return as the dugout reporter on SNB, but his role is fairly minimal compared to those of Vasgersian and Rodriguez.

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