Last month, Pedro Martinez and Jessica Mendoza both criticized MLB pitcher Mike Fiers for his role in exposing the Houston Astros sign-stealing scandal. Speaking as media members, there is no issue with the opinion, but doubling as paid baseball team officials caused some concern, including from MLB Commissioner Rob Manfred.
Both Martinez and Mendoza were criticized for their comments as their dual roles were highlighted. Martinez works as an analyst for TBS and MLB Network, while also serving as a special assistant to the Boston Red Sox. Mendoza is both an ESPN employee and baseball operations adviser to the New York Mets. The Red Sox and Mets lost their managers this offseason because of the scandal and were mulling those decisions while Martinez and Mendoza spoke out against Fiers.
“Jessica was speaking as an ESPN analyst, not as a spokesperson for the Mets,” Mets general manager Brodie Van Wagenen said shortly after Mendoza’s comments about Fiers. “I have not had the opportunity to speak with her yet.”
According to The New York Post’s Ken Davidoff, Commissioner Rob Manfred discussed Martinez and Mendoza following the MLB Owners’ Meetings in Orlando, FL. Manfred said he had not spoken to either of them about their public opinions of Fiers.
“In what mode they were speaking, whether they were speaking as journalists or club employees, I think we were satisfied that their comments were being made in their role as journalists,” Manfred said. “And anybody that we have a relationship with, we don’t really try to control what they say in that role as media person. So the short answer is no, we do not reach out.”
But as far as whether or not Manfred is comfortable with people being able to speak as both journalists and MLB team officials, the commissioner leans on the side of not.
“Let me give you a short answer on that one: No. I’m not all that comfortable with it. I’m really not,” Manfred said according to Davidoff. “But it’s a topic that remains under discussion internally. As you know, it causes a lot of complications, not just on this particular incident or comments, but in general.”
Martinez signed a multiyear contract with TBS prior to the 2019 season and is unlikely to depart the media anytime soon. Mendoza also signed a multiyear agreement before the 2019 season with ESPN, although unrelated, it appears her role on their Sunday Night Baseball broadcast could be coming to an end.
According to Manfred’s comments, it seems like the commissioner would prefer for both Martinez and Mendoza to choose between working as a journalist or a team official.
Brandon Contes is a freelance writer for BSM. He can be found on Twitter @BrandonContes. To reach him by email click here
Brandon Contes is a former reporter for BSM, now working for Awful Announcing. You can find him on Twitter @BrandonContes or reach him by email at Brandon.Contes@gmail.com.
CBS Will Work Around New Big Ten, Outgoing SEC Contracts
Dellenger reports the Big Ten’s deal will allow CBS to air their final season of the SEC during the first year of the contract, but said details weren’t provided.
In a wide-ranging story Thursday, Sports Illustrated‘s Ross Dellenger revealed a college football media nugget that many had questioned.
CBS, who is expected to announce an upcoming deal with the Big Ten, is reportedly “double booked” for their 3:30 ET games in 2023.
The SEC’s deal with CBS, which ends after the 2023 season, is an exclusive game aired at 3:30 ET. The Big Ten’s deal with CBS, which begins for the 2023 season, is an exclusive game aired at 3:30 ET. Dellenger reports the Big Ten’s deal will allow CBS to air their final season of the SEC during the first year of the contract, but said details weren’t provided.
The situation isn’t ideal for the Big Ten or it’s new media partners CBS, NBC, or Fox. NBC is alleged to have secured a primetime Big Ten game, so any workaround involving CBS would likely see the Big Ten featuring two games on network TV simultaneously, with either an additional game at Noon ET competing with Fox’s Big Noon Kickoff or in primetime competing against NBC’s newly acquired rights.
Sports Media React to FOX’s Hologram Harry Caray
FOX’s use of a hologram Harry Caray for the 7th Inning Stretch of the Field of Dreams Game received mixed reviews.
The annual Field of Dreams game took center stage on Thursday night, and FOX incorporated legendary Cubs broadcaster Harry Caray into their coverage.
Earlier in the evening, news surfaced that FOX was going to use a hologram version of Caray during the 7th inning stretch, playing a recording of Caray singing “Take Me Out to the Ballgame.”
Darren Rovell had an inside scoop and tweeted that the display could be deemed offensive.
The segment happened, and the reaction by those in sports media, including those in Cincinnati and Chicago, was about what you’d expect.
There were a couple who didn’t take issue with the gesture.
Others couldn’t help but come with jokes.
Jordan Bondurant is a features reporter for Barrett News Media. He also works for ABC8 News and Newsradio WRVA and 910 The Fan in Richmond, Virginia. His prior experiences include working for the Richmond Times-Dispatch, the Danville Register & Bee, Virginia Lawyers Weekly and iHeartradio Richmond. He can be reached by email at Jordan.E.Bondurant@gmail.com or follow him on Twitter @J__Bondurant.
UNLV To Air Games on New TV Network
UNLV sports will begin to appear on the Silver State Sports & Entertainment Network beginning this season.
In the world of expanding television rights and continued attempts to get collegiate sports broadcast on television, UNLV sports has a new way to get their athletics to viewers in the Las Vegas area.
UNLV sports will begin to appear on the Silver State Sports & Entertainment Network beginning this season. The network is a creation of KVVU-TV, Leas Vegas‘ FOX affiliate.
The network will concentrate on sports other than football and men’s basketball, but will air select football and men’s basketball games that are not picked up by network TV. The network plans to air more than 100 UNLV home contests.
“I think it’s great for our exposure, especially for many of our Olympic sports that haven’t had a broadcast avenue outside of streaming,” women’s basketball coach Lindy La Rocque said. “The UNLV fans who live in Vegas now have an easy way to follow along when they can’t physically make it to a game. And I think we’ll pick up some new fans, who may have only seen football or men’s hoops before, to be proud of what our teams accomplish.”
“So we’re giving air time to sports that usually don’t get it,” KVVU vice president and general manager Michael Korr said.
The network, which launched in mid-June, will also air 12 games involving historically Black colleges and universities.