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Broadcasters Express Reservations About Travel

“Joining 105.7 The Fan in Baltimore on Wednesday, NFL Network host Rich Eisen expressed concerns over attending the NFL Draft next month, saying he would prefer to work the event from a TV studio.”

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Coronavirus concerns are causing games to be canceled or played in front of empty arenas, but what about the ability of broadcasters to continue attending events?

Joining 105.7 The Fan in Baltimore on Wednesday, NFL Network host Rich Eisen expressed concerns over attending the NFL Draft next month, saying he would prefer to work the event from a TV studio. Last year’s three-day NFL Draft event drew 600,000 people, with Las Vegas expecting to welcome even more fans. Many cities have already banned gatherings of move than 1,000 people. 

Even being more than a month away, it’s hard to imagine the NFL Draft taking place surrounded by hundreds of thousands of fans as league’s attempt to limit the coronavirus from spreading. The NBA, MLB, MLS and NHL began the week by banning reporters from locker rooms and those cautionary steps progressed to the NBA suspending its league for the foreseeable future Wednesday night.

Prior to the NBA’s decision, longtime Celtics play-by-play announcer Mike Gorman told 98.5 The Sports Hub’s Toucher and Rich he preferred the idea of broadcasting games from a remote location, rather than travel to populated arenas amid the coronavirus epidemic. 

Remote broadcasting is an idea that is not without precedence. Last month, NBC Sports Bay Area announced a “SplitKast” for the San Francisco Giants, which will allow color analyst Mike Krukow to call a select schedule of road games from a remote studio for reasons unrelated to coronavirus. 

If the Major League Baseball season starts on time, Red Sox TV play-by-play voice Jerry Remy told The Boston Globe he’ll miss his first scheduled road trip of the season, although he won’t work the games remotely. Remy has beaten six cancer relapses since 2008 and doctors don’t want to risk him contracting coronavirus and being quarantined somewhere other than Mass General. 

Keeping people safe needs to be prioritized, which means if games are not safe for fans, then they shouldn’t be deemed safe for broadcasters of players. But if some sports do decide to play in front of empty arenas, what happens if announcers call the games remotely and those broadcasts are considered a success? 

There are likely baseball announcers who wouldn’t mind skipping a cross-country road trip in the middle of July or an NBA broadcaster that prefers not to travel for a meaningless game in February. Could it pave the way for more remote broadcasts even when the coronavirus is no longer a concern? 

Sports TV News

Pedro Martinez: Umps ‘Don’t Know S***’

“D-Backs pitcher Luke Weaver had the bases loaded, and his delivery wasn’t sitting right with Martinez or fellow analyst Harold Reynolds.”

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Courtesy: The Rich Eisen Show

Pedro Martinez pitched with a flare at the MLB level, and he’s brought that flare, for better or worse, to his MLB Network analyst role. Martinez and the rest of the MLB Tonight crew did a live look-in during the San Francisco Giants and Arizona Diamondbacks game on Tuesday night when Martinez couldn’t hold back his frustration with the umpire.

D-Backs pitcher Luke Weaver had the bases loaded, and his delivery wasn’t sitting right with Martinez or fellow analyst Harold Reynolds. The pair thought Weaver was committing uncalled balks. A balk is when a player refuses to pause their pitching motion after they set up on the mound. Every runner advances one base when an umpire calls a balk.

Ramirez and Reynolds were about ready to jump through the monitor and officiate the contest themselves.

“That’s gotta be a balk!” Reynolds excitingly said.

Martinez responded, “But the umpire does not understand the kind of movement he’s making.”

“So, we meet with umpires before the season starts,” said host Greg Amsinger. “And they talk to all the broadcasters. We bring this up every year, and what we hear from the umpiring side of the argument is, as long as the motion is consistent for that pitcher – he doesn’t alter it – if it’s consistent with base runners on, then it’s not a balk.”

Reynolds retorted, “He is consistently balking.”

“He’s never been called for a balk in his career,” replied Amsinger.

“Well, the umpires don’t know sh*t about what they’re doing,” Martinez declared, inciting laughter.

“I think we’re on a delay,” said Amsinger.

The broadcast was not on any type of delay.

“Pedro, four minutes in?”

“I’m sorry, I apologize about that. What can I say?”

“Nothing, nothing else,” Reynolds responded. “This is gonna be good. We’re only on for three more hours.”

Watch a clip of the hot mic exchange above.

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Sports TV News

Dave McMenamin Gets New Deal At ESPN

“McMenamin first started at ESPN in 2009, where he was the Lakers beat writer during their championship runs with Kobe Bryant and Pau Gasol.”

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Courtesy: ESPN PR

ESPN has signed NBA reporter Dave McMenamin to a new multi-year extension. McMenamin is currently focusing his coverage on the Los Angeles Lakers for the second time in his ESPN career.

The Syracuse grad began working in media at NBA.com in 2005.

McMenamin first started at ESPN in 2009, where he was the Lakers beat writer during their championship runs with Kobe Bryant and Pau Gasol. The reporter lived through those ups and the subsequent downs in La La Land before leaving the Laker beat to cover LeBron James and the Cleveland Cavaliers when the superstar returned home in 2014.

McMenamin was there every step of the way as the 2016 NBA Champion Cavaliers brought Cleveland its first team sports title in 50 years. The scribe even expanded his coverage to a full book. McMenamin and his Cleveland colleague, Brian Windhorst, co-wrote Return of the King: LeBron James, the Cleveland Cavaliers and the Greatest Comeback in NBA History.

The book appeared on the New York Times bestseller’s list upon its release and cemented McMenamin as a trusted go-to voice for all things LeBron James. McMenamin returned to his Lakers coverage nearly ten years after his first day on ESPN when James announced he was leaving Cleveland to play in Tinseltown.

McMenamin is no stranger to post-ups and free throws himself, having played basketball at the University of Limerick in Ireland before attending Syracuse. It’s truly full circle with this Lakers roster and McMenamin.

The odds-on favorites to win the Western Conference have the oldest average age of any NBA team in the league. A certain 37-year old forward isn’t bringing that mark down. The Lakers added Carmelo Anthony to their squad this season, 18 years after Anthony led Syracuse to a national title. Syracuse student manager Dave McMenamin watched Anthony, and his teammates celebrate that accomplishment from the bench.

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Sports TV News

Avalanche Analyst Peter McNab Diagnosed With Cancer

“McNab has been there every step of the way as fans cheered on the Joe Sakic-Era up to today’s fast-paced Stanley Cup Title contending squad led by Nathan McKinnon.”

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Courtesy: Altitude Sports

The Colorado Avalanche announced that their color analyst, Peter McNab, has been diagnosed with cancer. The 26-year Avalanche broadcast veteran confirmed that he is staying on the TV call of Colorado’s games on Altitude Sports as he begins treatment.

“Like so many others who have received news of this nature, this is a very personal battle. I’m fortunate that I received an early diagnosis and have great medical care,” said McNab in a press release. “I will return on-air in the coming days while undergoing treatment. Over the next several weeks, I may need to miss a few games, but I look forward to covering the Colorado Avalanche through another exciting season.”

Avalanche Radio listeners have only known one analyst’s voice since the team’s first season in 1995. McNab has been there every step of the way as fans cheered on the Joe Sakic-Era up to today’s fast-paced Stanley Cup Title contending squad led by Nathan McKinnon.

“Peter made it clear to us that he wanted to share his diagnosis with our fans, and we want to support that decision,” said Matt Hutchings KSE COO. “He believes that in doing so, he might be able to help those in similar battles, who might otherwise feel alone.”

McNab brought a ton of hockey experience to the booth when he joined the team in 1995. The center played professional hockey from 1973 to 1987 appearing with the Boston Bruins, Vancouver Canucks, Buffalo Sabres, and New Jersey Devils. McNab suited up in 954 NHL games and went to the 1975 Stanley Cup Finals with the Bruins.

The broadcaster got his start in the industry immediately following his playing career. McNab began as a Devils commentator in 1987 before moving to Colorado for the Avalanche’s inaugural season in 1995.

Colorado starts preparing for the 2021-22 NHL season on Oct. 5 in a preseason game between the Avalanche and the Vegas Golden Knights.

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