ESPN to relieve Alex Rodriguez from calling Mets games

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Alex Rodriguez will be spared the awkwardness of criticizing players who may end up in his employ.Rodriguez, who currently leads a group offering with fiancée Jennifer Lopez to take ownership of the Mets, will remain in his role as analyst on ESPN’s “Sunday Night Baseball” this season, but the network will avoid putting the triple MVP on all games involving the team he hopes to buy.

Currently, the only Mets game on Sunday evening is scheduled for July 26 against the Braves, during which Chipper Jones will replace Rodriguez as an analyst. Rodriguez will call the Dodgers-Giants game that day. Future Sunday night games are subject to change.

Last year, Rodriguez’s former co-analyst Jessica Mendoza created a much-criticized conflict of interest when she held a dual role as a Mets advisor.

This time ESPN preemptively addressed a potential problem.

Alex Rodriguez et Jennifer Lopez
Alex Rodriguez and Jennifer Lopez are currently in talks to buy the Mets.FilmMagic via Getty Images

« [We’ll] are reluctant to have Alex play a Mets game, so we don’t put him in a bad position … given what’s going on, “said Mark Gross, senior vice president of production and remote events at ESPN , during a conference call.

Although Rodriguez, 44, said he couldn’t discuss the details of his pursuit of the Mets, the former superstar said the financial impact of the COVID-19 pandemic had not deterred him from becoming owner, even with uncertainty as to whether the regular 60-game season this season sprint will be over and when fans will be allowed to return to the ball parks.

“Downside protection is always the most important part of investing in anything … [but] I think a crisis is an opportunity, and I think the opportunity for us in the game of baseball is to look at the avant-garde view that other leagues have adapted faster than us, “said Rodriguez. “It’s an entertainment business. It’s not just baseball or sport. The more we broaden our reach, the more we will paint this game with revenues of 10 to 15 to 20 billion dollars, and we will do it by collaborating and being all on the same wavelength and thinking of a vision of together. ”

Even if the MLB regains a semblance of normalcy in 2021, a potential work stoppage threatens the 2022 season.

After the past few months of controversial negotiations between the owners and the players’ union, Rodriguez said he can still speak honestly about the dynamics despite his aspirations to join the most powerful club in the sport.

“I think I can because my goal as a fan is first to develop the game and make it more popular,” said Rodriguez. “We want to be the spokesperson for the game of baseball, and the conversation should be more about growing the cake, not the percentage of a smaller cake I’m going to take.” We really have to work with the owners and the players to say, “How do we compete together to become # 1?” The only way to make it happen is if they come to the table and say, “Goal # 1 is to go from $ 10 billion to $ 15 billion, and maybe we will also divide the economy. But it’s the kind of conversation instead of fighting against each other because there is too much competition right now. “

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