Jessica Mendoza’s multi-year extension a smart decision by ESPN

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Photo: USA Today

Along with officially confirming the new start time for Sunday Night Baseball starting in 2019, ESPN announced on Monday[1] an extension for one of SNB’s broadcasters, Jessica Mendoza. Per the sports media giant:

As part of the new deal, Mendoza will continue to contribute analysis to ESPN’s signature MLB platform–Sunday Night Baseball–alongside Alex Rodriguez, Matt Vasgersian, and Buster Olney. Additionally, Mendoza will appear on ESPN’s MLB studio show Baseball Tonight, plus appear more regularly on SportsCenter and Get Up!.

Mendoza has been calling games for ESPN’s Sunday Night Baseball since August of 2015[2], when she filled in for Curt Schilling during one of the latter’s infamous social media meltdowns. At the time, she broke barriers becoming the first woman to call an MLB game for ESPN as an analyst. She received a lot of positive reviews after her initial broadcast, with fans and media members both citing her calm demeanor and in-depth knowledge of the game. She’s started to receive criticism in recent years, with some fans theorizing that Mendoza is only part of the SNB broadcast team because ESPN wants to seem more progressive by having a woman as an analyst instead of two men. That couldn’t be further from the truth.

As someone who has sports broadcasting as a potential career path, I’ve always enjoyed listening to the top-tier professionals to try and learn ways I can be more like them. Mendoza has always been appealing to me since the first time I heard her behind a microphone on that August night three years ago. As a former professional softball player, Mendoza has a keen understanding on the pure mechanics of hitting, and despite never actually playing baseball she always gets her point across in an informative but easily digestible way. Mendoza has more than earned her spot on ESPN’s top weekly baseball broadcast, and I’m really intrigued to see her continue to grow in the booth.

References:

1. Rigdon, J. (2018, December 11). Jessica Mendoza signs multi-year extension with ESPN, will continue as Sunday Night Baseball analyst. Retrieved December 13, 2018, from https://awfulannouncing.com/espn/jessica-mendoza-signs-multi-year-extension-with-espn-will-continue-as-sunday-night-baseball-analyst.html

2. Berg, T. (2015, August 31). Jessica Mendoza draws rave reviews in historic Sunday Night Baseball debut. Retrieved December 13, 2018, from https://ftw.usatoday.com/2015/08/jessica-mendoza-espn-sunday-night-baseball-mlb

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