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HomeSportsAlex Rodriguez could get his own ‘Manningcast’ in possible ESPN shakeup

Alex Rodriguez could get his own ‘Manningcast’ in possible ESPN shakeup

ESPN is considering a Manningcast-type broadcast for Alex Rodriguez as it reshuffles its “Sunday Night Baseball” coverage, The Post has learned.

If this were to happen, A-Rod would be out of the regular “Sunday Night” booth

It is not yet clear how the alternative broadcasts would be presented and how many there would be. The Mannings, for example, only do 10 of the 17 weeks of “Monday Night Football.” 

Meanwhile, YES’ David Cone has once again emerged as a candidate for the lead SNB game crew, according to sources. There is the possibility of a booth that consists of Karl Ravech as the lead play-by-player with Cone joined by Eduardo Perez as the analysts. 

There has been a sense among some close to the situation that Rodriguez, if he were to remain in the booth, favored YES’ Michael Kay as his play-by-player and was not as high on working with Ravech. 

ESPN’s top radio play-by-player is Jon Sciambi, who is also the TV voice of the Cubs. ESPN appears likely to go with Ravech – its longtime studio host, who moved to play-by-play – over Sciambi. 

Starting next year, ESPN will have significantly fewer weekday MLB games, making the SNB gig really the only full-time TV one on ESPN.

As for Cone, A-Rod was the one who originally pushed to have him join ESPN in the first place. There were talks two years ago to team Cone with Rodriguez in a booth with play-by-player Matt Vasgersian. 

Alex Rodriguez with the Fox Sports pregame show
Alex Rodriguez with the Fox Sports pregame show
Frank Micelotta/Fox Sports/Picturegroup/Shutterstock

It ended up not happening. Following the conclusion of last season, Vasgersian decided to leave SNB after four years. There was a feeling that a move to Ravech on play-by-play might have already been in motion in Bristol, which likely played into Vasgersian’s thinking.

The SNB booth will potentially become even more important next year, as ESPN could have the expanded opening round of the playoffs. This will be a negotiating issue between the owners and the players. The MLB owners are currently locking out the players.

ESPN has had great success with Peyton and Eli Manning commenting on “Monday Night Football.” While the brothers have added more shine to the MNF series, their broadcasts on ESPN2 are dwarfed by the main crew of Steve Levy, Louis Riddick and Brian Griese’s audience on the main ESPN channel.

A-Rod, 46, fashions himself as a sort of media personality/entrepreneur with his co-ownership of the Minnesota Timberwolves, “Shark Tank” appearances, Fox MLB studio analyst role and Barstool Sports podcast.

He has been in the ESPN booth for four years, but has been better in Fox’s MLB studio. This is partly why some ESPN executives think an “A-Rodcast” might work.

The look and feel of a potential “A-Rodcast” may not exactly mirror what Peyton and Eli do. ESPN has been doing alternative broadcasts for many years, so A-Rod’s shows could have their own wrinkles.

Alex Rodriguez, Jessica Mendoza and Matt Vasgersian announce a game in 2018.
Alex Rodriguez, Jessica Mendoza and Matt Vasgersian announce a game in 2018.
Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

As for Cone and YES, there is a strong desire for him to continue to do Yankee games, according to sources. If he were to agree with ESPN, then the schedule would have to be figured out so both networks could be accommodated. 

Clicker Book Club

Papa Clicker has ventured into the hockey arena with his latest review of, “No One Wins Alone, A Memoir,” by Mark Messier and Jimmy Roberts.  The book traces Messier’s career from his childhood to the present day, including his 26 years in hockey and six Stanley Cups (including, of course, the 1994 Rangers).  Messier’s memories around September 11, 2001 were particularly poignant. All in all, Messier and Roberts receive 4.25 out of 5 clickers.

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