Dodgers fans have noticed a big change to the team’s road television broadcasts this year. When LA hits the road, fans don’t get their daily dose of Joe and Orel. Prior to the start of the season, SportsNet LA announced that they’re employing a rotation of Eric Karros, Dontrelle Willis, and Jessica Mendoza alongside Davis for LA road games.
Don’t worry fans, The Bulldog will still continue to call home games.
Fans got their first real taste of the D-Train in the booth during the team’s recent road trip that included series in Chicago and Pittsburgh. Karros and Mendoza have also thrown some innings in the color commentator’s chair this year, but so far, fans are all aboard the D-Train.
Who is your favorite new Dodgers analyst in the booth this season?
— Dodgers Nation (@DodgersNation) May 12, 2022
There’s still plenty of season left, but here’s this writer’s way-too-early rankings of the three new broadcasters.
3. Eric Karros
Karros does a fine job in the booth alongside Joe Davis. A former UCLA Bruin and one of the best Dodgers first baseman of the last 30 years – what’s not to love? The 1992 NL rookie of the year has a wealth of experience from his time with Fox Sports.
He’s the quintessential former-player-turned-analyst who tends to keep his commentary pretty old school. Older fans probably enjoy Karros more than the younger Dodgers generation since Karros doesn’t quite bring the same sizzle as Willis.
2. Jessica Mendoza
Mendoza was a surprising addition to the broadcast team since there wasn’t even a whisper that she was coming over to SNLA prior to the March announcement. She spent multiple years as an analyst on Sunday Night Baseball and also served as a special adviser for the Mets.
The knock on Mendoza is that she and Davis are still developing their chemistry. Mendoza and Davis have plenty of potential to call a great game, but right now, it’s like watching doubles partners in tennis who have never shared the court before. There’s been plenty of times when the two awkwardly fumble over each other during the course of a game.
1. Dontrelle Willis
The D-Train is the people’s champion right now. His energy and more modern baseball experience, as opposed to Karros, has quickly endeared him to fans. Willis’ baseball career was a wide spectrum of successes and failures. He can relate to every player on the field, whether it’s an upstart youngster, Cy Young caliber starter, or a journeyman player trying to keep his baseball career alive. He been to the mountain top, and he’s been to the valley.
Willis has a looser broadcasting style and is quick with a story or a joke which is why most Dodgers fans have enjoyed his analysis.
Plus, his reaction to trying Chicago deep dish for the first on-air from the booth at Wrigley was pure television gold.
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