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Dodgers Reportedly Restricted Media Access to ESPN Analyst

You were so close…

BOSTON, MA - SEPTEMBER 8: ESPN Sunday Night Baseball color commentators Jessica Mendoza, Alex Rodriguez, and Matt Vasgersian walk toward the Green Monster before a game between the Boston Red Sox and the New York Yankees on September 8, 2019 at Fenway Park in Boston, Massachusetts. (Photo by Billie Weiss/Boston Red Sox/Getty Images)

While every single one of us would prefer to see the Dodgers still playing baseball, one positive from the early exit is no longer suffering through national media coverage. On the point of borderline insufferable coverage, the New York Post is reporting that ESPN may be looking to change up its “Sunday Night Baseball” broadcasting crew.

Veteran play-by-play man Matt Vasgersian has anchored the broadcast alongside former Yankee Alex Rodriguez and Olympic gold medalist Jessica Mendoza since the 2018 season. Moreover, this combo has been the source of vitriol since about day one — some of it fair, some of it unfair.

Importantly, it appears that ESPN would actually aim to retain Rodriguez and drop Vasgersian along with Mendoza. This tweet summed up my thoughts perfectly.

Where this story takes a Dodgers twist is the revelation that Los Angeles restricted Mendoza’s access to the clubhouse for pre-game media availability. And no – for people assuming as much — it’s not because she’s a woman. Instead it’s because of her position as an adviser with the New York Mets.

From the NY Post.

Mendoza is an adviser to Mets general manager Brodie Van Wagenen. The Dodgers, for one, decided not to allow Mendoza or another ESPN analyst, David Ross — a Cubs adviser — to roam the clubhouse during media availability before games, according to sources. A Dodgers spokesman confirmed this policy.

While media usually have access during a one hour availability window before games, this restriction is understandable and smart. Despite the recent popular opinion that the Dodgers front office doesn’t know what it’s doing, here we see the organization protecting itself from intel making its way out of the clubhouse.

Thoughts from the Editor

Most threatening from the post is the idea that Alex Rodriguez would potentially be retained. The same A-Rod that sat out an entire season for his involvement with performance enhancing drugs and the Biogenesis scandal would keep his job and remain a voice to impressionable young fans.

Written by Clint Pasillas

Clint is the lead editor of Dodgers Nation, and a host and analyst on Dodgers Nation's own Blue Heaven podcast live stream.

He's been writing, blogging, and podcasting Dodgers since about 2008. He was there for Nomar, Greg Maddux, and Blake DeWitt, and he'll be there for Walker Buehler, Alex Verdugo, Dustin May, and any Dodgers of the future.

He's also a sandwich enthusiast, a consummate athlete, and a friend.

17 Comments

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  1. Totally agree with the Dodgers policy. It sounds like a conflict of interest on Mendoza’s part.

    • You seem extra sensitive to her being a woman doing it when literally every man on tv talks over each other. People on tv in general are hacks

      • Where is it that Nik states the being a woman has anything to do with her being annoying?

        • He singled her out as never shutting up when the same can be said for just about everyone on tv

          • Let me be clear ESPN’s entire broadcast team is so bad, I sometimes turn the sound off and watch their games in silence. The inane drivel they bring to the program, offers nothing to the viewer and actually detracts from the game. Mendoza is equally incompetent to her male counterparts. There’s no glass ceiling in ESPN’s ability to populate the booth with lousy broadcasters. Bad is bad and sex has nothing to do with it.

          • Relax, she is annoying, as well as the other two. Lol. They do a horrible job! I turn on the radio when I know they are broadcasting.

    • I actually like her a lot better than Alex “I’m so smart and cool that I don’t know why they need anybody else but me” Rodriguez and his trips down memory lane about his great career where in his mind he was the greatest baseball player that every played. I maintain he wasn’t even the most important player during his time for the Yankees…that honor goes to Derek Jeter who left it all on the field and manufactured ways to win games.

      ESPN seems to have determined that Rodriguez will be their “bloviator” on those games but half the insight he gives to what is going to happen never happens whereas Mendoza sticks to the facts and what she actually knows and plays off of Vasgersian who does a good job of sticking to the PxP and letting the others talk about the strategy of what happened. Sometimes I think the only reason ESPN is interested in Rodriguez is because of his relations ship with Jennifer Lopez, not that he has anything useful to say. There are 25 analysts they could get that could and would do a better job without all of the off line detours and story’s about their “storied careers” which in Rodriguez case was going well right up until the time he left Seattle and signed that ridiculous contract with the Texas Rangers which made him a mercenary for hire…

      ESPN needs to go back to the way it was with Al Michaels or Jon Miller and Joe Morgan type format where they talked baseball, not only what they did. That’s what I like about Mendoza…she keeps on track and talks about the actual game because she has never played baseball but is a student of the game. And if women watch because of her, great. We need more women involved in the game. I don’t have a problem with keeping other teams employees out of the clubhouse. That is just smart management.

  2. Smart move too bad you have no idea how to catch pitch tipping or how to have a game plan that isn’t so obvious that the opposition knows exactly what you’re going to do (Cora) or just flat out revealing everything to the media like dodo Roberts did this last series

  3. No problem with this decision by the Dodgers. They showed equality by not allowing David Ross, and he even played for the team early in his career.

    As the the ESPN broadcast team, PED scandal aside, A-Rod is just bad in the booth. He always sounds so condescending and arrogant. I’m agnostic on Vasgersian and, call me crazy, but I like Jessica Mendoza. I think she bring some good insight. And if she attracts more women to watch baseball all the better.

    • Guess we all have different reasons for why, but obviously this crew is not winning people over. For me Mendoza is ok, I had to get past her softball pedigree, but think she does a good job. She is also Dodger friendly which probably swings me to like her, but she usually has her facts correct when she drops Dodger nuggets. Matt’s okay too IMO and he doe a good job keeping his opinions objective as he works, that’s big with me. But A-Rod…….Yankee biased self loving blow hard who spends way too much time talking about himself and not the game I’m trying to watch. Just figures that the two I would keep are the two ESPN is going to dump. But then again, they have become a basketball network, no longer a sports network and their angles are different now.

      • I disagree. ARod is always prepared. Mendoza is always messing around with Ross. Vasgersian is a voice, he brings nothing else to the table. Your hating cause of the Yankee factor. If Dodgers would have played them in the WS maybe I would have seen it. I’ll take that crew though any day over Joe Buck on Fox. He makes me want to puke in my mouth. Only there because of his dad.

  4. Drop all three and start over. I either don”t watch the game when it’s on ESPN or at the very least, turn the volume down. The most annoying broadcast team on television.

  5. I wish the Dodgers would restrict access to the analytics and sabermetrics dept. and play baseball.

  6. This is not sexist in anyway but I’ll always found it odd that Mendoza was providing commentary/analysis on how to hit a 99 MPH FB or a 82 MPH Change-up while never having done that. Yes, she played softball at a very competitive level, but there is a big difference between MLB pitchers, throwing over hand vs. a softball pitcher. Is she talented?………..without question! Is she a former big league hitter with a proven track record of accomplishments?…..not so much!

  7. Also, I never heard anyone say the Dodger front office had no idea what they’re doing. Most sensible Dodger fans simply wanted bullpen help at trade deadline. Friedman decides They needed another untility infielder as usual. When people try to anoint him The best ever. Fans point out that Colletti built much of this team. He’s responsible for not trading Kershaw way back when. They give any cynical kid a writing job these days. Stop making crap up to support your opinion.

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