The Cubs will play the Nationals tonight on ESPN Sunday Night Baseball for the third week in a row. While the national exposure and recognition is nice, it’s generally agreed on that one of the downsides of the national coverage is the announcing team. Awful Announcing has been tracking announcement crew popularity and gaffes since 2006 and while some might quibble with their methodology, their fan polls of announcing teams and content are probably the best available on this subject. As you can imagine, the Sunday Night Baseball crew doesn’t rank highly:
9. Matt Vasgersian, Jessica Mendoza, and Alex Rodriguez (ESPN) – 2.05
Most popular grade: C (28.60% of votes)
Analysis: No matter how you slice it, this team just did not work in 2018. Only one crew received a lower percentage of A grades, and only one crew received a higher percentage of F grades. Yes, they only called one playoff game, but worked together every week of the regular season. When they debuted seven months ago, we gave them a rough review, and to end the season, they get just as rough of a grade from our readers. On the bright side for ESPN, the only way for these three to go together is up – if Sunday Night Baseball actually sticks with the same time for back to back seasons.
I mean, it’s pretty hard to be less popular than Joe Buck, but the ESPN Sunday Night crew managed just that last postseason.
Admittedly, Cubs fans are a bit spoiled when it comes to announcers. Len Kasper and Jim Deshaies rank among the most popular broadcast crews according to annual polls by Awful Announcing and that doesn’t even include the outstanding radio team anchored by Pat Hughes, who should win a Ford C. Frick Award any year now.
But lately it’s been a lot of Sunday Night Baseball. McNeil and Parkins had a great look at some of the mind boggling comments from the last two weeks. Last week fans had to listen to Alex Rodriguez incorrectly claim that Lester helped break two curses (Lester didn’t start playing for the Red Sox until 2006). And who could forget two weeks ago when ARod suggested that baseball’s most exciting player, Javier Báez, should be more boring?
ARod just suggested Javy needs to “get more boring” to become even better.— Cubs Insider (@realcubsinsider) May 6, 2019
Hey ARod, please stop talking.
While Cubs fans will get a reprieve for Memorial Day weekend, we’re right back to Sunday Night Baseball for back-to-back weekends on June 9 and June 16, so Andi Cruz Vanecek and I decided we had to do something to make this painful broadcast a little easier to listen to. Without further ado, allow me to present the first-ever Bleed Cubbie Blue ESPN Sunday Night Baseball Bingo card. This was crowd-sourced from the Cuppa Cubbie Blue Twitter account and if people enjoy it we’ll absolutely update it for the upcoming Cardinals and Dodgers games.
Enjoy and let us know in the game thread or on Twitter if you wind up with a Bingo tonight.