The company has reportedly been considering moving Mendoza, 39, out of the booth for 2020 and her advisor position with the Mets has been questioned in recent weeks. She drew criticism in January for calling out Oakland Athletics’ pitcher Mike Fiers for blowing the whistle on the Houston Astros sign-stealing scheme. It’s also long been a conflict of interest concern for the dual role.
Mendoza moves from Sunday to weekday analyst
ESPN announced, per the AP, Mendoza will be an analyst on weekday games, rather than on the premier Sunday night telecast, and will make appearances on network shows including “SportsCenter,” “Baseball Tonight” and features on “E60.” She’ll be the lone analyst on a package of weekday games and will be in the booth for radio coverage of the postseason and World Series.
“I’ve always prioritized my growth and these new opportunities will allow me to expand my broadcasting career while challenging me at the same time,” Mendoza said in a statement, via AP. “Some of the best memories of my career have been with ‘Sunday Night Baseball’ and I will miss my time with our amazing crew, who have been like family.”
Mendoza, a 2019 inductee to the National Softball Hall of Fame, joined the Sunday night booth in January 2016 and became the first woman to work an MLB broadcast as a commentator for ESPN.
“We are proud that Jessica, one of our most talented and recognizable commentators, will continue blazing new trails with ESPN for several years to come,” said Norby Williamson, ESPN’s executive vice president for production.
She will continue her role as lead analyst for the Women’s College World Series and will report from the Tokyo Olympics. The company announced its expanded regular season college softball schedule earlier this week.
Mendoza resigns from Mets
Those increased duties led her to resign her position with the Mets, per AP. She was hired in March 2019 by Brodie Van Wagenen, who took over as general manager five months prior.
Commissioner Rob Manfred said this week he is concerned about the dual roles certain people have taken on as broadcasters and team advisors. That includes Mendoza, a former star for the U.S. softball team, and Pedro Martinez, the former Boston Red Sox pitcher who is an analyst for TBS and an advisor to Boston.
Her focus with the Mets was “player evaluation, roster construction, technological advancement and health and performance,” they announced at the hiring.
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