Alex Rodriguez is out on Sunday Night Baseball…at least when it comes to the Mets.
The Mets have one game on ESPN’s Sunday Night Baseball schedule, and Mark Gross, ESPN’s VP of production and remote events, announced Thursday that Alex Rodriguez will not call that July 26 Mets-Braves game, instead tabbing Chipper Jones as the analyst for the first SNB of the season.
The SNB team of A-Rod and Matt Vasgersian will instead do Dodgers-Giants on that Sunday, and Gross said that ESPN will “shy away” from having Rodriguez on the call of any further Mets games this season.
This news comes amidst the knowledge that a group fronted by Rodriguez and Jennifer Lopez is one of the final four chosen for the chance to purchase the Mets, and is especially a hot-button issue for ESPN given the past criticism they received for having former Sunday Night Baseball analyst Jessica Mendoza in the booth for Mets games while she was also on the team’s payroll as a special advisor.
Jones was hired this offseason to be an analyst for ESPN’s Wednesday Night Baseball booth, replacing David Ross after Ross was named manager of the Chicago Cubs. Jon Sciambi, the usual play-by-play man on Wednesdays, does ESPN’s SNB broadcasts on ESPN Radio, and ESPN did not announce whether he or a substitute (which has usually been Karl Ravech in the past) will join Jones for his debut homecoming.