If you ever watched “The Manningcast” and thought, “I would love a baseball version of this, but with a much less charismatic host,” ESPN has the show for you. The network is considering giving Alex Rodriguez his own Manningcast-style program in an attempt to freshen up its “Sunday Night Baseball” booth, according to Andrew Marchand of the New York Post.
If those changes are made, Rodriguez would leave “Sunday Night Baseball.” ESPN is reportedly looking at a booth consisting of Karl Ravech doing play-by-play and Eduardo Perez and former New York Yankees pitcher David Cone doing analysis.
Ravech and Perez are regular broadcasters at ESPN. The network reportedly tried to hire Cone in the past, and apparently still have interest in bringing him on board.
ESPN still working out details of possible Alex Rodriguez show
ESPN reportedly still has to work out details if it decides to go with the Rodriguez “Manningcast” idea. ESPN experimented with “The Manningcast” during “Monday Night Football” in the 2021 NFL season. Peyton Manning and Eli Manning host the program, and are joined by various guests to watch the Monday night game. It’s a looser, more conversational broadcast.
The Mannings don’t host “The Manningcast” every week. The program aired 10 of the 17 weeks there was a “Monday Night Football” game. If Rodriguez gets his version of the show, the network will need to figure out if Rodriguez will be on every single week, or if his version of the program will be less frequent.
ESPN would also need to figure out the show’s structure and if Rodriguez would be its only host. The “Manningcast” works well because Peyton and Eli have a strong rapport. Finding a similar partner for Rodriguez — who made plenty of people angry during his playing days — could prove difficult.
Perhaps ESPN can take that approach when booking Rodriguez’s guests. People will tune in if Jose Canseco, Derek Jeter or Rob Manfred agree to be on the program.