SBD/Issue 87/Sports Media

Robinson To Accent Early ESPN MLB Coverage; Jays Sign Ashby

Robinson To Join ESPN’s MLB
Coverage For Spring Training
Baseball HOFer and former Nationals manager Frank Robinson will serve as an analyst for ESPN during its Spring Training coverage, as well as the first two weeks of the regular season. The move is part of the net’s “efforts to celebrate the 60th anniversary” of Jackie Robinson breaking MLB’s color barrier (WASHINGTON POST, 1/25)....Dusty Baker, who has signed a two-year deal with ESPN, will serve as a studio analyst both in Bristol and on the West Coast for the regular season and the playoffs. He will call ten regular-season MLB games as well as the Little League World Series. A clause in Baker’s deal allows teams to contact him about a managerial position (CHICAGO TRIBUNE, 1/25)....Jim Leyritz has signed a two-year deal with ESPN Radio 1050 N.Y. as an MLB correspondent (N.Y. DAILY NEWS, 1/24).

BLUE JAYS: In Toronto, William Houston reports the Blue Jays signed Andy Ashby to a three-year deal worth about $300,000 annually. Ashby, who had been the Astros’ radio analyst for eight years, will serve the same position with the Blue Jays, replacing Warren Sawkiw, whose contract was not renewed (Toronto GLOBE & MAIL, 1/25).

MARINERS: In Seattle, Dave Andriesen reports long-time Mariners play-by-play announcer Dave Niehaus will spend the first two or three innings of each game with new analyst Mike Blowers in the TV booth, then will “trade places for the remainder of the game” with Dave Sims, who will be in the radio booth with analyst Rick Rizzs. The team ideally “would have permanent TV and radio voices,” but neither FSN Northwest nor KOMO-AM “wants to be entirely without Niehaus.” Rizzs will be “almost exclusively on radio” (SEATTLE POST-INTELLIGENCER, 1/25).

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