MLB Media Notes: Rhadigan, Anderson Make Full-Time Broadcast Booth Debuts
John Rhadigan made his debut at the Rangers TV play-by-play announcer during Friday's game against the Red Sox, and in Dallas, Barry Horn wrote Rhadigan was "almost shouting into his Fox Sports Southwest headset in the opening innings" of the game. There also were "times he talked so much he sounded as if he were doing a radio broadcast." But the "best news" for Rhadigan was that he "appeared to catch a rhythm late in the game." He also "didn't go crazy in the Rangers' game-winning, four-run eighth inning." Horn wrote Rhadigan "needs to stay relaxed, slow down and let the game come to him." He will be "just fine, especially as he continues to connect with" analyst Tom Grieve (DALLAS MORNING NEWS, 4/2). Meanwhile, in St. Petersburg, Tom Jones writes Sun Sports' Brian Anderson "had a smashing weekend in his debut as the full-time television analyst" for the Rays. Anderson "has called 100 or so Rays games over the past three seasons," but now that the "full-time gig is his, he sounds even more confident and relaxed." The "camaraderie he has with play-by-play announcer Dewayne Staats is even better than Staats had with original Rays analyst Joe Magrane." Jones: "He took no cheap shots. But he wasn't afraid to be critical of Rays players, showing he realizes his allegiance is to those of us watching at home, not the players on the field" (ST. PETERSBURG TIMES, 4/4).
GLOBAL REACH: The Padres Friday announced a deal with Uniradio TV that calls for up to 81 games to air in Tijuana, Mexico, beginning with tomorrow's home opener against the Giants. The Padres also announced plans to make select games available free-of-charge online at Padres.com to fans residing in the team's home broadcast territory. The stream will be available for up to 17 games that will not air on local TV. It will feature audio from the Padres' radio broadcast and video from the opposing team's television broadcast (Padres)....ESPN and MLB Int'l have reached an agreement to deliver games to more than 121 countries and territories worldwide this season, including Latin America, Brazil, the Caribbean, Africa, the Middle East, Israel, Australia and New Zealand and the Pacific Rim. The two companies also announced a multiyear extension of their European TV rights agreement. The deal makes ESPN America the continued home of MLB games across more than 40 countries and nearly 19 million HHs in Europe (THE DAILY).
HIGH EXPECTATIONS FOR SEASON: In N.Y., Phil Mushnick wrote ESPN "seems prepared ... to present a solid season of MLB coverage." The Wednesday night broadcast team, which consists of the "steady Dave O'Brien and eager-to-please Nomar Garciaparra -- worked Thursday's Padres-Cardinals and earned extra credit." Meanwhile, the crew consisting of "all-pro Sean McDonough, pleasant Aaron Boone and ESPN regular Rick Sutcliffe" should be "easy on the nerves provided Sutcliffe lose his habit of trying to explain everything and say anything instead of something." Mushnick: "The more relaxed a three-man booth the better." Meanwhile, "Baseball Tonight" analyst Curt Schilling "is one big-name ex-big-leaguer who has shown no intention to mail it in." Schilling has "stayed current, he's literate and isn't shy to provide his point of view" (N.Y. POST, 4/3).
THE SHOW-ME STATE SHOWS OFF: The Cardinals’ season-opening 5-3 loss in 11 innings to the Padres Thursday earned a 13.3 local rating in the St. Louis market for FS Midwest. That is the net’s highest-rated season or home opener ever in the 18 years it has broadcast Cardinals games. The game was up 11% from last year’s home opener against the Astros, which drew a 11.9 rating. The previous high was a 13.0 rating for the '05 home opener against the Brewers. Meanwhile, FS Kansas City averaged a 5.4 local rating in K.C. for Thursday's Angels-Royals Opening Day game, which also marks the highest-rated Royals season or home opener ever on the net. The previous high was a 5.3 for last year's Royals-Tigers opener (THE DAILY).