In N.Y., Bob Raissman cited sources as saying that SportsNet N.Y. execs have “reached out” to former MLB manager Bobby Valentine to “discuss a possible studio role on Mets telecasts.” Valentine would be “featured on about 20 games, mostly marquee matchups like the Subway Series” and “would be seen on SNY’s new pre-pregame show.” Valentine also would “fill in for Bobby Ojeda, SNY’s No. 1 studio analyst, on his off days.” But it is not clear at all if Valentine, who managed the Mets from '96-'02, “even wants to return” (N.Y. DAILY NEWS, 1/27).
THUMBS UP DOWN UNDER: SI.com’s Richard Deitsch wrote ESPN’s Chris McKendry, Mary Joe Fernandez, Darren Cahill, Pam Shriver and Chris Evert did “excellent work” during Victoria Azarenka's win over Li Na in the Australian Open women's final. The group “dealt with plenty of subplots, including a 10-minute break in the third set while fireworks boomed overhead from nearby Australia Day celebrations, but never stopped providing viewers with pertinent conversation” (SI.com, 1/27).
IN THE BOOTH: In Toronto, Norris McDonald wrote driver Paul Tracy is “going to do colour commentating on Sportsnet’s telecast” of the Honda Indy Toronto and “maybe other races” in the Izod IndyCar Series. Sportsnet “took over the IndyCar series telecasts” for ‘13 after former IndyCar CEO Randy Bernard became “disenchanted with TSN for not showing all the races live” (THESTAR.com,1/27).