People & Personalities: Mark Grace Returning To FS Arizona In '17 For Studio Show Role
FS Arizona has hired former MLBer Mark Grace to be an analyst on the net's "D-backs Live" pre- and postgame shows. Grace will serve alongside hosts Todd Walsh and Jody Jackson, and analyst Brandon Webb (D-backs). In Phoenix, Nick Piecoro notes Grace "worked for parts of nine seasons as the team’s primary television analyst" from '04-12. Grace said, " I don’t know exactly how many games yet. But it’ll be good. It keeps you around. ... This is the organization I really love." Grace "lost his broadcasting gig after receiving two DUIs in a 15-month span" (ARIZONA REPUBLIC, 2/16). Also in Phoenix, Paola Boivin writes, "Grace belongs on TV. He delivers the right mix of knowledge, humor and anecdotes in a sport that often takes itself too seriously." He is a "welcome addition" to the team (ARIZONA REPUBLIC, 2/16).
FIRST PITCH: In Tampa, Marc Topkin noted FS Florida has hired Alex Corddry to be its in-game reporter on Rays broadcasts. Corddry "replaces Todd Kalas, who joined the Astros as their TV play-by-play man." Corddry most recently "worked college football games for ESPN and the SEC Network." This is her "first baseball-only assignment" (TAMPABAY.com, 2/14). Meanwhile, in San Jose, Daniel Mano noted former MLBer Jeremy Affeldt will fill in as a broadcaster on MLB Giants games this season as longtime color commentator Mike Krukow "cuts back his schedule." Affeldt and former MLBer Javier Lopez will "split 42 road games, with Affeldt reportedly taking games in the central United States and Lopez on the East Coast" (MERCURYNEWS.com, 2/15).
SHAKE IT UP: In K.C., Sam McDowell noted Sporting KC's broadcast team "completed its shakeup Tuesday, adding Matt Lawrence as a color analyst and Jillian Carroll as a sideline reporter and host." The club previously "confirmed that Nate Bukaty would return for his third season as the play-by-play announcer." Lawrence and Carroll will replace Andy Gruenebaum, Jake Yadrich and Kacie McDonnell, who teamed with Bukaty to form Sporting KC's crew last season (K.C. STAR, 2/14)....In Portland, Jamie Goldberg noted former MLSer Nat Borchers will join the Timbers broadcast team next season to "provide on-field analysis." He "plans to keep his distinctive red beard in his new role," while also remaining active with the club's community platform (Portland OREGONIAN, 2/15).
WELCOME BACK: In Dallas, Mike Heika noted Stars play-by-play man Dave Strader has been "out this season" while battling cancer, but he will "return to call five home games" later this month. Craig Ludwig, who has been filling in for Strader, will "return to the studio show" for those games (DALLASNEWS.com, 2/14).