People & Personalities: Sources Say Peyton Wanted No Eli Games
In N.Y., Andrew Marchand cites sources as saying that Peyton Manning, who Fox and ESPN had been targeting for a game analyst position, "did not want to be in the booth" for games involving his brother, Giants QB Eli Manning. Sources said that had Manning agreed to join the "TNF" booth, Fox would have looked to "try to make it so the Giants did not show up on its primetime schedule." Sources added that avoiding Giants games was "not necessarily a deciding factor" in turning down the nets, but it was "part of the process" (N.Y. POST, 4/20). Meanwhile, Fox' Joe Buck said he was unsure if he would call the "TNF" games. He said, "There's a lot of moving parts with the baseball schedule, with Troy and I wanting to do it together. A lot has to be hammered out between now and then, but I think there's desire on both sides to have that happen" ("NFL Schedule Release Show," NFL Network, 4/19).
BOUNCING AROUND: In St. Louis, Dan Caesar notes the Blues' absence from the playoffs has allowed FS Midwest analyst Darren Pang to "be a commentator for first-round games on NBC-related networks." He was on USA Network's Capitals-Blue Jackets broadcast on Thursday, his "fifth playoff contest in four cities in the first nine days of the postseason." Pang in recent years has "spent the first round of the playoffs working Blues games as FSM televised most of their contests at that stage." His work with NBC networks has now "ended, at least for the time being." He said that he will "do commentary" on Westwood One’s national radio coverage Saturday of Blue Jackets-Capitals Game 5, then "work as a TV studio analyst for NHL Network for Round 2" (ST. LOUIS POST-DISPATCH, 4/20).
NO END IN SIGHT: In Ft. Worth, Mac Engel notes MLB Rangers analyst Tom Grieve's status in the booth has "been a point of curiosity" among fans, team employees and FS Southwest producers for the "past few years." Grieve, 70, "scuttled the idea" that next year will be his "final season," as he wants to "call games when the team moves" into Globe Life Field in '20. After that, Grieve "will just go year to year." Grieve and the Rangers "agreed to reduce the amount of games he called to 65 or 70 per season, as well as in-studio work for pre and postgame shows two years ago" (Ft. Worth STAR-TELEGRAM, 4/20).
HEADED TO THE DL: In Seattle, Adam Jude notes Mariners radio announcer Rick Rizzs for the first time in his 44-year career "will miss a team road trip because of an injury or illness." Rizzs agreed to "schedule surgery on his left biceps for Friday afternoon." He "tore his biceps muscle" on April 6 in the "same pickup game that fellow broadcaster Dave Sims, 65, tore an Achilles." Rizzs "expects to be back in the broadcast booth at Safeco Field when the Mariners return from their 10-day trip on May 1" (SEATTLE TIMES, 4/20).
WELCOME TO THE TEAM: NBC Sports Bay Area and NBC Sports California announced that Laura Britt has joined the network as a multi-platform host and reporter for its on-air and online shows (NBC Sports Bay Area).