People & Personalities: Blues Analyst Returning From Medical Leave
In St. Louis, Dan Caesar notes Blues radio analyst Joey Vitale is "set to return to the booth tonight" for Game 6 of the Western Conference Finals matchup against the Sharks. Vitale missed Game 5 on Sunday because of a "medical procedure that prevented him from traveling to the contest" in San Jose. Vitale said that he has been "cleared to fly and is set to make the team's next trip -- either to San Jose for Game 7 on Thursday or to Boston for the start of the Stanley Cup finals next week." Blues F Chris Thorburn, who has been a "healthy scratch since joining the team shortly before the playoffs began," filled in for Vitale on Sunday (ST. LOUIS POST-DISPATCH, 5/21).
AS GOOD AS HE EVER WAS: THE ATHLETIC's Richard Deitsch noted ESPN's Hubie Brown is in Toronto this week for ESPN Radio's call of the Bucks-Raptors Eastern Conference Finals. He and lead voice Marc Kestecher have "formed an excellent listen on ESPN Radio, just as Brown did with Mike Tirico and Jim Durham and Jack Ramsay before that." Brown said that he has "worked with 21 different television play-by-play broadcasters during his career." He has been on a "rolling two-year contract at ESPN for some time and already has an extension" through the end of the '19-20 season. He said that he does "not make long-term employment plans and just enjoys each game as it comes" (THEATHLETIC.com, 5/20).
A KEEN EYE: YAHOO SPORTS' Chris Cwik noted after Joe Girardi spent some time away from broadcasting, there was “some concern” over how he would “fit in at MLB Network.” Those concerns were "quickly calmed the first time” Girardi and MLB Network’s Greg Amsinger were on camera together. Girardi’s “detail-oriented approach has carried over from his managing days,” and before taping segments, he “spends a lot of time” with MLB Network researcher Matt Baker. Girardi’s “managerial tendencies especially show up” when he has “opportunities to provide commentary during games” (SPORTS.YAHOO.com, 5/17).
NEW GIG: In Philadelphia, Anne Peterson noted Hope Solo has "moved on" from the USWNT and will now be "part of the BBC's broadcast plans, an initiative called Change The Game that focuses on women's sports." A focus of her post-playing career has been "equal rights and pay" (PHILLY.com, 5/17).