Weekend Plans With ESPN/MLB Network Host Matt Vasgersian
ESPN “Sunday Night Baseball” host MATT VASGERSIAN earlier in the season wasn’t sure he and the broadcast team would actually head to Atlanta this weekend for Nationals-Braves. Vasgersian: “It didn’t look like the Nationals were going to play their way back into relevance.” Now, with the team comfortably over .500, Vasgersian and analysts ALEX RODRIGUEZ and JESSICA MENDOZA are en route to SunTrust Park. The veteran play-by-play man, who also works at MLB Network, took THE DAILY through his routine before first pitch and how he spends his occasional time away from the diamond.
TRAVEL BEAT: Monday is almost always a travel day back home from wherever we’ve been. Then I’m in studio at MLB Network on any combination of days until Saturday, when I fly to our destination. This year, what’s most often been the case is I’ll go to the field for a bit late Saturday. Then that night I go into pretty hard-core hermit mode and order room service. I’ll fire up the iPad and watch as much of the Saturday schedule as is still being played while I get things together for the next day. Most of my game prep work comes Saturday and Sunday.
DUAL ROLES: The great part about my situation is when I’m in the studio during the week, it kind of preps itself. I’m current with everything. Because baseball is an everyday game, the schedule is a curse and a blessing. It’s great because there’s a game every day. It’s not as great because a lot of fans see it as a burdensome investment to make. There’s so many things that happen when there’s 15 games a day -- unlike the NFL. I’m really lucky in that my other job essentially prepares me for my other job. And it’s true vice versa.
TEAM PLAYER: We have a production meeting normally at 9:00am Sunday morning. It’s not only too early, but it’s too long. There’s times where we have a two-plus hour production meeting for a 9-inning game that really borders on bludgeoning you with the information. But because we’re not together during the week, having face-time together is valuable. We can flesh out ideas, and I like to know where Alex and Jess like to go. BUSTER OLNEY provides probably the deepest layer of information in our meetings. As a reporter, he’s the sneaky little shit that’s embedded in the weeds, getting the real scoops. Then we have to decide how much of his stuff we can use and how much of it is on background.
IN THE MEANTIME: I do attempt to maintain a tennis life outside of baseball. It’s the only sport I thought I played remotely well as a kid. I came back to it as an adult about 5-6 years ago, and I’m exactly the same player I was when I stopped at the age of 19. My family and I were even able to make it to Wimbledon this year thanks to the London Series. That was a bucket list thing for me. I’m also a classic rock fan, but I don’t go to as many concerts as I did as a younger guy. I recently bought ROGER DALTREY’s book which was a good, quick read. I’m also a SPRINGSTEEN guy and a big fan of THE BAND. On TV, I’m either watching baseball, music documentaries or indulging in the sewer that is the “REAL HOUSEWIVES” reality-series. We all have our guilty pleasures and that’s mine.