USA TODAY's Dave Doyle writes ESPN has been "near-perfect" in its presentation of the UFC during the first year of its partnership, with broadcasts that are "better paced and more professional than Fox." However, "whitewashing" former NFLer Greg Hardy's past domestic violence charge during his Saturday night win over Juan Adams is "not a good look." Hardy has "managed to drag ESPN into the muck with him." The "only thing that was hinted at" during the broadcast was a "mention of 'screw-ups' with no context" by Adams. There was "no follow-up on what exactly those 'screw-ups' might be" (USA TODAY, 7/23).
STEPPING IT UP: In Philadelphia, Jonathan Tannenwald noted Union broadcaster Marisa Pilla has joined FS1 as a "sideline reporter at some MLS games this season, and this month was picked" by the NWSL to be the "lead sideline reporter for ESPN's 14-game slate." Her "national breakthrough came with backing from colleagues including JP Dellacamera." Pilla said, "JP really has just been somebody that you can always go to when you have a question or really just need a little bit of guidance, because he's seen so much" (PHILADELPHIA INQUIRER, 7/20).
GIVE HER A SHOT: In N.Y., Bob Raissman asks with Yankees radio announcer John Sterling missing games, "Why didn’t Suzyn (Ma Pinstripe) Waldman, Sterling’s long-time partner, get a shot at doing a couple of innings of play-by-play?" This seems like a "major oversight." Waldman "did play-by-play in the early days of YES." More Raissman: "Could it be the suits at WFAN, and its parent company Entercom, don’t want a woman doing play-by-play?" If Sterling cannot return for the postseason, "the suits should finally give Waldman her chance" (N.Y. DAILY NEWS, 7/21).