Ernesto Jerez Named a Finalist for Ford C. Frick Award for Excellence in Baseball Broadcasting

Ernesto Jerez has voiced his way to the top…

The 52-year-old Dominican sportscaster and commentator for ESPN Deportes has been named a finalist for the Baseball Hall of Fame’s Ford C. Frick Award for excellence in baseball broadcasting

Ernesto Jerez

Jerez has worked ESPN Deportes’ Sunday Night Baseball for more than 25 years along with the World Series, All-Star Game and World Baseball Classic.

He’ll face off against Hall of Fame pitchers Dizzy Dean and Don Drysdale, along with Fox‘s Joe Buck, ESPN‘s Dan Shulman and NBC‘s Al Michaels.

Dave Campbell and Buddy Blattner also are finalists, the Hall said Monday.

The winner will be announced on Dec.ember 9 and will be honored next July 24 ahead of the Hall of Fame inductions, along with 2020 Frick winner Ken Harrelson. The 2020 ceremonies were called off became of the coronavirus pandemic.

This year’s Frick Award is for national voices, part of a three-year rotation that includes broadcasting beginnings (autumn 2021) and major league markets (autumn 2022).

Broadcasters must have at least 10 continuous years of major league broadcast service with a team, network or combination.

Alex Rodriguez Joins the Team for ESPN’s Sunday Night Baseball Broadcasts

Alex Rodriguez is heading back to the diamond…

The 42-year-old Dominican-American former professional baseball player and New York Yankees star will join the ESPN team this season to work on Sunday Night Baseball telecasts.

Alex Rodriguez

A-Rod joins the broadcast team of Jessica Mendoza, Buster Olney and new play-by-play man Matt Vasgersian.

Rodriguez joined Fox Sports as a full-time MLB analyst in March 2017 after working as a guest for some telecasts — including the 2015 World Series. He’ll continue to work for Fox during the postseason. ESPN’s parent company, Disney, has agreed to acquire part of 21st Century Fox, including regional sports networks.

“I’m looking forward to this new chapter in my broadcasting career,” Rodriguez said in a statement. “It’s an exciting time in baseball and now I get that front row seat to tell that story every Sunday night on ESPN as well as calling my fourth post season on Fox where I started this journey.”

Rodriguez replaces analyst Aaron Boone, who was named manager of the New York Yankees this offseason.

Rodriguez last played in the majors in 2016, for the Yankees. He played 22 years in the big leagues, making 14 All-Star Games and winning the MVP three times. But his image took a hit when he admitted to using performance-enhancing drugs and was suspended for the entire 2014 season.

Rodriguez will also appear in and serve as executive producer of several ESPN specials, the network announced.

He has started to rebuild his image with his analysis of baseball on Fox broadcasts. He’s also remained in the spotlight because of his romance with Jennifer Lopez.

“I am incredibly excited to work with both Alex and Matt,” Mendoza said in the statement. “Matt has been a friend for a long time and someone whose work I’ve long admired. Alex’s achievements as a player speak for themselves, and I’ve been greatly impressed by the passion and dedication he has put into his broadcasting career. We’re going to have a lot of fun.”

Vasgersian is only the third voice of Sunday Night Baseball, following Jon Miller and Dan Shulman. The program is entering its 29th season.

“Jon and Dan set the bar super high for Sunday Night Baseball play-by-play, so it’s a real thrill for someone who still remembers his first minor league bus trip in 1991 to have a chair like this one,” Vasgersian said in the statement. “I know firsthand how passionate both Alex and Jessica are about baseball, and I can’t wait to get started with them.”

Molina Agrees to Three-Year, $60 Million Extension with St. Louis Cardinals

Yadier Molina is embracing the spirit of St. Louis for longer…

The 34-year-old Puerto Rican professional baseball catcher has agreed to a three-year, $60 million extension with the St. Louis Cardinals, the multiple Gold Glove winner told ESPN.

Yadier Molina

The Cardinals have scheduled a 2 p.m. ET media conference Sunday at Busch Stadium, presumably to discuss Molina’s contract extension.

The deal will keep Molina in St. Louis through at least 2020.

General manager John Mozeliak said Friday that he was optimistic a deal would get done by the first pitch of the Cardinals’ Sunday Night Baseball game against the World Series champion Chicago Cubs, scheduled for 8:35 p.m. ET.

Mozeliak said over the past few days that he worried Molina’s contract extension could be a distraction if it wasn’t taken care of by Sunday.

Molina’s current contract, signed ahead of the 2012 season, contained a mutual $15 million option for 2018 with a $2 million buyout.

His strong play for Puerto Rico in the World Baseball Classic, coupled with his hot hitting following the 2016 All-Star break and his comments after returning from the competition, had put pressure on the Cardinals to get a deal done as quickly as possible.

Molina’s biggest impact to the Cardinals over the years has been in run prevention. He became the full-time starter in 2005 and made seven All-Star teams while winning eight Gold Gloves.

Just when his hitting seemed to be in serious decline, Molina, 34, batted .365 with a .926 OPS following last season’s All-Star break.