Jessica Mendoza will now be a permanent fixture on ESPN on Sunday nights. She will join fellow new hire Aaron Boone in replacing Curt Schilling and John Kruk. Schilling has been moved to Monday night and Kruk will be returning to Baseball Tonight. Dan Shulman will be returning as the play-by-play announcer.
The 35-year-old Mendoza had called just one MLB game in the booth six days earlier when she took over for the suspended Schilling on Aug. 30. Her performance earned rave reviews, and she stayed on Sunday nights for the rest of the season. Mendoza became the first female analyst to call a nationally televised MLB playoff game when she worked the AL wild-card matchup.
I’m sure most impartial observers will agree this is a great and much needed move. Both Kruk and Schilling were pretty terrible, although it’s interesting that Schilling is not getting booted permanently, just moved to a lower watched day and time. Schilling who has done just about everything in his power to get fired just can’t seem to get the axe from ESPN. Mendoza’s full time presence is a welcome addition to a broadcast that had grown very stale. In her limited trial, she brought a fresh perspective and insight that was badly needed. ESPN may actually be worth watching next year. On Sundays at least.