September 23, 2021

Media Circus: How soon might we see an umpire analyst in a baseball broadcast booth? (The Athletic)

Robot umpires might not be the only officials invading major league baseball in the future. Viewers soon could be seeing umpires in a baseball broadcast booth, similar to how the NFL, NBA, and other sports have integrated former officials as part of the broadcast.

In an interview last Friday with The Athletic, Fox Sports executive producer Brad Zager said his network has given serious consideration to having a former umpire in the booth for Fox/FS1’s postseason coverage. It’s an idea that’s time has come.

“We have actually talked to former umpires about that role,” Zager said. “One of the things we have realized is a lot of times with (Fox NFL rules analysts) Mike Pereira and Dean Blandino, who we think do an amazing job on the NFL, is this comes up a lot more times during an NFL Sunday than a national baseball game. That’s both the nature of Mike and Dean being able to explain rules but also when it comes up in baseball. Baseball most of the time is…

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