ESPN is reportedly thinking about giving A-Rod his own ‘ManningCast’

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Every great idea invites horrible imitations. But giving A-Rod his own “ManningCast” might be even worse than that.

ESPN is reportedly thinking about building a ManningCast-type broadcast around Alex Rodriguez, according to the New York Post’s Andrew Marchand. Peyton and Eli Manning’s alternative “Monday Night Football” broadcast has been a resounding success, and it’s understandable that ESPN wants to bring the format to other sports.

The problem is, the ManningCast format doesn’t intrinsically make for good TV. The idea works because Peyton and Eli Manning are smart and hilarious. A-Rod is neither of those things.

“It is not yet clear how the alternative broadcast would be presented and for how many Sunday night games it would be used,” Marchand reports.

ESPN’s “Sunday Night Baseball” booth will once again undergo significant turnover next season, with play-by-play man Matt Vasgersian leaving to call Angels games and take on more work with MLB Network. Marchand says ESPN executives are eyeing longtime studio host Karl Ravech for the open play-by-play role, though A-Rod prefers Michael Kay, who calls Yankees games on YES.

Yankees analyst David Cone is also being considered for a spot in the new Sunday night booth. If A-Rod receives his own alternative broadcast, the traditional Sunday night crew could consist of Ravech, Cone and Eduardo Perez, reports Marchand.

A-Rod has been pushing for Cone to join ESPN for some time.

Despite being one of the greatest players ever, A-Rod seldom says anything interesting or insightful as an analyst. He talks in circles and frequently makes factual errors, such as incorrectly saying how many years Gerrit Cole has played for the Yankees, or mispronouncing the names of Red Sox players.

A-Rod’s work on Fox’s studio shows has been better received, apparently leading to ESPN execs thinking he would work better in a more casual, conversational format. “He has been in the ESPN booth for four years, but has been better in Fox’s MLB studio. This is partly why some ESPN executives think an ‘A-Rodcast’ might work,” Marchand writes.

While the ManningCast has been widely acclaimed, the traditional MNF telecast on ESPN’s main channel dwarfs it in the ratings. With ESPN lessening its number of weekday MLB games, the “Sunday Night Baseball” product will be even more important, especially since the WorldWide Leader could carry an expanded opening round of the MLB playoffs.

As an A-list celebrity, media mogul and now co-owner of the Minnesota Timberwolves, there’s little doubt A-Rod would be able to attract big name guests to his special telecast. But a strong lineup of guests doesn’t automatically equate to great TV.

Great personalities make for great TV. A-Rod is not that.

Featured Image Photo Credit: USA Today Sports