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ESPN’s ‘Sunday Night Baseball’ appears to be returning to broadcasting ... baseball

The new crew of Karl Ravech, David Cone and Eduardo Perez doesn’t figure to frustrate viewers nearly as much — if at all — as Matt Vasgersian and Alex Rodriguez did.

Karl Ravech takes the reins of ESPN’s “Sunday Night Baseball” broadcast. He’ll be joined by analysts David Cone and Eduardo Perez.
Maxx Wolfson/Getty Images

At long last, it sounds as though ESPN’s “Sunday Night Baseball” will broadcast baseball games again.

After four years of watching Matt Vasgersian and Alex Rodriguez take the show to places no viewer wanted to go, baseball fans should feel comfortable with the network’s new “SNB” crew of play-by-play voice Karl Ravech and analysts David Cone and Eduardo Perez.

Whereas Matty and A-Rod either deviated from the game or just didn’t make sense, the new guys don’t figure to frustrate viewers nearly as much, if at all.

“The game dictates when you focus on the game and other times where you veer into broader subjects, baseball-related and sometimes not baseball-related,” Ravech said on a conference call this week. “Baseball lends itself to more conversation. At the same time, you do recognize there are points in every game where you focus on the game.”

Ravech and Perez have made a fine tandem for years at ESPN, but Cone could emerge as the star of the show. A five-time World Series champion and the 1994 American League Cy Young winner, Cone has become one of the best analysts in the game for the Yankees’ YES Network.

Rodriguez isn’t leaving ESPN. He’ll join Yankees TV voice Michael Kay on the alternate broadcast “Sunday Night Baseball With Kay-Rod,” which will air eight times on ESPN2 alongside “SNB” broadcasts. Rodriguez and Kay also will call ESPN’s main broadcast of two exclusive regular-season games.

Remote patrol

  • Longtime Chicago radio voice George Ofman’s podcast, “Tell Me a Story I Don’t Know,” begins its fourth season Tuesday with a two-part interview with Mike North, one of The Score’s first hosts when the station launched in 1992. “I think The Score was the second-strongest franchise in Chicago in the ’90s after the Bulls,” North said in Part 1.
  • The “TNT Bulls” aren’t back – that requires them to play a home game on the network – but the Bulls will appear on TNT at 2:30 p.m. Monday, when they visit the Grizzlies as part of a Martin Luther King Jr. Day doubleheader. Play-by-play voice Brian Anderson, analyst Stan Van Gundy and reporter Stephanie Ready will call the action.