When it comes to baseball analysis (and coverage, although that’s because they’re on 24-7), MLB Network is far superior to ESPN’s Baseball Tonight. Last year the scales tipped completely in MLB Network’s favor when longtime ESPN’er Peter Gammons left the WWL to pursue other endeavors, which were at MLB Network. In a peculiar move, though, Barry Larkin is reportedly leaving MLB Network for ESPN:
Television analyst and former Reds shortstop Barry Larkin has left MLB Network to take a job with ESPN, according to a report by USA Today. It’s unclear exactly what role Larkin will take on at ESPN, but he has experience both in the announcing booth and in studio. ESPN, of course, broadcasts several national games per week during the season along with its flagship nightly highlights and analysis show Baseball Tonight.
Larkin took a role with MLB Network shortly before it launched on Jan. 1, 2009.
The game announcing crews have been released, so it’s reasonable to believe that Larkin’s new role will be as an analyst on Baseball Tonight, doing some of the same, good stuff he did with MLB Network, and featured more prominently, too. Larkin was added to the lineup at MLB Network in December 2008, just before it launched, but the Network has been continuously adding on-air personalities and Larkin was starting to see less and less face time. That won’t be the case at ESPN who have holes to fill with Bobby Valentine joining the broadcast booth after the network parted ways with Jon Miller and Joe Morgan.
For what it’s worth, Larkin’s no longer found on MLB Network’s long list of on-air personalities.