The marriage between Alex Rodriguez and ESPN will soon extend beyond the Sunday Night Baseball broadcast booth.
ESPN announced Tuesday that it will air a special four-part series called “Pivot,” produced and hosted by the former AL MVP, in which A-Rod will interview current and former athletes “navigating through obstacles” in their lives and careers. Per ESPN, “Rodriguez will use his personal experiences to lead an unfiltered, dynamic discussion about the changing phenomenon of life in the public eye and to help these athletes share their side of the story regarding their challenges.”
The show will air during the current regular season on both ESPN and ESPN Deportes.
“ESPN’s track record of compelling, original features makes it the natural partner for Pivot,” Rodriguez said in a release. “Change can be good, and even necessary, for athletes facing their most difficult moments. However, I know firsthand how challenging it can be to turn the lens inward while living life in the public arena. I’m looking forward to uncovering personal stories the world deserves to hear, while sharing the lessons I’ve learned—sometimes through the hard way.”
ESPN has not announced when Pivot will debut nor who its guests will be.
Rodriguez debuted on ESPN in March alongside Matt Vasgersian and Jessica Mendoza on the network’s Sunday Night Baseball broadcast, after spending two Octobers as a studio analyst on Fox’s postseason coverage. Pretty much from his first TV appearance, Rodriguez has displayed a great presence on camera, an ability to speak confidently on a range of subjects and a somewhat surprising ability to laugh at himself — all of which should make him an effective host. He even has some experience as an interviewer, having recently sat down with Albert Pujols for a pretty compelling conversation.
One interesting aspect of Pivot is that A-Rod will not only host the show but also serve as its executive producer. In that way, the arrangement seems similar to the one ESPN has with Kobe Bryant, whose self-produced basketball analysis show has aired during the NBA playoffs. As athletes, particularly the most accomplished and marketable ones, seek to control their own brands more and more, it’s possible we’ll see this kind of set-up with greater frequency.