Pedro Gomez has been one of ESPN’s top reporters for a number of years, drawing several key assignments for the network including the Barry Bonds beat.  Wednesday night, Gomez took a unique step for a reporter and made his national television debut as a play by play man for ESPN alongside studio analyst Mark Mulder.  ESPN’s corporate PR website had an article explaining the circumstances behind Gomez’s bow in the booth and how it was his first announcing gig since his junior college days.

It did not go so well.

Fans watching the game expressed bemusement at Gomez’s play by play and his partnership with Mulder.  Specifically, Gomez came under criticism for not really calling the game at all and filling the broadcast with small talk with Mulder.  A mid-game interview with James Shields probably didn’t help the perception that the announcers weren’t really paying attention to the game.  Even for the exciting plays Gomez did call, the announcing didn’t really inspire the masses.

It’s hard to be too tough on Gomez given this was his first play by play assignment, but it makes you wonder about the experimental nature of putting the seasoned reporter in a new role behind the mic.  Perhaps there’s no harm in giving a respected reporter like Gomez a chance to shine in a new role on a late-season game few people are watching.  If it doesn’t work, then so be it.  But it’s worth asking the question why the self-proclaimed “worldwide leader” would take the risk of having someone who’s never called an MLB game before make his debut on national television.

At least the response to Gomez’s play by play debut was more positive than that of Chris Berman on Monday Night Football.  As always, these are Real Tweets from Real People…

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