Other than Andrew Miller and Javy Baez, the biggest revelation of these MLB playoffs has been Alex Rodriguez. In a reversal of the way it usually goes, when we love an athlete until he gets in the broadcast booth, a hated player has become a beloved broadcaster right before our eyes.
So maybe we shouldn’t be surprised that, per SI.com’s Richard Deitsch, A-Rod is sending his FS1 producers late-night emails about the just-completed show.
“He’ll email me at midnight sometimes and say something like, ‘You know what? I re-watched [Cubs first baseman] Anthony Rizzo’s at-bat and here’s what I’m thinking as a demo,’” said [Fox Sports vice president of production Bardia] Shah-Rais. “He’s vested into owning the content. He loves baseball. He is a true baseball nerd.”
Shah-Rais also said he has been pleased with the analyst trio of Rodriguez, Pete Rose and Frank Thomas. Given Rose’s eccentricity and the chemistry between The Hit King and A-Rod, he said, the show has worked best with less structure than a typical studio show.
Then the producer offered some more nerdy A-Rod facts:
“I think he gets a certain fix doing this,” Shah-Rais said. “Only Alex can answer if he wants to do this full time but I can say after getting to know him over the past two years is that this is not a hobby for him. It’s not a parachute in. He’s invested. If we have a noon meeting, he’s there at 11:30 a.m. He’s emailing story ideas in the morning. He wants research. He’s almost all-in to the point where it’s annoying. I tell him sometimes to trust himself and not worry so much about all his notes. Alex is probably over-prepared and Pete makes fun of the fact that Alex has a binder of notes where Pete just comes in and says whatever. Sometimes Pete will bring up a B-Block discussion in the A-Block and we just have to go with it.”
Arriving early for meetings, emailing story ideas, preparing copious notes. It turns out A-Rod is the ultimate try-hard.
But honestly, A-Rod’s hyper-preparedness alongside Rose’s wackiness is producing some amazing shows. So keep those emails coming during the World Series, A-Rod.