Apple’s first MLB broadcasts took place on Friday with a pair of slightly unorthodox broadcast booths calling the action.
The early game, Mets-Nationals, was called by the trio of Melanie Newman, Hannah Keyser, and Chris Young, while the late game, Astros-Angels, was called by Stephen Nelson, Hunter Pence, and Katie Nolan.
The “young play by play broadcaster, ex-player analyst, and non-traditional analyst” combinations raised eyebrows when announced last week, and discussion didn’t stop once the games began. However, those “non-traditional analyst” roles could have been a lot more perplexing. Per Andrew Marchand of the New York Post, Apple reached out to both Mina Kimes and Bill Simmons, but neither was interested.
In NEWSLETTER+: Apple looked into Bill Simmons & Mina Kimes for its baseball booth, according to sources. Neither was interested.
— Andrew Marchand (@AndrewMarchand) April 11, 2022
Kimes and Simmons are both baseball fans, but both have been on-air analysts in other sports – Kimes joined ESPN’s NFL Live in 2020, while Simmons had a famously tumultuous run on ESPN’s NBA Countdown when he was still with the company.
Not to sound like too much of an old man here, but maybe it would be for the best if Apple didn’t try to reinvent the wheel with its Friday Night Baseball broadcasts. The company doesn’t need to try to much to stand out from MLB’s longer tenured, more established broadcast partners.