On Thursday, Apple announced the broadcasters for its first ever live MLB games, which will take place on Friday. The broadcasts, which will be produced by MLB Network, contain some familiar names.
Per a release from Apple, the first part of the doubleheader will be called by Melanie Newman, Chris Young, Hannah Keyser, and Brooke Fletcher, while the second half will be called by Stephen Nelson, Hunter Pence, Katie Nolan, and Heidi Watney.
Beginning Friday, April 8, the broadcast team of Melanie Newman (play-by-play), Chris Young (analyst), Hannah Keyser (analyst), and Brooke Fletcher (reporter) will call the New York Mets at the Washington Nationals at 7 p.m. ET; and Stephen Nelson (play-by-play), Hunter Pence (analyst), Katie Nolan (analyst), and Heidi Watney (reporter) comprise the crew that will call the Houston Astros at the Los Angeles Angels game at 9:30 p.m. ET. Game assignments for “Friday Night Baseball” broadcasters will be announced on a weekly basis. In her new role with “Friday Night Baseball,” Newman becomes the second woman to lead play-by-play duties for a national broadcast team; she joined the Baltimore Orioles’ broadcast team in 2020.
The company also announced that game broadcasters will be announced weekly, which seems to indicate a set crew won’t be calling games each week.
Pence joined MLB Network last month, Young joined last year, and Keyser was announced as part of Lauren Gardner’s new studio show Off Base earlier this week. Speaking of Gardner, she’ll host the pregame and postgame coverage of Apple’s games, with a variety of analysts joining her.
Apple’s release also announced something that fans have been discussing for years – rules analysis from an ex-umpire!
And, in a first for MLB games, “Friday Night Baseball” will feature rules analysis and interpretation from former MLB umpire Brian Gorman.
Overall, it seems like the Apple broadcasts will be a lot like the YouTube broadcasts we’ve seen over recent seasons, for better or worse. Here’s hoping it falls on the “better” side of things.