ESPN announcer Karl Ravech Credit: Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports

As it always does, MLB rolled out the red carpet for Mother’s Day, outfitting players in pink hats, wristbands, gloves and bats, among other accessories. ESPN’s broadcast of Sunday Night Baseball similarly leaned into its Mother’s Day theme with an elaborate graphics package and heartfelt pregame segments involving Cardinals outfielder Lars Nootbaar and Red Sox manager Alex Cora, connecting them with their mothers over Zoom.

It was all going great until the third inning, when veteran play-by-play voice Karl Ravech conducted a live interview with Red Sox first baseman Triston Casas. Ravech got surprisingly personal during their chat, asking Casas about his mother, who died when he was nine.

To his credit, the Red Sox rookie gave an honest and respectful answer, citing his mother’s passing as a formative experience, one that inspired him to pursue his big-league dreams.

“What happened to me was unfortunate, but I have so many mother figures in my life. Whether they have my last name or whether they don’t, I have so much support from everybody in and around my circle. I don’t even feel like I missed out on anything,” said Casas, who got off to a slow start but is rounding into form, batting .345 with two homers and six RBI over 29 at-bats this month. “I know she’s watching me every day. Smiling, proud of me. But, I think, for the most part, I’ve been alright.”

Many felt Ravech overstepped with his intrusive line of questioning, drudging up a painful memory from Casas’ past. Of course, proper context is needed, with Casas’ thoughtful response suggesting the question, however indelicate, may have been agreed upon beforehand.

Either way, it was a tough night all around for the worldwide leader with ESPN garnering well-deserved criticism for relegating a Stanley Cup playoff game between the Vegas Golden Knights and Edmonton Oilers to afterthought status by burying it on ESPN2, staying with its baseball feed even with St. Louis holding a commanding 9-1 lead in the ninth inning.

About Jesse Pantuosco

Jesse Pantuosco joined Awful Announcing as a contributing writer in May 2023. He’s also written for Audacy and NBC Sports. A graduate of Syracuse’s S.I. Newhouse School of Public Communications with a master’s degree in creative writing from Fairfield University, Pantuosco has won three Fantasy Sports Writers Association Awards. He lives in West Hartford, Connecticut and never misses a Red Sox, Celtics or Patriots game.