Alex Rodriguez hasn’t made a decision as to whether or not he’ll be a studio analyst for Fox Sports or ESPN during the upcoming MLB regular season. But the former New York Yankees third baseman and three-time American League MVP may still be on television sometime before baseball’s postseason.
Rodriguez is slated to appear on a pilot episode as a host for a CNBC reality show tentatively titled “Back in the Game.” The show is executive produced by Michael Strahan and will team former professional athletes in financial difficulties with mentors and experts who can help them recover from their current situations, whether it’s advising them to start a new career or business, or just working to get them out of debt.
The release was first posted to Twitter by Politico’s Alex Weprin.
Today in news I did not expect: former Yankees star Alex Rodriguez has been tapped to host a pilot on CNBC, " Back in the Game" pic.twitter.com/nKHXQx36OJ
— Alex Weprin (@alexweprin) January 17, 2017
This appears to be in the very early stages of development, despite the mentions of Strahan and Rodriguez in the release. CNBC is likely waiting to see that pilot episode before making any further commitment.
It’s not yet known who some of the retired athletes that might participate in the show will be. Admitting that personal fortunes and wealth have taken a bad turn since their playing days might be a difficult thing to admit publicly for some, and perhaps that would prevent them from appearing. However, others may welcome the opportunity or even possibly see this as a springboard to some other type of work, maybe even in television.
With former athletes like Strahan and Rodriguez associated with the project, the show presumably won’t try to take advantage of anyone’s embarrassing downfall for the sake of television. (Though an opening for crass corporate sponsorships seems like a distinct possibility.) But even a moderately recognizable name could draw some media and viewer interest.
One athlete who we can confidently guess will not be appearing on this show as an active participant is Alex Rodriguez. He’ll be earning $21 million this year for not playing with the Yankees, who were eager to push him into retirement and move forward. According to Baseball-Reference, he’s earned more than $440 million over his 22-year MLB career, along with whatever other income he’s earning from television and other ventures. That is probably not something of which he’ll want to remind the athletes who take part in this upcoming reality show.