ESPN reshuffled their Sunday Night Baseball booths for 2022, sliding Alex Rodriguez from the main weekly broadcast to a ManningCast-equivalent experiment alongside Michael Kay.
Part of that announcement was that the KayRod Cast (as it’s being called, which, sure) would span eight games of the season, though we didn’t know which eight Sundays would feature the alternate option. Now we do, thanks to an official ESPN announcement, although certain weeks still don’t have specific games attached thanks to flexible scheduling.
The release also offered more logistical details on the feed, which will mostly originate from ESPN’s New York Seaport studios, although there will be some remote calls as well.
ESPN’s KayRod Cast – a special alternate presentation for select Sunday Night Baseball games on ESPN2 – will make its debut on April 10, when the New York Yankees and Aaron Judge host their archrivals, the Boston Red Sox and Xander Bogaerts. KayRod Cast will pair World Series Champion and three-time M.V.P. Alex Rodriguez with iconic New York broadcasting voice Michael Kay.
The first edition of KayRod Cast will emanate from ESPN’s Seaport District Studios in New York, N.Y., with subsequent broadcasts airing at the Seaport District Studios and remotely. The KayRod Cast will include lively discussion and analysis, demos from Rodriguez, special guests connected to the game, customized graphics, social media and audience integration and stories from Rodriguez’s historic playing career.
In addition, Kay and Rodriguez will be the primary broadcast team for select games throughout the season.
So, is any of this going to work? Maybe! Getting Rodriguez into a different setting could be a big win for him, even if the odds are slim that any of these alternate feeds can match the Manning brothers in terms of a relaxed vibe. That’s what makes the MNF version so appealing.
If anything, leaning into letting A-Rod be his goofy self would seem like the best route to success here. Hopefully that’s what ESPN’s production goes for.