Joe Davis is a busy man. In addition to his work as the regular play by play voice of the Los Angeles Dodgers, Davis calls national MLB and NFL games for Fox Sports.
This season, Dodgers fans have noticed that Davis hasn’t been in the booth alongside long-time broadcast partner Orel Hershiser too often. Davis has been working with Dontrelle Willis, and Hershiser has been working with Stephen Nelson, hired from MLB Network this offseason.
Per the LA Times, Davis is limited to 90 games due to his national commitments. Team EVP and chief marketing officer Lon Rosen says the team wants to get Hershiser reps with Nelson as well as Davis, given those limits.
The primary issue: Davis’ national television commitments now limit him to 90 games with the Dodgers, which prompted the team to hire Nelson as a dedicated backup. Hershiser remains the primary analyst.
“We want to make sure he is with Joe and he is with Stephen as well, because he is so good,” Rosen said.
Davis said he appreciated the Dodgers’ flexibility with his national schedule and the chance to work with Hershiser whenever possible.
“I’ve been so lucky to do some amazing things, including lots of the stuff I dreamt of as a kid,” Davis said. “But there’s still nothing more fun than doing a Dodger game sitting next to one of my best friends.”
Given the limitations in place for Davis, this makes sense. He’s going to be jammed up with the NFL on Fox in September, and the Dodgers aren’t going to want to have Nelson and Hershiser calling games in crunch time after not working together all that much during the previous five months.
I can also understand the frustration from Dodgers fans. After getting used to, and liking, the Davis and Hershiser booth in recent years, hearing the two calling games with different partners must be disappointing. But hey, that’s what happens when you hire a talented young broadcaster who quickly gets tapped for national work.