That’s Jeff Passan, not Tom Verducci! Screengrab via Today.

Baseball is not be the national pastime, that distinction belongs to football and the NFL. But baseball got mainstream attention this week, even during the NCAA Tournament. It just wasn’t in the way the sport would have ever wanted. And it led to a hilarious moment that showed just how far out of the spotlight baseball has been in recent years.

The Shohei Ohtani gambling saga – that leaves a whole lot of questions and not many answers – is likely to cast a long shadow over the 2024 MLB season. What did Ohtani know about his interpreter, Ippei Mizuhara and paying $4.5 million in gambling debts from his bank account? And when did he know it? We don’t quite know the answers to those questions and it’s drawing attention not just around the nation, but around the world.

The Today Show even devoted a lengthy segment to the controversy swirling around Ohtani with some recorded interviews and footage. Amongst them was an interview with ESPN baseball expert Jeff Passan on The Pat McAfee Show yesterday. However, Today blasted the name of Sports Illustrated writer and MLB on Fox contributor Tom Verducci on the screen instead of Passan.

First, there’s the fact that Passan is 20 years younger than Verducci. Second, it’s a bit sad that a show of record like The Today Show can’t tell the difference between nationally known Major League Baseball media personalities. You’d be hard pressed to find anyone confuse Adam Schefter with Jay Glazer. Of course, either Verducci or Passan could solve this if one of them shaved their heads like Glazer and tried to differentiate themselves from the crowd just a bit. Come to think of it, Tim Kurkjian could do it too. Think of it as a way to help the sport gain some notoriety as a whole.