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Wednesday, February 26, 2020

Dodgers did not allow ESPN’s Jessica Mendoza in clubhouse due to conflict of interest

Jessica Mendoza ESPN

ESPN is reportedly considering some significant changes to its “Sunday Night Baseball” broadcast, and a policy the Los Angeles Dodgers have implemented may have something to do with that.

Sources told Andrew Marchand of the New York Post that Alex Rodriguez will be returning to “Sunday Night Baseball,” but there is a chance Jessica Mendoza and Matt Vasgersian could be replaced. One of the issues with Mendoza, who is a former softball player and Olympic gold medalist, is that she works as an adviser to New York Mets general manager Brodie Van Wagenen, and that has clearly prevented her from being able to speak freely about the team on the air. It has also resulted in her needing special access to the Dodgers’ clubhouse.

The Dodgers confirmed to Marchand that Mendoza and fellow ESPN analyst David Ross, an adviser to the Chicago Cubs, are not allowed in the clubhouse during the hour that it is open to the media before games. Mendoza and Ross have to set up pre-scheduled interviews, as the Dodgers do not want broadcasters who work for other teams to have open access to their facility.

Mendoza was hired by the Mets prior to last season, but that had no impact on her status with ESPN. Sources told Marchand that network executives still value her a great deal and would only pull her off “Sunday Night Baseball” broadcasts if they can find another significant role for her.

ESPN’s decision to hire Mendoza as an analyst has led to some unfair criticism, but she has been calling games for the network for several years now. While her role with the Mets may present some unique complications, it does not sound like ESPN is all that concerned.



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