A-Rod again replaces Boone, joins ESPN Sunday Night Baseball

BRISTOL, Conn. (AP) — Alex Rodriguez is taking over for Aaron Boone again, this time moving into the ESPN booth for Sunday Night Baseball.

ESPN announced Tuesday that A-Rod was joining its crew as an analyst. The former star slugger will become a rare, two-network announcer — he will continue as a studio analyst for Fox Sports in the postseason.

Rodriguez fills the ESPN spot held last season by Boone, hired last month to manage the New York Yankees.

Boone hit a walk-off home run in the 11th inning of Game 7 in the 2003 AL Championship Series against Boston, but the third baseman tore up his knee in the offseason and missed a year.

Rodriguez became his replacement with the Yankees, acquired from Texas in a trade before the 2004 season. Rodriguez stayed with the team through 2016 and hit 696 career home runs.

“I’m looking forward to this new chapter in my broadcasting career,” Rodriguez said in a statement. “It’s an exciting time in baseball and now I get that front-row seat to tell that story every Sunday night on ESPN,as well as calling my fourth postseason on Fox, where I started this journey.”

The 42-year-old Rodriguez keeps raising his profile since missing the 2014 season because of a drug suspension. Along with his baseball broadcasting, he works as an adviser for the Yankees and often shows up on red carpets with girlfriend Jennifer Lopez.

Rodriguez’s new job led some to suggest on social media that someday he should follow Boone a third time, as manager of the Yankees. Shortly before the Yankees officially hired Boone, J-Lo posted on Instagram: “It couldn’t be clearer.#arodforyankeesmanager.”

The ESPN Sunday night crew will include play-by-play broadcaster Matt Vasgersian, analyst Jessica Mendoza and reporter Buster Olney.

Rodriguez and the new crew make its debut on Thursday, March 29, when the San Francisco Giants visit the Los Angeles Dodgers on opening day. The first Sunday night telecast is Giants-Dodgers on April 1.

“Alex’s achievements as a player speak for themselves, and I’ve been greatly impressed by the passion and dedication he has put into his broadcasting career,” Mendoza said.

Vasgersian replaces Dan Shulman, who had been the play-by-play voice on Sunday nights for seven seasons.

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