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Pedro Martinez: ‘I Have A Lot To Learn To Be Like Charles Barkley’

“Chuck is a special breed, you know? Chuck is a special breed.”

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Charles Barkley and the rest of the Inside the NBA crew have new contracts from Warner Bros. Discovery. Chuck’s in particular is said to be very lucrative. Certainly it is the kind of thing that raised the eyebrows of other Turner Sports personalities. Pedro Martinez said the money would be nice, but he is not on that level yet.

“Chuck is a special breed, you know? Chuck is a special breed,” he said on the latest edition of the Marchand and Ourand podcast. “I hope someday I can be like him, but I still have a lot to learn.”

Turner Sports would certainly like to see an analyst for all of the sports they cover emerge as a Barkley-like figure – someone who is brutally honest and funny while also being highly educated about the game.

Pedro Martinez seemed like a safe bet to fit that description in the baseball world. He admitted that there were some similarities between he and Charles Barkley in the way they dealt with the media during their playing days.

“I never was able to hide my thoughts, my feelings to whatever situation there was,” he said. “There were some misunderstandings. I don’t think anyone ever imagined that I was the person I was when I took the uniform off, because on my days to pitch, I did not want to have friends. I did not want to talk to anybody. I was just just a team player and I wanted to protect my players and I wanted to do whatever it took to beat the opposition.”

Martinez described himself as “a geek” in all matters of baseball. He finds every aspect of the game fascinating and is grateful to have the opportunity to earn a living talking about the game. He thinks that is possible because even the reporters and fans that may not have loved him during his playing days recognized that he never mislead them.

“When you’re really honest and you speak your mind and you’re gonna say what you’re gonna say, even when you call the Yankees your daddy, I think the media loves it. I think the media appreciates an honest answer and I always gave an honest answer and a true answer. I would not hide from answering whatever question you have.”

Sports TV News

Al Michaels: Condensed Prep Time For Thursday Night Football ‘A Downside’

“It’s not that they don’t want to be with us, but they’re condensed too, so there’s less time to give to us.”

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There were bound to be unexpected hiccups and unintended consequences as Al Michaels moved to Thursday Night Football with Amazon Prime Video.

He told The Boston Globe Thursday that one of the downsides of the week’s schedule is less prep time with the teams playing in the game.

“When we go to see the teams, it’s not that they don’t want to be with us, but they’re condensed too, so there’s less time to give to us,” Michaels said. “And all the time I’ve been doing this, I’ve built some great relationships with coaches and players and GMs and owners and you name it, and I don’t get that much time to spend with them anymore. That’s a downside part of it for me. Some of the best stories you get come from those relationships.”

Michaels has raised eyebrows this season while not being shy about his disdain for some poor matchups early in the schedule. However, he now understands that there are quality games as the season approaches its close.

“The schedule was a little leaky with the Carolina-Atlanta game and a couple of other games that we’ve had, but now we’re positioned for a nice run down the stretch,” said Michaels.

The 78-year-old was also asked how he remains energetic and passionate for the job he’s held for so long.

The games are exciting. I love sports. You don’t know what’s going to happen. There’s no script. And unscripted television is the greatest.”

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Sports TV News

Jimmy Pitaro: Reaching Younger Audience A Priority for ESPN

“The thing that keeps me up at night is how do we reach the younger audience. As an industry in general, we need to figure out how to be more relevant to younger people.”

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Many in the media industry have voice concern that millennials and Gen Z aren’t consuming traditional media outlets like previous generations. ESPN President Jimmy Pitaro said it’s a priority for the network.

“The thing that keeps me up at night is how do we reach the younger audience,” Pitaro said, quoted by Morning Consult sports business reporter Mark J. Burns. “As an industry in general, we need to figure out how to be more relevant to younger people.”

Pitaro made the comments at Sports Business Journal’s Media Innovators conference Wednesday. It is a continuation of comments he has made in recent years.

In 2018, Pitaro said at ESPN’s upfront “I think we are doing a fantastic job serving the sports fanatic,” said Pitaro. “What about the casual sports customer? Are we doing all we can to serve him or her?”.

In 2019, Pitaro said it was “all hands on deck” to reach a younger audience and women. “We have to be open and go to where our customers are,” he said in regards to reaching younger viewers on social media platforms like Instagram, Snapchat, and TikTok.

Earlier this year, Pitaro added that ESPN won’t be leaving linear television anytime soon.

“What I will tell you is that as I sit here right now, that business is still incredible,” Pitaro said. “We serve the sports fan anyway and at any time. I know there are a lot of people that still want ESPN in that traditional ecosystem.”

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Sports TV News

Don Mattingly Joining Blue Jays Staff After YES Network Courtship

The former Dodgers and Marlins manager had been mentioned as a someone YES Network was interested in potentially hiring to be an analyst.

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The New York Yankees regional sports network can take Don Mattingly off its talent wish list. Mattingly was announced Wednesday as a bench coach for the Toronto Blue Jays starting in 2023.

The former Dodgers and Marlins manager had been mentioned as a someone YES Network was interested in potentially hiring to be an analyst.

But Mattingly told Andrew Marchand of The New York Post this week that he had another opportunity in the works but wouldn’t elaborate.

YES also has been considering luring Yankees legend and Hall of Famer Derek Jeter into broadcasting. But no formal talks have taken place.

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