ESPN continues to revamp its signature Major League Baseball franchises with the introduction of new Monday and Wednesday Night Baseball commentator teams in 2011. Sean McDonough will return to MLB in a season-long role as the play-by-play voice of Monday Night Baseball, joined by analysts Aaron Boone and Rick Sutcliffe. Play-by-play commentator Dave O’Brien and analyst Nomar Garciaparra will form the new Wednesday Night Baseball team. In addition to their game responsibilities, Boone, Sutcliffe and Garciaparra will contribute to Baseball Tonight throughout the season.
McDonough has contributed to ESPN’s Spring Training and Opening Day telecasts, along with the College World Series, since 2000. He called MLB games for the network, primarily Wednesday Night Baseball, from 1990-95. McDonough will continue to provide commentary for ESPN college basketball and football telecasts, the College World Series and select golf events.
Last season, ESPN’s Monday Night Baseball commentator team included Dan Shulman and analysts Boone and Chris Singleton. Shulman will be calling Sunday Night Baseball telecasts this season with analysts Orel Hershiser and Bobby Valentine. Singleton will be paired with play-by-play commentator Jon Sciambi on ESPN Radio’s Sunday Night Baseball broadcasts. O’Brien and Sutcliffe mainly called Wednesday Night Baseball games in 2010, with Garciaparra joining them for select telecasts.
In addition to his ESPN responsibilities, McDonough has previously been the main play-by-play commentator for CBS’ MLB coverage (1992-93), calling regular-season games, the All-Star Game, NLCS and World Series. With CBS, at age 30, McDonough became the youngest announcer to broadcast all nine innings of the World Series (since surpassed by Joe Buck at age 27). McDonough was the television voice of the Boston Red Sox for 17 seasons (1988-2004).
In addition to Monday Night Baseball, Sutcliffe will contribute to Baseball Tonight this season. Sutcliffe, a former Cy Young Award winner, joined ESPN in 1998 and has most recently been paired with O’Brien on Wednesday Night Baseball (2008-10) and Monday Night Baseball (2002-07). Sutcliffe served as an ESPN Radio analyst from 1999-2001. He has also provided analysis for MLB’s international coverage of the All-Star Game and World Series for several years.
Boone joined ESPN in 2010 following a 12-year Major League Baseball career. He will return for his second full season in the Monday Night Baseball booth, while also contributing to Baseball Tonight throughout the season. Boone worked for ESPN Radio as a guest analyst during the 2009 National League Division Series.
O’Brien joined ESPN in 2002 and has served as the play-by-play voice of Monday Night Baseball (2002-07) and Wednesday Night Baseball (since 2008). O’Brien called ESPN-produced Division Series games airing on ABC Family in 2002. He had the call for both of Barry Bonds’ historic home runs – Nos. 755 and 756 – in 2007 on ESPN. He has also provided commentary for MLB’s international coverage of the World Series.
In addition to being a Wednesday Night Baseball analyst, Garciaparra will continue to contribute to Baseball Tonight. Garciaparra, a six-time MLB All-Star, joined ESPN in 2010. He primarily contributed to Baseball Tonight and select Wednesday Night Baseball telecasts last season.