Pete Rose was ousted from Fox as a baseball analyst in August after allegations surfaced that he’d had sex with an underage girl back in the 1970s. Now, as Fox gets ready for the 2017 MLB postseason, it’s reportedly adding Keith Hernandez and David Ortiz to its high-powered team of analysts.
According to Sports Illustrated’s Jimmy Traina, Hernandez is one of Fox’s choice to join Alex Rodriguez, Frank Thomas and host Kevin Burkhardt on their award-winning playoff pre- and post-game show. Newsday, meanwhile, is reporting that Ortiz will also be added. An official announcement is expected soon from Fox.
Hernandez, 63, has plenty of experience as a broadcaster. He’s spent the last 12 years with SNY, where he’s an analyst for Mets games with Ron Darling and Gary Cohen. Ortiz is a bit more of a novice. He’s 41, in his first year of retirement after becoming an icon with the Boston Red Sox. Ortiz did work with Fox during the 2014 postseason and has a big enough personality for Fox to bet on him.
What’s left to be seen now is how Hernandez and Ortiz fit into the mix at Fox. Last season, they had something interesting going with A-Rod, Rose and Thomas. A-Rod was the breakout broadcast star of last year’s postseason, but it was Rose who often provided the wacky or viral moments. The show tried to recreate an “Inside the NBA”-type vibe for baseball fans and Rose was their Charles Barkley.
Hernandez is a little more old-school than A-Rod and Thomas, so he should fit the hole left by Rose in that respect. But Hernandez should also be a little more polished as a broadcaster than Rose was. Rose, 76, was best off the cuff. For instance, one of his best moments was a viral video in which he gave an impromptu hitting lesson to A-Rod and Thomas. Ortiz might best replace Rose’s spontaneity.
Rose’s time at Fox came to an end after a woman came forward with allegations that she and Rose carried on a sexual relationship when she was 15. (Legal age in Ohio was 16). The allegations surfaced as part of a lawsuit that Rose filed against John Dowd, whose investigation led to Rose’s banishment from MLB.
Dowd said in a 2015 interview that Rose committed statutory rape back in the 1970s with underage girls. Rose then sued Dowd for defamation. In defending himself against those charges, Dowd produced the sworn testimony. Rose — who was 34 and married at the time — acknowledged that he had an affair with the woman, but insisted she was 16.
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