Curt Schilling's recent suspension from Sunday Night Baseball has opened the door for another up and coming analyst. Jessica Mendoza, who recently became the first woman to break down a baseball game in an ESPN booth, will sit in for Schilling this week.
Jessica Mendoza will sit in for ESPN's Curt Schilling this Sunday on Cubs-Dodgers game.
— Richard Sandomir (@RichSandomir) August 27, 2015
Schilling was suspended by ESPN after sending out an insensitive tweet comparing Muslims to the Nazi Party. As a result, he was pulled from his coverage of the Little League World Series as well as his usual role as a Sunday Night Baseball analyst.
Schilling's suspension allows Mendoza to continue her rise through the broadcasting ranks. Mendoza filled in for Aaron Boone during last week's Arizona Diamondbacks vs St. Louis Cardinals game on ESPN2, and obviously made an impression on her bosses.
Mendoza is more than qualified for the position. She was a two-time Olympic medalist while playing for the U.S. softball team. She has also appeared as an analyst on ESPN's Baseball Tonight.
It will be interesting to see how Mendoza fits in with John Kruk and Dan Schulman in the booth. Schilling typically does a good job breaking down pitchers, so ESPN might miss some of that, but he often talks about his playing days with Kruk and playfully insults his former teammate.
Mendoza has different experiences, and did not play on the 1992 Phillies, so she should be able to provide some new and interesting view points. Having Mendoza around might even enhance Kruk's ability to break down a game since he won't have to deal with Schilling's constant ribbing. That's just speculation, of course.
Mendoza's opportunity certainly feels like a significant step for female broadcasters. While we shouldn't judge her based on this one game, you get the sense that this is not the last time we're going to see Mendoza break down a game on national television.
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