A-Rod, ESPN roasted over cheesesteak bit during Braves-Phillies telecast
Alex Rodriguez and the “Sunday Night Baseball” crew are getting mocked and ridiculed over a clumsy bit devoted to cheesesteaks during the telecast of the Philadelphia Phillies-Atlanta Braves game.
ESPN was in Philadelphia for Sunday’s nationally televised tilt at Citizens Bank Park, and as broadcast crews are wont to do when paying a visit to the City of Brotherly Love, opted to highlight the tired, hammy and cliched link between the town and cheesesteaks.
How the scene played out, as described by Philly.com.
During the fifth inning of Sunday’s game, reporter Buster Olney joked that he was busting his tail running around a freezing Citizens Bank Park while Rodriguez and his broadcast partners — Vasgersian and Jessica Mendoza — were relaxing in the booth enjoying cheesesteaks.
“Alex is out, man. He’s like two sandwiches in at this point,” said Mendoza, who was confused when her cheesesteak was served with marinara sauce.
“This is the greatest cheese sandwich I’ve ever had. It’s amazing.” Rodriguez responded.
To no surprise, A-Rod, Matt Vasgersian, Jessica Mendoza and company were raked over the coals on social media for going down that well-traveled road, especially due to the overall awkwardness of the entire spectacle, which included Rodriguez and Vasgersian trying to speak “Philadelphian” while eating cheesesteaks.
Did Alex Rodriguez just refer to a cheesesteak as a “cheese sandwich?” These rubes are acting like it’s the most exotic thing they ever ate.— Glen Macnow (@RealGlenMacnow) April 1, 2019
They just did a bit where the three of them ate Philly Cheesesteaks. So wildly original and cutting edge.— Jimmy Traina (@JimmyTraina) April 1, 2019
Vasgersian was also mocked for screwing up cheesesteak vernacular, saying, “If this were summer, the ball would have been out of here and covered in wiz wit’ sauce.”
In this episode, Mac and Dennis give up on watching Bryce Harper play the Braves on ESPN Sunday Night Baseball to find this "Wiz Wit Sauce" that Matt Vasgersian speaks of. #Phillies pic.twitter.com/jIuU9QvGFx— Jimmy's Jargon (@jimmysjargon) April 1, 2019
The awkwardness of it all continued beyond the realm of cheesesteaks on two fronts. First, A-Rod was left a bit startled when the Phillie Phanatic paid a seemingly unannounced visit to the broadcast booth.
The Phanatic had @AROD shook. pic.twitter.com/0aMFuvDPep— Cut4 (@Cut4) April 1, 2019
Rodriguez also was dragged for referring to Phillies first baseman Rhys Hoskins as “Haskins,” which elicited an unfavorable comparison to fellow ESPN property “Monday Night Football” and Jason Witten’s ill-fated and disastrous sole season in the booth in 2018.
Which is the worse network broadcast crew?— WIP Morning Show (@WIPMorningShow) April 1, 2019
Much like the ballplayers they are covering, baseball broadcasters presently are still attempting to find their groove or zone so early on in the season.
Perhaps A-Rod and the “Sunday Night Baseball” gang will tighten things up a bit as the season progresses, or at the very least opt against talking cheesesteaks during a later visit to Philly.