Friday, April 06, 2007

Ripken finally comes to TV on TBS
By: Jim Williams
The Examiner
April 5, 2007

As I reported prior to the first of the year Orioles great and Hall of Fame, class of 2007 member Cal Ripken, Jr will be joining the new Turner Sports baseball broadcast team signing a long term deal with the network today.

For five years ESPN, FOX, COMCAST and MASN have all been courting Ripken but the right fit did not come about until Turner Sports made him what he called the ‘The perfect fit.’

Ripken will be joined at Turner by fellow new Hall of Fame member Tony Gwynn.

The duo will be part of the brand new Turner Sports Major League Baseball coverage team for the National and American League Divisional Series as well as the National League Championship Series. They will also work together on the networks Hall of Fame Selection Show July 1st.

I asked Cal if the real reason he took the Turner job was to improve the quality of his legendary pick up basketball games. “Well I have spoken to Charles Barkley, Magic Johnson and Kenny Smith and they are in so yes it is a perk of the job.’

‘All kidding aside Turner Sports gave me a wonderful chance to be an in studio analyst with a pro like Erie Johnson, Jr, talking baseball and the schedule allows me to continue to be with my family and to oversea my business interests. But I am really looking forward to this new challenge, being a part of Turner Sports during baseball’s jewel events is very exciting and a real thrill, something I can’t wait to be a part for many years to come.”

Ripken will join Ernie Johnson, J.r. as part of a brand new studio pre game show that will patterned after the very successful and popular NBA show. There is a chance that he may do some selected telecast as a game analyst but his main role will be in the studio.

Gwynn becomes the lead analyst with Chip Carey on the TBS game telecasts. The network will be adding other broadcasters to their roster later in the season.

In 2008 TBS will be home to The Sunday Afternoon Game of Week that will see the Super Station drop the Braves to do a complete 26 week package of national telecasts featuring a mixture of the all teams in Major League Baseball.

The team of Ripken and Jonson will handle the pre game studio show but Gwynn who is the head baseball coach at San Diego State is un sure about doing a full season of games and has adopted a wait and see attitude. He did do a full slate of games for ESPN before taking the college coaching job.

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