via press release:
Turner Sports Bolsters Talent Lineup for its
2013 Major League Baseball Postseason Coverage on TBS
Keith Olbermann to Host TBS’ Studio Coverage for 2013 MLB Postseason
Ron Darling Reaches Long-Term Extension with Turner Sports
Cal Ripken, Jr. Joins Ernie Johnson and Darling in Broadcast Booth
Furthering Turner Broadcasting’s longstanding commitment to leading coverage of the Major League Baseball (MLB) Postseason, David Levy, president of sales, distribution and sports, today announced key players in TBS’ 2013 coverage. Keith Olbermann has been named host of TBS’ Major League Baseball postseason studio show, joining analyst and Hall of Famer Dennis Eckersley. Additionally, Ron Darling, who joined TBS as an MLB analyst in 2008, has reached a long-term extension with Turner Sports.
Cal Ripken, Jr., a two-time MLB Most Valuable Player and Hall of Famer, will transition from the studio to the broadcast booth full time this postseason. Ripken, who primarily has served as a TBS studio analyst for the last six years, will join Ernie Johnson (play-by-play) and Darling as a three-man commentator team throughout the 2013 MLB Postseason, including the network’s coverage of the Division Series and exclusive telecast of the National League Championship Series.
In addition to his postseason role, Darling, who was a starter for the 1986 World Champion New York Mets, will continue to serve as an analyst for a portion of the network’s “Sunday MLB on TBS” regular season game schedule. Beginning in 2014, TBS will air afternoon games with new co-exist rights on the final 13 Sundays of the regular season as part of the network’s “Sunday MLB on TBS” Game of the Week package. Darling, a former 13-year MLB veteran and two-time Sports Emmy Award winner, also serves as an analyst for SNY’s coverage of the New York Mets.
Play-by-play commentator Brian Anderson and analyst John Smoltz, who enjoyed a stellar MLB career as both a starter and relief pitcher, will also team up during TBS’ coverage of the MLB Postseason as one of the network’s lead broadcast teams. Both Anderson, who serves as play-by-play announcer for the Milwaukee Brewers on FSN Wisconsin, and Smoltz, an eight-time All-Star, will continue to work a portion of the network’s “Sunday MLB on TBS” regular season game slate. Smoltz has served as both a game and studio analyst for MLB Network since 2010.
The trio of Johnson, Darling and Ripken and the team of Anderson and Smoltz will also serve as the broadcast pairings for TBS’ exclusive coverage of the MLB Wild Card games.
“We have put together two dynamic teams who, in their own unique voices, will provide fans with informative and entertaining game telecasts,” said Levy. “Ernie and Brian are two of the most accomplished baseball play-by-play announcers in the business today. Ron and John, with their combined 34 years of pitching experience, will continue to provide our viewers with great insights and opinions throughout the postseason. Cal made great contributions in the booth last season during the Division Series and we look forward to his expanded presence this year.”
Olbermann, a long-time, award-winning sports and news anchor and reporter, anchored ESPN’s SportsCenter from 1992 to 1997. Most recently, he served as a guest host of MLB Network’s Hot Stove. A noted baseball enthusiast, whose long media career began in the pages of the early baseball memorabilia magazines when he was just a teenager, Olbermann previously served as a studio host for both NBC’s (1997-98) and Fox’s (1999-2000) MLB Postseason coverage. During his tenure at Fox, the MLB studio show Olbermann anchored was nominated twice for an Emmy Award, winning in 1999 for the Best Sports Studio Show. Including his hosting work, Olbermann has covered 19 World Series and 28 MLB post-seasons during his career.
Olbermann’s television career started as a New York sports reporter/anchor for CNN from 1981-84. He later returned to the network as a sports and news reporter in 2001 and 2002. In addition to his on-air work, he has written regular baseball columns during his career for Sports Illustrated, Baseball America and MLB.com.
“It’s well known that Keith is a fan of the game and when you combine that with his studio experience, keen insight and passion for baseball and its history, he’ll add a new dimension to our MLB Postseason studio shows," Levy added. "We're excited to have him join Dennis in studio, and look forward to Keith sharing his in-depth knowledge of the game, MLB teams and players with our viewers for three great weeks in October."