Saturday, May 09, 2009
Jeanne Zelasko, Mark Sweeney To Join Dodgers Broadcast Booth On Wednesdays
LOS ANGELES – The Los Angeles Dodgers will debut their DodgersWIN broadcast on May 20, with former FOX baseball anchor Jeanne Zelasko handling the play-by-play duties alongside former Dodger Mark Sweeney, who will serve as the analyst. The program, believed to be the first of its kind in Major League Baseball, will continue for each Wednesday home game for the remainder of the season, with the live audio feed available for free at www.dodgers.com/win.It's not clear to me whether they plan on replacing Vin Scully on Wednesdays or not. Or is this a second program?
DodgersWIN (Women's Initiatives Network) is a network of initiatives to bring women closer to the game and to bring the game closer to their lifestyles. The program, created by Dodger Chief Executive Officer Jamie McCourt, is a fundamental component of the Dodgers' active participation in the community.
“We are thrilled to welcome Jeanne to the Dodger family,” said McCourt. “Her track record and knowledge of the game speaks for itself, and as a mother, she’ll be able to bring a unique perspective to our WIN broadcasts and help spread her love of baseball to fans around the world.”
Zelasko is a versatile journalist who has garnered a broad array of experience during her career. Most notably, from May 2001 until October 2008, she hosted the Emmy Award-winning FOX Saturday Baseball Game of the Week pre-game show. In addition to covering numerous All-Star Games and World Series for the network, she has also served as an assignment reporter for the network, covering a variety of sports including the NFL, NHL, college basketball, and auto racing.
In addition to her work on the WIN broadcast and as a contributor to other elements of the Women’s Initiatives Network, Zelasko will meet with WIN members before games each Wednesday. Fans will also be able to ask questions of Zelasko and Sweeney in the booth by emailing WINBroadcast@ladodgers.com.
A cancer survivor, Zelasko has dedicated her time and efforts to raising money and awareness for cancer-related causes and will also serve as a spokesperson for ThinkCure!, the Dodgers’ official charity. ThinkCure! was created in 2007 by the Dodgers, the McCourt Family, City of Hope, and Childrens Hospital Los Angeles as an innovative effort that accelerates collaborative research to cure cancer.
Sweeney will serve as an analyst in addition to his duties as an assistant coach for the club. The former Major Leaguer retired as a player in March after a successful 14-season career that concluded with him ranking second on the all-time pinch-hit list (175). In his current role as a coach, Sweeney serves as a liaison between the Dodgers’ advance scout and the club, including series preparation.
The duo will call the games from Dodger Stadium’s Vin Scully Press Box and will give Dodger fans around the world six different broadcast options available on dodgers.com. In addition to the MLB.TV package that allows fans outside the Los Angeles market to watch the broadcasts from the team’s rightsholders, KCAL 9 and PRIME TICKET, fans also can hear streaming audio in English and Spanish from the team’s radio partners, KABC 790 and KHJ/La Ranchera 930.
Last month, the Dodgers announced a first-of-its-kind Jr. Dodgers broadcast, giving young aspiring broadcasters an opportunity to hone their skills by calling actual games from Dodger Stadium. The audio-only broadcast is available at all Sunday home games throughout the 2009 season.
Update: Zelasko will also be working with a kids program called "Jr. Dodgers", a monthly show to run before Sunday games.
In the pilot, Clayton Kershaw teaches the fundamentals of pitching; James McDonald and Xavier Paul answer questions from a group of children; a young reporter covers how the team's equipment moves from Dodger Stadium to Camelback Ranch - Glendale; and Orlando Hudson pays a special visit to Danny's Farm, created by former Dodger Jim Gott as a place where children, particularly those with special needs, can interact with animals.