David Cone quickly settled into the first season of ESPN’s new Sunday Night Baseball booth with Karl Ravech and Eduardo Perez.
One of the unique tricks they have worked out to high praise is that players are regularly miked while playing on the field – during the game.
“That’s part of the appeal — that something can happen while they’re talking to us,” Cone told The Post on Tuesday. “You can almost hear the players’ breathing and heartbeats through the microphones. Francisco Lindor hit the bull’s eye last week.”
There’s the potential train wreck element – what happens if a player is in the middle of answering a question from Ravech and they make a mistake? While that’s a dream scenario for sports media aggregators, Cone strongly wishes against it.
“I just hope nothing awkward happens that it becomes a distraction because getting to know players’ personalities is such a great feature,” he said.
Cone recognized that this is a new feature and credited Joey Votto, who served as the experiment’s guinea pig, for how much fun it could be.
“It used to be more of an innings thing,” he said. “Someone should be miked during a game. We’ve done that a bit, but I think the fact that Joey Votto did such a great job the first night we did it kind of showed some players that this is fun and really worth it can contribute to the development of the game. You get to see a different side of players. The excitement is palpable. I’m almost a bit afraid to ask the players a question because I don’t want to be a distraction in the middle of the game. Karl does everything great.”
Cone first joined the YES Network booth in 2008, so he had extensive experience in broadcasting before making the jump to ESPN. Still, there is a big difference between local and national games. With YES, he speaks to the same audiences who are most familiar with the Yankees, while on ESPN he speaks to a national audience.
“It’s obviously a much broader field in terms of preparation and knowledge from a lot more teams,” he said of attending domestic games. “The crew that we have at ESPN is amazing.”
The 1994 AL Cy Young winner praised play-by-play man Karl Ravech and color commentator Eduardo Perez as “fantastic” and “generous.”
“The team behind the scenes at Sunday Night Baseball is great too,” he said. “I have all the information I need. It’s trying to find ways to fit it into a show and not force it. I don’t lack resources at all.”
Regarding YES, Cone’s former Yankees teammate Paul O’Neill has been televising games from his home because he is unvaccinated. Cone said he wasn’t privy to all of the specific circumstances, but he hopes O’Neill can return to the dressing room.
“I’m not sure what the details are behind the situation — whether or not he’s on a TUE, or if there’s something else going on there,” he said. “I am not privy to this information. But I miss him. I know that. He’s such a big part of the Yankees and our show and I would definitely love to see him again.
Cone also had kind words for YES’ new color commentators, Cameron Maybin and Carlos Beltran.
“I like both a lot,” he said. “Maybin has a tremendous personality. He’s really enjoying the transition from playing to playing along and having the chance to do so Yes, really Good.
“And Beltran is one of the smartest people I know. He’s highly regarded in the clubhouse. I love having fresh voices, especially younger guys who aren’t too far from the game. It’s a very different perspective in today’s game that’s really important.”
Maybin and Beltran have been teammates or faced many players they talk about. This is in contrast to Cone, who last played in 2003; Albert Pujols and Oliver Perez are the last remaining players to feature this season.
“It’s almost like a different retirement,” he admitted. “There’s basically no one I’ve played against anymore. It’s a different kind of depression. It makes me appreciate the six degrees of separation, so to speak, as I see Adam Wainwright continue to excel at the age of 40.
https://nypost.com/2022/05/04/david-cone-discusses-espn-booth-paul-oneill-yes-situation/ David Cone Discusses ESPN Stand, Paul O’Neill YES Situation