It has been roughly four weeks since MLB and commissioner Rob Manfred disciplined the Astros for their sign-stealing scandal. Mike Fiers blew the whistle on his former team in November, prompting the investigation. The Astros were fined and will forfeit draft picks, and manager A.J. Hinch and GM Jeff Luhnow lost their jobs.
Soon after MLB's discipline was announced, ESPN analyst and Mets advisor Jessica Mendoza ripped Fiers, saying it would be "hard to swallow" a former teammate going public with a cheating scandal. What happens in the clubhouse should stay in the clubhouse, essentially. "Honestly it made me sad for the sport that that's how this all got found out," she said.
On Friday, Mendoza stepped down from her role with the Mets, GM Brodie Van Wagenen announced. She has also been demoted out of ESPN's "Sunday Night Baseball" broadcast booth, according to Andrew Marchand of the New York Post. Van Wagenen released the following statement Friday:
"We have enjoyed our relationship with Jessica and appreciate all her contributions and insight over the past year. We are excited for her expanded role at ESPN and fully understand and support her need to fully invest her time in all the new platforms. We have such respect and value her baseball insight and know her impact on the game of baseball is just beginning."
The Mets hired Mendoza last March and she remained on the "Sunday Night Baseball" broadcast despite the obvious conflicts of interest. That's a fairly common arrangement, however. Alex Rodriguez was an advisor with the Yankees in 2017 while part of the booth and current players serve as guest analysts throughout the postseason on various networks.
Marchand says ESPN has yet to finalize its "Sunday Night Baseball" booth. Matt Vasgersian has handled play-by-play with Mendoza and A-Rod as analysts the last three seasons. It could be a two-man booth with Vasgersian and Rodriguez, or there could be a new group entirely. Marchand says YES Network analyst David Cone is under consideration.