Adam Wainwright showed some potential in his Fox Sports game analyst debut this week, but he represents how hard it is to find MLB’s Tony Romo.
With baseball players making more than set-for-life money, many don’t want to commit to a full-time post-career job and don’t have to because of their earnings. Wainwright, 39, has made more than $141 million as a pitcher, according to baseballreference.com.
He is in FS1’s booth with Adam Amin and A.J. Pierzynski for the Braves-Marlins series. In Game 1, he had some nice moments, none more so than when he touted former Met Travis d’Arnaud’s sneaky power before d’Arnaud broke the game open with a three-run bomb.
When Wainwright decides to stop pitching for the Cardinals, he figures to be a candidate for local and national networks, but he may not want to make the full-time commitment as, after years on the road he wants to be home with his wife and kids.
If it were possible, he’d be interested in a “pick your schedule” type of commitment.
“It would be a fun way to stay in the game,” Wainwright told The Post. “I’m not looking to have an everyday job that takes me away from my family again.”
Top NBA players, from Charles Barkley to Shaquille O’Neal to Dwyane Wade, seem to want to be a part of the action. Elite NFL quarterbacks have the option and some commit. Some famously don’t, like Peyton Manning, who doesn’t need to do it.
Baseball is more time consuming and the money — while significant, as it can run into the seven figures — is much less; especially in light of how much players make in their long careers.
So Wainwright showed some signs he may have something in his debut. He grew up in Georgia a Braves fan, wearing a Dale Murphy jersey and cutting out the clippings whenever Greg Maddux, John Smoltz or Tom Glavine had any insights in the paper. He and his brother, Trey, used to impersonate TBS’ Skip Caray.
“At the end of the day, I love to watch baseball and I’m kind of a story-teller so they seemed to go hand-and-hand,” Wainwright said.
Wainwright is, of course, a part of New York baseball lore. In what he calls his greatest moment on a field, he struck out Carlos Beltran looking on a curveball with the bases loaded to end Game 7 of the 2006 NLCS.
At the end of the interview with The Post, he wanted to pass along a message.
“Thanks for the time,” Wainwright said. “Please extend regards to the Met fans. Tell them, no hard feelings. Katz’s Deli is one of my favorite places ever. Being there to eat that incredible food and experience the life there are some of my favorite days every year. No hard feelings. Hopefully, they don’t hate me too much.’”
Brian Anderson and Ron Darling are OK on TBS’ ALDS series, but what stands out is how much Darling misses Gary Cohen and Keith Hernandez, his Mets partners. The trio just yuck it up all regular season. Then, the playoffs come, and Darling is a bit dry as an analyst.
The other aspect the Anderson/Darling combo needs to fix is to not act as if this is the first time baseball fans are watching these teams. National broadcasters should to pick up the storylines where they are, not where they were.
In Game 2’s big decision regarding Devi Garcia’s removal after the first inning, the duo was assigning blame to Boone when any Yankee fan knows it is an organizational decision that starts and likely ends with Brian Cashman. TBS’ top crew should have, too. … ESPN made a mistake letting Amin go. He’s already Fox’s No. 3 NFL and MLB play-by-player and sounds like he belongs there. … Alex Rodriguez is much better in studio than on games, as he showed with his rant on the Yankees’ front office Wednesday night on FS1. He is just better in small, prepared bites.
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