MLB international team gives booth to FOX
KANSAS CITY -- Matt Vasgersian passed the time during his unexpected break in Game 1 of the World Series on Tuesday night by brainstorming ways to booby-trap his friends' broadcast booth.
"In the end," Vasgersian said with a smile, "I decided against."
Vasgersian, a play-by-play man and studio host for MLB Network, is calling World Series games alongside Hall of Famer John Smoltz for Major League Baseball's international feed, which is sent to points around the world via the American Forces Network and other outlets. When the FOX broadcast was knocked off the air by an electronics failure in the fourth inning on Tuesday, the network briefly picked up the call of Vasgersian and Smoltz for its North American broadcast. An inning later, the FOX team of Joe Buck, Harold Reynolds and Tom Verducci moved into the international booth and took over.
Temporarily displaced, Vasgersian and Smoltz shifted to the empty FOX booth to continue following the game. After about two innings, FOX regained its feed and everyone returned to their original stations.
"Zero hard feelings," Vasgersian said. "John wasn't mad, either. We both get it."
Had Vasgersian ever been bumped from the broadcast booth before Tuesday?
"No, but I'll tell you what, I came close one time in Milwaukee," said Vasgersian, who once called Brewers games on television alongside analyst Bill Schroeder.
"We were in L.A. doing a game, and they had a charity Hollywood all-star softball game afterward. I knew Jimmy Kimmel a little bit at the time, and I thought it would be funny to have him and 'Super Dave' Osborne [comedian Bob Einstein] come up and call an inning. And my dumb idea was, I thought it would be funny if we came back from break and it was them doing the game, with no announcement or anything."
The plan went awry. Chan Ho Park was pitching for the Dodgers that day, and Kimmel and Einstein almost immediately launched into an inappropriate riff about Korean cuisine.
"I stood in the back of the booth with my hand on my face, like, 'Oh my gosh,'" Vasgersian said. "It didn't go over well. That was as close as I'd ever come from being removed from a telecast."