ESPN's Matt Schick And Mike Rooney Join The Baseball America College Podcast
The cancellation of the college baseball season will leave college baseball fans feeling a little bit wistful this weekend, as it should have been regional weekend, the official kick-off of the road to Omaha. That means no regional upsets, no legendary postseason performances and in a few weeks, it will mean no College World Series.
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But it also means no ESPN Bases Loaded, the complementary program the network produces to help college baseball diehards keep up with all 16 regional sites at once. That's a loss for college baseball fans, but it might be an even bigger loss for two of its biggest proponents, ESPN's Matt Schick and Mike Rooney, who team up to bring fans that coverage.
In this episode of the Baseball America College Podcast, Teddy Cahill and Joe Healy are joined by Schick and Rooney to go behind the scenes of the Bases Loaded production and to talk about what makes the show work so well.
Additionally, Rooney gives his thoughts on a couple of big-picture topics in the sport, the new college baseball model proposal put forth by a group of coaches, led by Michigan's Erik Bakich, and his thoughts on moving to a 32-host model for the NCAA Tournament rather than the traditional 16-host model that has been used for the last 20-plus years.
Among the topics discussed on the episode are:
- How Schick and Rooney came to be the primary duo hosting Bases Loaded every regional weekend
- The biggest challenge in serving as the point guard of the production and trying to stay on top of 16 regional sites all at once
- How much of the decision-making process of what games to show and when is done on the fly versus being scripted out ahead of time
- Rooney's "Tork Bomb" prediction from the 2019 regional weekend
- How the hosts find time to eat when they're going to be on the air for hours at a time
- How the following for Bases Loaded has grown in the last few years
- Rooney's thoughts on the new college baseball model
- Rooney's long-held belief in using a 32-host model for the NCAA Tournament
- How a 32-host format could benefit mid and low-major teams and bring college baseball to a wider swath of the country