Since creating the president of baseball operations position to hire Andrew Friedman in 2014, the Los Angeles Dodgers have assembled one of the more diverse and expansive front offices across the sport.
The heralded group has seen recent departures of Alex Anthopoulos and Farhan Zaidi, who now lead baseball operations for the Atlanta Braves and San Francisco Giants, but the Dodgers nonetheless maintain a robust group of executives.
They of course aren’t alone in that area, with several teams taking to expanding their respective analytics departments and hiring outside counsel to provide insight and assist with the decision-making process.
But that’s created an interesting wrinkle for broadcasters Jessica Mendoza and David Ross. They are part of ESPN’s vast collection of broadcasters and covered games the Dodgers were part of this season.
According to Andrew Marchand of the New York Post, Mendoza being an adviser with the New York Mets and Ross’ role within the Chicago Cubs front office, prompted the Dodgers to limit their media access:
The Dodgers, for one, decided not to allow Mendoza or another ESPN analyst, David Ross — a Cubs adviser — to roam the clubhouse during media availability before games, according to sources. A Dodgers spokesman confirmed this policy.
Mendoza and Ross had to preset any interviews, because the Dodgers wanted to monitor the access of broadcasters working for other front offices.
Whether playing coy in setting pitching probables for a series or when discussing the lineup and potential future roster moves, the Dodgers have regularly worked to preserve any possible competitive advantage.
Thus, their erring on the side caution with Mendoza and Ross certainly doesn’t come as much of a surprise. It also can be presumed the Dodgers weren’t the only club to take such precaution.
Furthermore, the stance didn’t appear to have much of an impact, as the Dodgers appeared in an ESPN Sunday Night Baseball telecast on multiple occasions this season. Their matchup with the New York Yankees was among the network’s most-viewed weekly broadcasts in 2019.
Whether the delicate dance with Mendoza and Ross will continue into next season is unclear. Ross is among the managerial candidates the Cubs reportedly are considering, and Mendoza’s contract is expiring.