For the first time, sportscasting giants Bob Costas and Al Michaels team up to call a baseball game.
Friday night, NBC Sports colleagues Costas and Michaels will join forces in the booth for the New York Mets at the San Francisco Giants on the MLB Network at 10 p.m.
Costas is the cable network’s signature personality hosting interview show Studio 42, along with providing occasional play-by-play for Thursday Night Baseball.
As for Michaels, this ends a 16-year void away from announcing baseball.
With the game blacked out in local markets, Major League Baseball is making sure everyone a chance to watch this historic pairing. They will appear on SNY (and Comcast SportsNet Bay) during the evening, alternating with home team announcers on the MLB Network.
“It’s going to be fun,” Cohen says in a conference call. “I know it’s going to be great fun for the SNY viewers to see Bob and Al and hear what they have to say.”
Tony Petitti, MLB Network president and CEO, says this was eight months in the making.
“We thought it would be a great thing for baseball fans to have Al back doing baseball.”
Petitti says Costas came up with the idea.
As for the formatics, after taking turns with the play-by-play for the first three innings on MLB, the dream duo switches to SNY. Costas calls the fourth inning, while Michaels will handle the fifth inning. During that time, Cohen and Ron Darlingwill keep the seats warm on the MLB Network–calling the action nationally.
“People get caught up a little bit on –there has to be a play-by-play man and there has to be a color man,” Costas says.
As for Michaels, widely regarded as one of the top play-by-play announcers of his era, he had to prep in double time.
“I’ve spent more time with Gary Cohen, Ron Darling, and Keith Hernandez [and the Giants announcers] then I have with my family,” Michaels says.
Since Michaels joined NBC in 2006, he and Costas have managed more air time together (Olympics and Sunday Night Football). But they had never been the broadcast booth together—with one exception.
Multiple Emmy Award winners, Costas and Michaels appeared on screen side-by-side calling the action in the 1998 movie Baseketball.
Michaels says he just received another $1.97 residual check for his work.
“It’s the gift that keeps on giving,” Michaels laughed.
Photo courtesy of baseballdigest.com