Perhaps no one had a more hectic 2021 baseball season than broadcaster Matt Vasgersian. In his first year with the Los Angeles Angels, he had to split time between them, MLB Network, and ESPN for Sunday Night Baseball.
All of that work led to him being able to call just around 60 Angels games in 2021. And while Vasgersian is one of the best in the business, it does no good for the Angels to only have him for one-third of the season.
Next season, he has already announced that he will no longer do any work for ESPN, leaving a hole in the Sunday Night Baseball booth but opening up more time for the Angels, according to Jeff Fletcher of The O.C. Register:
“I knew I had to make some choices, and there was no way I could continue doing these three things another season,” Vasgersian said by phone on Thursday. “I went into this season knowing it was a one-year thing that way.”
His plan for 2022 is to work closer to 90 Angels games. The reason for this increase, Vasgersian revealed, is a strong preference for local, team-based broadcasts over national ones.
“It just feels better to be able to root,” Vasgersian said. “I believe this firmly: us vs. them is much more enjoyable than them vs. them. It’s the way it’s supposed to be. The appeal of baseball is only as strong as its regional value. While there will always be a place for a national presentation of the game – MLB Network and ESPN – it’s all about the regions. They care about baseball the most.”
Not only that, Vasgersian appears to have genuinely enjoyed his one season with the Angels thus far. This is in spite of the team having a disappointing season and playing mostly meaningless games for the final six weeks of the season.
“I like the whole vibe around the Angels,” he said. “Everything from the player roster to the people in the front office. I like the Bally people. It feels very good. Very organic.”
Because of all of this, Vasgersian being available to do more games is a huge win for him and for the fans. He is undoubtedly one of the best play-by-play people in the business, and he, Mark Gubicza, and Jose Mota have a natural chemistry.
The Angels will also have to figure out their plan for the other 70 or so games that Vasgersian is with MLB Network. In 2021, Daron Sutton was the main replacement for the first half of the season. But he was let go at the All-Star break and replaced with Rich Waltz. Patrick O’Neal also did a handful of games in September.
Perry Minasian focusing on injury prevention this offseason
Beyond potentially signing big names and bringing in new players via trade, the Angels also have to make some internal changes this offseason. One of the changes, according to Perry Minasian, is to look at training regimens to figure out a root cause for all the injuries.
Perhaps there is a flaw within the organization that is leading to more injuries and longer recoveries, two things the Angels plan on finding a solution to before 2022.