The Mets keep adding familiar faces, even if they won’t appear on the field.
A day after welcoming part of their own past in Al Leiter and John Franco as baseball operations advisers, the Mets welcomed part of ESPN’s present in Jessica Mendoza, who will have the same title and help in “areas of player evaluation, roster construction, technological advancement and health and performance,” the Mets said in a statement Tuesday.
“I was an outside-the-box hire and I have been a believer in getting new voices and fresh perspectives in the room, especially when you are making decisions,” Mets GM Brodie Van Wagenen said in Port St. Lucie. “And Jessica has a very high baseball IQ. She has aptitude to learn anything. And she knows the game. Like Al Leiter, like David Wright, like John Franco she’s a winner. … She has clearly has elevated herself to show she knows baseball inside and out.”
Mendoza, who will be keeping her analyst job on “Sunday Night Baseball,” was a gold medal-winning softball player for the US.
“She is a pioneer. When I interviewed for this job, I had a list of people on my wish list that if we can bring in fresh perspectives and people that had talent and talent that can grow and evolve in the game, we should do that,” said Van Wagenen, who, like Mendoza, is a Stanford graduate. “Jessica was in my first presentation to Mets ownership. I’m excited to be able to make it a reality.”
How the 38-year-old will balance working for a team and a network will be interesting to see.
“I am excited to work with Brodie and his team and am thrilled to be associated with the Mets and their storied history,” said Mendoza, who is represented by CAA, Van Wagenen’s former agency. “I’ve known Brodie and Jeff Wilpon for years now and I’m honored to be a small part of the organization. I would also like to thank ESPN and Disney for their understanding and confidence as I balance both tasks moving forward. Baseball is a passion of mine and I look forward to expanding on my love for the game.”
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