Texas Rangers TV play-by-play announcer Dave Barnett expects to miss the rest of the season as he deals with an unspecified health issue.
Barnett, 54, who has been bothered by migraine headaches, took a leave of absence from the Fox Sports Southwest broadcasts on June 19 after his bizarre call in the eighth inning of a June 18 game. Rangers radio announcer Steve Busby since has joined analyst Tom Grieve on the TV broadcasts.
“I want to thank everyone for your kind sentiments and words of encouragement over the last couple of weeks,” Barnett said Monday in a statement released by the Rangers. “It has meant a lot to me during what has been a very difficult time. Effective immediately, for health reasons I will be taking an indefinite leave of absence from my broadcasting duties that I expect to last for the remainder of the season.”
In the June 18 game against the San Diego Padres, Barnett's description of the game became incoherent as Texas' Mike Adams pitched in the eighth inning.
“A 2-1 game, the tying run at second on a leadoff single by Chase Headley,” Barnett said. “The go-ahead run ... is at fifth, on what Adams is insisting on calling a botched robbery. What actually happened was his henchman took a piece literally out of ...” Barnett abruptly stopped, and then went on to finish the game.
Barnett, 54, took over as the Rangers' lead television play-by-play voice during the 2011 season after joining the radio broadcast team in 2009.
Matt Hicks will continue to work with Eric Nadel on the Rangers radio broadcasts.
Andrews jumps to Fox
ESPN sideline reporter Erin Andrews has jumped to Fox Sports to host a new prime-time college football pregame show and contribute to the network's NFL and MLB coverage. She will be part of the network's All-Star Game coverage July 10.
“Erin is one of the hardest-working, most-respected individuals in sports television and we expect her to have an immediate impact,” said Eric Shanks, executive producer, Fox Sports Media group.
Fox Sports' new 30-minute college football pregame show from Los Angeles leads into Fox Sports' first over-the-air college football package. The show will debut Sept. 1 as USC hosts Hawaii.
Andrews, 34, hosted the first hour of ESPN's “College GameDay” on ESPNU and also served as a sideline reporter for college football and basketball games.
— CBS' final-round coverage of the AT&T National, boosted by Tiger Woods third PGA Tour victory this season, delivered a 4.6 overnight household rating, up 188 percent from last year. The telecast got a 5.4 on KWTV-9.
— The Nathan's Hot Dog Eating Contest from Coney Island, N.Y., will air live at 11 a.m. Wednesday on ESPN3, and on delay at 2 p.m. on ESPN (following Wimbledon's men's coverage).
— NBA TV will televise the USA Basketball Selection Show, the official announcement of the 12 players who will represent USA Basketball in the Olympics, at 6 p.m. Saturday.