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Matt Vasgersian (born September 28, 1967) is an Americanmarker sportscaster and television host. Vasgersian is the former television play-by-play announcer for the Milwaukee Brewers and the San Diego Padres, and lead announcer for the MLB Network. Vasgersian was also working for Fox Sports on their NFL and MLB coverage.

Early life and career

Vasgersian started his media career as a child actor. A member of the Screen Actors Guild at age seven, he appeared in an episode of The Streets of San Francisco and the movie The Candidate. A native Californianmarker of Armenian descent, Vasgersian graduated from the University of Southern Californiamarker where he was a member of the Chi Phi Fraternity. While a student at USC, he appeared on the The New Dating Game winning a trip to Telluride, CO. In , he began his career as a sportscaster with the Chicago Cubs Rookie league affiliate in Huntington, West Virginiamarker on radio station WKEE-AM 800 and was the voice of the High Desert Mavericks (Seattle Mariners affiliate) on radio station KAPL. He moved up the minor league baseball ranks over the next several years, working for various clubs in a number of different organizations, ending with the AAA Tucson Toros in 1996.

Major League Baseball

Vasgersian reached the majors as the television play-by-play announcer for the Milwaukee Brewers in , and moved to the Padres' TV booth in . His favorite ballpark is Wrigley Fieldmarker. He is also known for his home run tagline..."Santa Maria!"

During a May 10, 2006, San Diego Padres broadcast on Channel 4 San Diego, Vasgersian was on the receiving end of a bizarre guest appearance by Cy Young Award winning pitcher Rick Sutcliffe. Sutcliffe dropped by the booth late in the game and was welcomed by Vasgersian and fellow announcer Mark "Mud" Grant. After exchanging pleasantries, Sutcliffe rambled on about George Clooney's work in Sudan'smarker Darfurmarker conflict and then asked Vasgersian: "Matty, what are you still doing here in San Diegomarker?... ...everybody on Earth has been trying to steal you -- the Dodgers, the Cubs, ESPN. What are you still doing here?" Eventually, Sutcliffe's microphone was turned off.

In an August, 2007 broadcast of a Padres game in St. Louismarker, Vasgersian made a series of negative comments about the city when he apparently thought his microphone was switched off. Vasgersian later gave a "mea culpa" for the incident. The city would later be brought up in an interview in the St. Louis Post-Dispatch that games he covered such as the San Francisco 49ers-St. Louis Rams game on December 21, 2008, especially with the Rams in the midst of a dreadful season that he and partner J.C. Pearson knew "how to polish up a turd pretty good" and said that the Edward Jones Domemarker was "dreary" and "that there's no energy in there."

On November 1, 2008, during a broadcast of the San Diego CIF High School Football Game of the Week, Channel 4 announced that Vasgersian would not be returning as a Padres announcer for the 2009 season, having chosen to pursue other opportunities. Later that week, it was reported that Vasgersian had signed a deal with MLB Network to become that channel's first studio host.

Vasgersian has been a studio host at MLB Network since November 2008, appearing regularly on "MLB Tonight," the network's live nightly studio show, and "Thursday Night Baseball." Vasgersian's controversial remarks continued on MLB Network. On March 3, 2009, while participating in a live chat with Harold Reynolds on MLB Network, Vasgersian misidentified Fernando Valenzuela as Fernando Vina. When corrected by Reynolds, Vasgersian responded, "What the f*** is that?" The network went to black, but the damage was done. . On April 28, 2009, while watching Brad Hawpe being taken off the field of play in a neck brace after being hit in the neck by a throw from catcher Nick Hundley, Vasgersian light-heartedly noted that he thought one of the paramedics was Donovan McNabb, quarterback of the Philadelphia Eagles. His broadcast partner, former infielder Billy Ripken, was so stunned that he asked Vasgersian on air, "Dude, what's wrong with you?". However, the tone of Ripken's voice suggests that it was more in disbelief that Vasgersian would think Donovan McNabb was an EMT in Colorado, not that Vasgersian was making light of the situation. Vasgersian later admitted that he handled the situation in a poor manner..

Other ventures

Vasgersian first gained national prominence doing play-by-play for the doomed XFL football league in 2001. Since the 2006 season, Vasgersian has been a regular on FOX NFL telecasts, teaming with J.C. Pearson. In previous years, he had done select games for the network. On January 2, 2007, Vasgersian called the 2007 Orange Bowl for FOX along with Pat Haden and former UCLAmarker head coach Terry Donahue. He has done regional MLB telecasts for the FOX Game of the Week, teaming with a variety of analysts, and also lent his voice for NBC's broadcast of the 2006 Winter Olympics by being the play-by-play announcer for the ski jumping event.

He has hosted several TV shows, including the game show Sports Geniuses (2000), Game Show Network's World Series of Blackjack (2004), and Celebrity Blackjack (2004), the National Heads-Up Poker Championship on NBC and the first season grand final of Poker Superstars Invitational Tournament. He has also emceed various sports specials and other programs, such as the International World Championships of Rock Paper Scissors (2004).

Vasgersian has also worked on an Ultimate Fighting Championship broadcast, filling in for Mike Goldberg, the usual announcer. Goldberg was working on Fox Sports Net's college football telecast on the night of UFC 56, so Vagersian provided play-by-play alongside regular color commentator Joe Rogan.

Vasgersian is the voice of MLB '06: The Show and MLB 07: The Show for PlayStation 2 and PSP. In addition to his work on MLB '06, Vasgersian was the "host" for several PS1 Sony sports titles in the late 1990s and early 2000s, specifically for 989 Studio sports games. He returned to the broadcast booth in 2008 for MLB 08: The Show and 09 for the PlayStation 2, PSP, and PlayStation 3.

Vasgersian served as a host for NBC Sports coverage of the 2008 Summer Olympics.

References

  1. "One on One with Matt Vasgersian." MLB 06: The Show loading screen.
  2. http://neswsports.com/2009/03/03/mlb-network-matt-vasgersian-drops-f-bomb-video/Insert footnote text here
  3. http://www.bizofbaseball.com/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=3204:mlb-networks-matt-vasgersian-needs-to-work-on-being-professional&catid=48:ei-mlb-network&Itemid=82
  4. Medium Well: Your NBC Olympics lineup - A blog on sports media, news and networks - baltimoresun.com


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