Home Team Sports is expected to announce -- perhaps as early as today -- that former New York Yankees catcher Rick Cerone will become an analyst on televised Orioles games this season.
Sources familiar with the negotiations said most of the contractual matters between HTS and Cerone have been settled, and that HTS officials and Cerone's representative need only to hammer out last-minute details to get a deal in place.
HTS supervising producer Chris Glass could not be reached for comment, but said earlier this month that Cerone was "the top candidate in my mind."
Cerone, who spent seven of his 18 major-league seasons in a Yankees uniform, will replace Mike Flanagan, who left the broadcast booth after two seasons to become the Orioles' pitching coach. Cerone will be paired with second-year play-by-play man Michael Reghi.
Jim Palmer will return as an analyst on as many as 70 games, but Cerone is expected to get the bulk of the analyst's work, perhaps working as many as 100 games.
HTS officials and the Orioles reportedly had been considering a number of candidates, including former Orioles Rick Dempsey and John Lowenstein, who had been an analyst for 12 years before he was let go following the 1995 season.
However, Cerone, who has done analysis for the Baseball International postseason feed as well as work on the Baseball Network, remained the top candidate throughout the process.
Cerone, 43, a career .245 hitter who retired after spending the 1992 season with Montreal, also has spent parts of the past five seasons as an analyst for the Madison Square Garden network, New York's equivalent of HTS, as well as WPIX, the over-the-air station that carries Yankees games.
He was co-host of CBS Radio's "Inside Pitch" pre-game show in 1996 with Jim Hunter, the lead Orioles radio voice.
Pub Date: 1/29/98