PORT CHARLOTTE — Fox Sports broadcaster Kevin Burkhardt will join the Rays TV crew this season on a limited basis, the Times has learned.
Burkhardt will cover the 15-20 games veteran broadcaster Dewayne Staats takes off, joining analyst Brian Anderson in the booth.
(Fox Sports Sun has since put out a release confirming the hiring, saying Burkhardt will handle play-by-play duties “for a select number” of games.
“In preparing our on-air talent roster for the upcoming baseball season, we had the opportunity to have Kevin join our Rays broadcast booth for a package of games,” said FOX Sports Florida – FOX Sports Sun SVP / General Manager Steve Tello. “It was an easy call to make and we believe Rays fans will enjoy Kevin’s experience calling games nationally, in addition to his knowledge of the game.”
“I’m really looking forward to joining what is an already outstanding broadcast team led by Dewayne Staats and Brian Anderson in the booth,” Burkhardt said. “I’m excited about the opportunity to call games for one of the most underrated teams in baseball and can’t wait to watch the Rays in action this season.”)
Burkhardt, 44, currently does play-by-play for NFL games for Fox and is the primary studio host for Fox’s national baseball broadcasts. He worked previously on Mets telecasts from 2007-14, primarily as the reporter but also calling some games.
Staats, 66, has been the Rays play-by-play voice since they began play in 1998 and previously called games for the Astros, Cubs, Yankees and ESPN.
Fox previously hired Tricia Whitaker as the reporter for Rays telecasts, replacing Michelle Margaux, who is now covering the NBA Houston Rockets. Whitaker is the fifth reporter in the last six seasons. Former players Doug Waechter and Orestes Destrade have also been part of the broadcast crew.