Coste lands Phillies TV gigFARGO — Chris Coste has played in front of thousands of Major League Baseball fans. He’s been in a World Series, televised to millions of people around the world.
By: Jeff Kolpack, Forum Communications Co.
FARGO — Chris Coste has played in front of thousands of Major League Baseball fans. He’s been in a World Series, televised to millions of people around the world.
But earlier this year, the Fargo resident finally found something in baseball that made him nervous: a television analyst audition in front of three people.
“It’s funny, it was something more stressful than facing Mariano Rivera,” he said.
Rivera is the veteran New York Yankees closer. Coste is a catcher who is trying to recover from major elbow ligament reconstruction, commonly known as Tommy John surgery.
He’s making good on a personal promise that he’ll play the game until “they rip the uniform off my back.” He’s 38 years old and the current hope is to be 100 percent recovered by June in hopes there is a team looking for an experienced backup catcher.
There already are, with some teams seeing catchers on the injured list, most notably the Yankees and Houston Astros, Coste’s old team. Coste is 10 months removed from the surgery that typically takes a year to recover.
Progress was looking good this winter — six weeks ago he said his arm strength was at about 90 percent. But, later, he woke up one morning with worse-than-usual soreness and doctors told him to take two to three weeks off.
He’ll probably begin throwing again Monday.
“I’ve definitely hit a major delay, but it’s a common situation,” Coste said.
It’s possible, he said, that he may have to go back to independent baseball, perhaps a team on the East Coast. In the meantime, he’s been hired by Comcast to work Philadelphia Phillies’ games doing pregame and postgame analysis.
It’s a part-time job that will see him doing about nine to 10 games per month, he said.
“I’ve never had aspirations of doing TV or moving on to ESPN,” Coste said. “In a lot of ways I don’t want to do that, because I would probably have to move, and I want to maintain my residence in Fargo.”
Coste was signed by the Washington Nationals last season, but did not play because of the injury. His last season was in 2009 with the Phillies and Astros, where he hit .224 in 205 at bats.
He spent 2006-08 with the Phillies, which included winning a World Series ring. There’s a lot of hype this spring with the club, and Coste said it’s a good time to be covering them.
He sought advice from former pitcher Mitch Williams, currently working as an MLB Network analyst. The No. 1 tip: Don’t forget how difficult the game is.
Considering it took Coste over a decade to make a major league roster, that probably won’t be a problem.
Kolpack is a sports reporter for The Forum of Fargo-Moorhead, which is owned by Forum Communications Co.