The ESPN pressure has never been greater for Alex Rodriguez

There is nothing Alex Rodriguez likes more than being the center of attention. Now, on ESPN’s premiere baseball game broadcast, A-Rod will be just that.

ESPN decided its new “Sunday Night Baseball” broadcast team will be Matt Vasgersian and Rodriguez, with Buster Olney returning as the dugout reporter, The Post has learned.

The only change is that ESPN has dropped Jessica Mendoza from Sundays.

This means, more than ever, Sunday nights will be the Alex Rodriguez Show.

The new Sunday team’s first regular-season broadcast will actually be on a Thursday, March 26, the Opening Night game between the in-the-news Astros and Mike Trout’s Angels.

Mendoza received a new contract extension and will call TV games as a lone analyst, as well as the World Series radio broadcast. However, the actions by ESPN’s hierarchy display an addition-by-subtraction Sunday approach in an attempt to upgrade baseball’s second-most prestigious booth after Fox’s World Series team.

ESPN is also changing lead producers, as Jeff Dufine has replaced Andy Reichwald.

With the new setup, Rodriguez can show he truly is as dedicated to the game as his Instagram posts attest. Either Rodriguez will demonstrate he really is a baseball gym rat, or be guilty of falsely presenting something on social media, like many before him.

In the two-person booth, Rodriguez will have even more room to roam, go deeper and demonstrate that he can be as good on games as he has been in Fox’s studio.

He and Vasgersian are in the final year of their contracts.

While Mendoza did not speak that much in the Sunday booth, she was another voice for Rodriguez to lean on. The reoccurring issue, though, was Vasgersian was forced to fill in too many blanks when the analysts were not present.

Ideally, with the lulls in action of the modern game, three in the booth for a regular-season baseball game is probably, in most cases, the right number.

There is a lot of time to fill, so if ESPN had gone through and hired David Cone to join Rodriguez, it would be better positioned for a strong weekly broadcast.

The pitcher-hitter dynamic makes sense, as Ron Darling and Keith Hernandez prove nightly on SNY. Cone, who remains at YES, is still a potential ESPN option in the future.

The aspect of Sunday night that makes the broadcasters such a focus is that, despite the exclusive national window, the matchup really isn’t that unique. The exact same teams have already played on Friday and Saturday.

On top of that, no matter who is playing, the nature of baseball makes it so probably around a third of the 25 or so games they do on Sundays are going to be stinkers. This is when the booth becomes even more important.

Meanwhile, Vasgersian will be broadcasting in his walk year. ESPN considered replacing him with either Jon Sciambi or Karl Ravech for this season. It chose to keep Sciambi and Ravech on weekday TV games. Though Vasgersian hasn’t been the issue the last two years, the offseason wasn’t exactly a vote of confidence.

The importance of ESPN’s top baseball crew could grow in the coming years. ESPN/ABC is expected to make a run at more MLB playoff games. If that were to happen, it would make ESPN’s top perch even more important.

Vasgersian and Rodriguez, with Olney on the side, have the first crack to claim it. Rodriguez, beginning Opening Night with the cheating scandal, will be the center of attention.

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