Behind the Mic: ESPNs Snaps Up Ray Lewis; Hall-of-Fame Broadcaster Garagiola Retires

ESPN president John Skipper has confirmed to SI.com that Ray Lewis will sign on as an NFL analyst with the network. The recently-retired Ravens linebacker will have a significant role next fall as an NFL analyst on the network’s Monday Night Countdown program and will also appear on Sunday NFL Countdown and SportsCenter. The formal announcement is expected to come sometime in the next two weeks because the contract is still not officially signed…

Hall of Fame broadcaster Joe Garagiola announced his retirement Wednesday. Garagiola, 87, Played nine seasons in the Major Leagues before his broadcasting career began in 1955 calling Cardinal radio broadcasts on KMOX. He went on to a nearly three-decade association with NBC starting in 1961, making his mark as a commentator for the network’s baseball game of the week broadcasts into the 1980s. Garagiola crossed over from sports to NBC’s news division, serving as a “Today” show panelist from 1967 to 1973 and again from 1990 to 1992, and also worked in entertainment television. During the 1960s and 70s, he filled in for Johnny Carson as an occasional guest host of NBC’s “Tonight Show” and presented various game shows. Garagiola capped his Hall-of-Fame broadcasting career as a part-time television analyst for the Diamondbacks since 1998…

…Thirteen-year Major League Baseball veteran Darryl Hamilton has joined MLB Network as an analyst, appearing across MLB Network’s programming. Hamilton will make his MLB Network debut calling two games at the 2013 Urban Invitational tournament at Minute Maid Park this Saturday. Hamilton’s previous experience in broadcasting includes roles as an analyst on Compass Media Network’s radio broadcasts for the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim, NBC Sports Network’s “SportsTalk” and KPRC (NBC) Houston, as well as MLB.com from 2003-2006. Hamilton also worked in the On-Field Operations department for the Office of the Commissioner of Baseball…

…Former MLB player Alex Cora has joined ESPN and ESPN Deportes as an MLB analyst. Cora will provide insights and analysis for various platforms across both networks, including Baseball Tonight, Beisbol Esta Noche, SportsCenter and other studio programming. He will also contribute to ESPN Radio and ESPN Deportes Radio…

…TSN Radio 1050 Toronto has announced former Toronto Maple Leaf Jeff O’Neill will join the station as co-host of TSN 1050’s Toronto Maple Leafs pre- and post-game shows. O’Neill will work with veteran Toronto broadcaster Jim Tatti on TSN Radio 1050’s slate of live Leafs games.