How Meredith Marakovitz prepares as a reporter for the YES Yankee Club

Light, camera, red lights are on!

And with that, the YES Network begins another Yankees telecast.

As Michael Kay kicks off the show and introduces one of his many broadcast partners, one man is already hard at work, even though he hasn’t been seen yet.

Meredith Marokawitz has already opened the game and offers insights, injury reports with expert banter with Kay (and a partner) from the stands leading into the post-game report.

Not a bad gig for a former LaSalle University graduate and D-1 volleyball player.

“I played for three years, but not the last year. I was wounded, but they left me a scholarship,” says Marakovits. “My parents appreciated it.”

She has been a pre- and post-game reporter since opening day in March 2012. Piece of cake, right?

“My first day on the job, and Mariano Rivera blew the save,” she recalls with a laugh. “Oh man, I got to go up to the greatest closer of all time and I’m the first one to ask the question. “Hi, my name is Meredith, by the way, about that botched rescue?”

Besides the awkward moments, Marakovits also saw some historic moments up close.

How about watching Bronx Bomber Aaron Judge’s first home run or Derek Jeter and Andy Pettitte’s last out to take the ball away from Rivera?

“You see a lot of interesting moments,” she notes. “This is my favorite part of the job.

“I did my last interview on the field when Derek played his last game at Yankee Stadium,” says a beaming Marakovitz, “and I was sitting in the front row.”

Her work has its ups and downs, but you can’t let it consume you.

“There was a bit of learning about how YES does things and what they expect from me,” she recalls, “but I don’t ever remember feeling uncomfortable.

“You almost have to have a next man mentality. Shake it off and you have a short memory.”

Marakovits was next to someone in his thirties. The advantage for her was that she was already working in the New York market.

“I worked at SNY. I worked at ESPN Radio and FAN, so I wasn’t a complete stranger to these guys, the team, and the way people did business here,” she states. She also covered minor league baseball.

Ironically, the Marakovits family was not very fond of baseball. It was basketball and the 76ers.

“When I became a sideline reporter for the Sixers,” she recalls, “it was crazy.”

It was Andre Iguodala’s team and Doug Collins was the coach.

And that was before “Process”.

“Which didn’t really work,” she notes.

Marakovits managed to be part of a talented line of succession.

When Suzanne Waldman moved from Yankee clubhouse reporter to radio color analyst, she was replaced by Kim Jones, who held the position from 2005 to 2012. Marakovits has been working there ever since, as has Waldman, one of her closest friends.

How is the Fairy Godmother?

“I feel like I can’t call her mother. She would kill me,” says Marakovits. “She is one of my best friends and my protector. I don’t think she gets the amount of credit she deserves for being a pioneer in this business. This is the honest truth before God.”

Because of Waldman, Marakowitz’s work is not as taxing.

“I don’t have to deal with some of the things that she had to deal with early on because of people like her,” she notes. “I don’t think enough women in business recognize that or appreciate that.”

The job of a Yankee TV reporter is not just to sit back and kibitze. Even baseball has a process.

“I get to the house [night] game at 2:15,” she says, describing the start of her work day. “I go over my game notes and do my hair and makeup. The club opens at three o’clock. This is the window when I can start grabbing Yankee players.

“The club will be open from three to four. [Manager Aaron] Boone will speak at four. Afterwards, if I need to go to the opponent’s club, I will drop by. Taking BP (batting practice) you never know who will be swimming around. I talk to my producer, decide what we’re doing for the show before the game, and then I kind of go from there.”

All you young reporters got it? But wait, there’s more!

“The sub game will be at 6:30, make a cut for the game to start. The game is on and I hope to go in and talk to the guys,” she says.

The game ends and she goes back to work.

“We’ve been a bit lucky this year in the sense that some games have gone three hours,” she says. “It usually takes 55 minutes or more after the game. Probably after 11.”

Then there are the fast turnaround days.

“People don’t understand the hardships and what these athletes go through during the season,” she says. “We just have to broadcast it and they have to go out there and play nine.

“I can think of four times this year where we’d come in at five, six in the morning and then there was a game.”

She’s not complaining because she’s on the front lines as the Yankees try to win their 28th World Series title.

“I haven’t covered the World Series, and I really hope this is the year,” she says.

Being so close to the Yankees makes her the eyes and ears of the fans.

“We’re in people’s living rooms every day for months and months and months,” she says. “It’s kind of a peak behind the curtain.”

She has seen players develop and managers leave.

“I feel like Aaron Judge has made himself more of a spokesperson over the years,” she declares.

And she noticed a change in the style of the executives she covered — Joe Girardi and Aaron Boone.

“Any New York Yankees manager would be a little wary,” she declares, “but Boone seems more relaxed than Joe.

Even Covid-19 could not slow her down.

Marakovits was well prepared for the pandemic. She made her home in Clearwater, Florida to do interviews and other things on You Tube. Her home became a studio with all the tricks of the trade.

“I can’t tell you how many links I’ve sent to people,” she says with a laugh. “I was one of the most trained people to work from home on TV during the pandemic.”

And while she deals with many types from the Yankees to the YES brass, she has a fan in televangelist Michael Kay.

“Michael was fantastic for me,” she admits. “First met Michael in 2009 while covering the Phillies for the ESPN Radio affiliate at Citizens Bank Park. We crossed paths a few times before I got this job and he was always nice to me.

“He was always a gentleman and was always in my corner.”

Marakovits loves the job, but is there anything else to do?

“YES has been good to me and I’m enjoying my current role,” she admits, “but I always think there’s room for growth.

“What that looks like remains to be determined.”

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