ESPN Colleagues React to Tom Rinaldi's Shocking Departure: TRAINA THOUGHTS

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1. New York Post sports media columnist Andrew Marchand broke the news Wednesday night that veteran ESPN storyteller Tom Rinaldi was leaving the network to join Fox Sports.

Fox confirmed the news Thursday morning with a press release that said Rinaldi will start working across all of its sports events beginning in 2021.

Reporter James Andrew Miller shared some insight into Rinaldi jumping ship, and none of it sounded good for ESPN.

Based on Miller's intel here, it sounds like Rinaldi wanted to leave ESPN no matter what. Now we need to find out why. Was it just a "needs a new challenge" situation? (Rinaldi was with ESPN for 18 years.) Or was Rinaldi unhappy at ESPN, which just underwent massive layoffs across the company? 

The statement put out by ESPN on losing Rinaldi was weird, to say the least.

"Even more disciplined approach to our business?" What does that have to do with Rinaldi wanting to leave and telling ESPN not to match Fox's offer, as reported by Miller?

The flip side of this is that Rinaldi seems like an odd fit at Fox, which likes to keep things light and frivolous. Rinaldi likes to make people cry.

No matter the reason, this one hurts ESPN. Rinaldi was one of the faces of the company and an important part of the very popular College GameDay

Based on several tweets put out by ESPN staffers since the news broke, it's also clear Rinaldi was one of the most liked people at the World Wide Leader. 

Here's how Rinaldi's colleagues reacted to the news of his departure.

2. Vladimir Guerrero Jr. is currently playing in the Dominican Winter League and let us know, thanks to the video below, their celebrations—complete with Undertaker theme music—are WAY better than Major League Baseball's celebrations. We need more of this in MLB.

3. Kawhi Leonard appeared on Jimmy Kimmel Live on Wednesday night and made for a great guest thanks to his unique personality, which Kimmel teased him about. One highlight from the interview was Kimmel asking Leonard about Billy Crystal being a Clippers superfan.

Kimmel wanted to know if Leonard was a fan of Crystal. This was Kawhi's exact response: "Ya know, some of his movies were before my time. The one with Mary or the lady, that um, you know, they were having a conversation can men and women be friends."

Obviously, the movie Leonard was referring to was When Harry Met Sally and the actress from the film is Meg Ryan, who played Sally.

I'm not sure if Leonard was getting this mixed up with There's Something About Mary, but I sure hope that's what happened.

Kimmel later asked Leonard if he knew the famous line was from the fake orgasm deli scene in When Harry Met Sally ("I'll have what she's having.") 

Kawhi's answer: "Why would you do that?"

4. This is an awesome idea by the Cavaliers' Larry Nance Jr.

5. Legendary sports talk radio host Chris "Mad Dog" Russo joined this week's SI Media Podcast for a conversation.

You can listen to the podcast below or download it on Apple, Spotify, Stitcher and Google Play

You can also watch the podcast on YouTube.

6. RANDOM VIDEO OF THE DAY: Happy 74th birthday to the great Eugene Levy. If you haven't watched Schitt's Creek yet, you need to change that because watching Levy as Johnny Rose is a very enjoyable experience.

7. SPORTS VIDEO OF THE DAY: With the Chargers playing on Thursday Night Football tonight, I wanted to use this opportunity to shout out Natrone Means, one of the best running backs of the '90s, a guy who always used to get Chris Berman pumped up during NFL Primetime as "Natrone Means Business" and one of the best Tecmo Bowl players.

Be sure to catch up on past editions of Traina Thoughts and check out the Sports Illustrated Media Podcast hosted by Jimmy Traina on AppleSpotify or Stitcher. You can also follow Jimmy on Twitter and Instagram