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Canadians scoop up former Blue Jays pitcher Ricky Romero as TV analyst

Ricky Romero is going to have even more in common with wife Kara Lang come summer, adding Vancouver and broadcasting to his baseball resumé.

The Vancouver Canadians are expected to announce at their annual Hot Stove Luncheon on Friday at the Fairmont Hotel Vancouver that Romero, 34, the former Toronto Blue Jays’ left-hander, will be the colour analyst for their six televised games broadcast by Sportsnet.

He’ll work alongside longtime C’s radio play-by-play man Rob Fai. No word yet on which six games from Nat Bailey Stadium will be on the tube.

Vancouver opens the short-season, single-A Northwest League schedule June 14, hosting the Spokane Indians.

Lang, 32, was an immensely popular Vancouver Whitecaps forward who went into broadcasting after her retirement, including working as a studio analyst for Sportsnet during the 2011 Women’s World Cup and TSN as part of the network’s on-site panel during the 2015 Women’s World Cup.

Lang and Romero have been married for three years, and have a three-year-old son named Sebastian. Romero announced his retirement from baseball on New Year’s Eve.

“Am I going to ask her for advice about the job? Absolutely,” said Romero, who lives with his family in Hermosa Beach, Calif. “She’s done it before. I know she’s a perfectionist when it comes to it. I’m sure she’ll have some tips for me.

“People had asked me if I’d be interested in broadcasting after I was done baseball. It’s a way for me to stay in the game and watch what I love. And what better way to do that than going to Vancouver? It’s so beautiful there. I’m really looking forward to it.”

Romero was at The Nat for a game last August, throwing out the first pitch and meeting with fans as part of the C’s Superstar Series. He connected then with C’s president Andy Dunn.

“It’s a beautiful stadium and it’s awesome to see how many fans they get, to see the support they get,” Romero said. “Andy and the rest of the staff do a good job with their game-day presentation.

“Andy knows a lot of people. There are a million players he could have contacted about this job. The fact that my name came to his mind is something I really appreciate. And I’m really excited about working next to Rob. He has a great voice and he knows the game.”

Romero and Lang met at 2012 spring training, when she was filling in on baseball coverage on Sportsnet and was assigned to interview him. He was coming off a stellar 2011 season, a campaign in which he went 15-11 with a 2.92 earned run average in 32 starts with the Blue Jays.

He struggled the following year with Toronto, going 9-14 with a 5.77 ERA, and injury troubles began to mount. His last big-league games with Toronto were in 2013. He last pitched for the San Francisco Giants’ triple-A team in 2017.

For his major league career, he was 51-45, with a 4.16 earned run average, in 129 games. The C’s have been a Toronto affiliate since 2011.

The C’s switched their radio broadcasts to Sportsnet 650 AM from TSN 1040 AM this winter, and the TV package was added as well. Sportsnet is owned by Rogers, which also owns the Blue Jays.

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