It is high, it is far, it is terrible

The non-guaranteed nature of arbitration
Melky out of options

Jay Busbee at Yahoo! Sports ranked the top 50 worst announcers in sports. While Joe Morgan, Tim McCarver and Joe Buck all made the top ten, two Yankee homers, in the worst sense of the word, ranked high on the list as well. John Sterling came in at only ??only! ? number 17, and Michael Kay made the cut at 49. It’s hard to believe there are 16 announcers worse than Sterling, but there you go.

The non-guaranteed nature of arbitration
Melky out of options
  • Mike Pop

    Who are the White Sox announcers? Everytime a HR happens they both say YES!!! in unison.

    • Mike Pop

      Ken Harrelson, I can’t believe he didn’t make the list.

      • Mike A.

        He goes by Hawk. Hawk Harrelson.

        That’s instant douche cred in my book.

        • Hawkins44

          Hawk is the biggest douche… I live in Chicago and I would rather be in a turkish prison than listen to Hawk. There are plenty of omissions, how about Ron Santo? He’s is terrible and couldn’t hold Michael Kay’s microphone…

          • Mike Pop

            He’s so funny though.

            ..You can putt it on the boooaaaardddd!!!….(Two of them) Yes!!!

  • Jamal G.

    My heart cracked a smile when I saw that Mike Francesa (#32). Oh, and I can’t believe Emmitt Smith (#20) was that high, that man can not speak English. Seriously, he is incapable of speaking the English language.

    • Joseph P.

      See also: Sharpe, Shannon

    • Jay CT

      Its hillarious. There was a MNCD last season that he kept poking Steve Young on the shoulder and saying, “Yeah, and…” “and” “and”, etc… He was like a little kid, he kept interrupting, and you could see Young was getting pissed. He is terrible.

    • Pablo Zevallos

      My top five:

      1) Mike Francesa
      2) John Sterling
      3) Emmit Smith
      4) Michael Kay
      5) I’m a Dick Vitale

      Btw the dude at has a section called “Emmit on the Brink,” which makes fun at his inability to freggin’ speak English

  • JeffG

    Tim McCarver wins it for me… he absolutely blows. I hate watching games on fox and he is such a contributor to that.

    • Artist formerly known as ‘The’ Steve

      McCarver is Baseball’s answer to Joe Theisman. Both are bright guys, but both REFLEXIVELY have to say the opposite of what everyone else is thinking.

      Theismqan, at least has a sense of humor about it. McCarver will still be beating the dead horse 3 innings later.

      • Pablo Zevallos

        I disgree. Theismann’s as big a db as they come.

        • Artist formerly known as ‘The’ Steve

          Not by Football announcer standards, where douchebaggery is the norm.

          I hear he even unbuttons the top button on his shirt from time to time. You just don’t do that ‘in this league’.

  • Jay CT

    I cannot believe that Sterling isn’t number 1, with Suzyn 1A. I have never heard two people who are more obnoxious, annoying, arrogant, ignorant and just flat out bad on the air. HORRIBLE. My ears bleed having to listen on the radio.

    • Artist formerly known as ‘The’ Steve

      (Sterling offers insightful analysis on a crucial, game changing play)

      “Well. . . hah, I mean , come on. That’s just Baseball. Driven by Jeep. “

      • Nady Nation

        Thank you Suzyn, my Yankee companera. Idn’t that amazing?

        • Artist formerly known as ‘The’ Steve

          I don’t have a monitor. . . .

  • Moshe Mandel

    I am going to be in the minority and say that I like Sterling. I talked about this in my blog yesterday, so I am just going to post what I said here.
    I disagree with this assessment of Sterling, as I find him entertaining when the game is on the line. While I find his frequent mistakes irksome and feel that many of his catchphrases are over the top for an April game against the Royals, I cannot deny that his antics get me excited in the 7th inning of a big game against Boston. People who do not like his victory cry probably do not like the fact that it means that the Yankees won the game. One of the indelible moments of the 2003 ALCS was Charlie Steiner and Sterling teaming up on “Thaaaa Yankeeees Wiiin” after Aaron Boone sent the team to the World Series. Is he overly emotional, repetitive, and prone to error? Certainly. But is he entertaining? Always, and that is what I want from an announcer. Just as an aside, I can tell you from experience that his antics bring children closer to the game, as I frequently hear children who may otherwise be disinterested mimicking his calls. For a sport that has lost many younger followers to flashier games that lend themselves better to minute to minute excitement, this is a factor that cannot be overstated.
    Kay is awful, and he should be much higher up. He never adjusted to the switch from the radio to TV, and is therefore overly descriptive and talks at moments that should speak for themselves. Furthermore, he is obviously trying to be unbiased, and overcompensates by showing more excitement upon success by the opposition than when good fortune strikes the Yankees.

    • Benny Blanco

      I ain’t reading all that…

      For me, Kay is #1. I hate that I have to listen to him for 135 plus Yankee games each year. Bloated and arrogant. Does he have to bring up his love of chicken fingers every couple of games?

      • Pablo Zevallos

        Don’t forget FordhamU!

    • My Pet Goat

      “Most peole who don’t like his victory cry…”

      Yeah all us Sawxs fans commenting here at RAB really resent the Yankees winning. Can’t wait to hear what other gems you post on your blog…

      Anyhoo, if Waldman, Sterling, and Kay were the Destiny’s Child of bad announcing, Georgie’s Girl would be Beyonce. She got robbed!

      • Moshe Mandel

        I wrote that point on the blog as a comment about the general public, not about Yankee fans in particular. There is no reason for you to take a shot at me for that.

    • aaron empty

      i also love stearling. i grew up listing to yankee games in my room under the covers, whenever i hear “it is high it is far it is gone” i cant help but be transported back to my youth. call it nestalgia, but mondisi is right, its for the kids, give him a break. at least he likes the yanks (im looking at you kay)

      • Artist formerly known as ‘The’ Steve

        I tease Sterling, but would miss him if he was gone. Despite how seriously we all take Baseball it is after all, just entertainment. He’s the clown in our Circus, and I don’t mean that as a knock.

        • PaulT

          I am still amzed that the Yankees, the most famous sports team in the world, are saddled with the worst announcers in the game. Sterlings put on catch phrases are painful to listen to. This guy thinks he is bigger than the game he is broadcasting!! As for Moshe’s take on Aaron Boones game winning HR, it couldnt be more off base. Sterling was not working that inning and was apparently not in the booth when it was hit. He ran in to seize the moment from Steiner. The best part is that Steiner said the stupid catch phrase, just to piss off Sterling

          • Moshe Mandel

            I never said that Sterling was calling the game at that point, I said that them teaming up on it was an exciting call.

          • Count Zero

            Sterlings put on catch phrases…

            You mean like when somebody hits a screaming liner into the seats and he bulls through a “It is high…it is far…it is gone!” even though the ball has already been in the seats for ten seconds? :-)

  • Rich

    Sterling can’t even see well anymore. What’s the point of having a broadcaster who thinks a high pop to LF is in the upper deck?

  • Sweet Dick Willie

    The sad part is he was actually a pretty good radio guy in the pre-strike days, when Michael Kay did the color..

    His first year was either ’89 or ’90, when the Yanks sucked. He seemed to get very full of himself after the Yanks started winning, and it progressed to the point where he is now very hard to listen to, and his “nails on the chalkboard” partner just makes it doubly worse.

    It’s unfortunate, because nothing says summertime like a good baseball radio cast. But I’m spoiled, as I grew up in Southern California listening to Vin Scully call games.

    • Rich

      Yup, Kay and Sterling were good together, but unlistenable alone.

  • Jonathan

    “Nice Job-uh, by Joba”

    You guys are just old, cynical and pot-bellied if you have to hate on that

  • Sweet Dick Willie

    I just googled him, and his real name is Harold Moskowitz. I did not know that.

    • Moshe Mandel

      Doesn’t quite roll off the tongue, does it?

  • Shane

    Sterling used to be very good… no longer.

    How many times can he say “anyone who says that _______ (fill it in, usually about Jeter’s fielding) isn’t watching the games.” Well I’ve been watching since 1967 and don’t need you to tell me how to think.

    Susyn is even worse. She repeats herself from sentence to sentence (“he just kind of SLINGS the ball up there”) inning to inning (“he got the ball up, and you can’t pitch major league hitters that way”) and game to game (“he needs to keep his swing short”). She seems nice and she was/is an excellent clubhouse reporter but she has nothing to say of value as an announcer.

    I spent a lot of time listening to Rizzuto/White/Healy/Kaat and even now I love listening to Singleton and Flaherty and Leiter and Paul-O (Kay is not bad either, especially when talking about his OCD tendencies). The Sterling/Waldman combo has become very difficult to listen to.

  • Brian Cashman is watching

    Way too much hate on Sterling, and for little reason. Susyn is bad, but she made it for her history in journalism. Sterling is just a good radio voice, and when he was with Kay the two were excellent together and made many fans happy. We’ve become spoiled by TV announcers, who just have to comment on plays that everyone can see. Sterling has to describe everything and fill dead air. Has he gotten old? Yeah. Is he behind the times? Yeah, especially for this group that has a deeper understanding of statistics. But to say he’s one of the worst is very blustery, especially since we just listen to New York sports. If there is a problem, its the combo: Sterling needs someone else in the booth so he can be play-by-play, while the other person provides good commentary and witty banter that comes from a good working relationship. Kay had that. Steiner and Waldman did not.

  • Ryan S.

    The rare days where Ken Singleton is the play-by-play man on YES are the best.

    • Tom Zig

      I like Singleton too, but I don’t like it when Kay becomes a suck-up to former players.

    • johnny

      agreed! singleton is great, nice guy too.

      my #1 worst: Joe Buck

      I’d rather listen to helen Keller try to call a ballgame than Joe Buck.

  • Tom Zig

    There is no reason Steve Phillips should be higher than Skip Bayless. I mean Phillips is a terrible announcer, but he can’t be worse than Skip Bayless. Joe Morgan is ranked appropriately. I find it funny that every announcer I’ve heard of is on there.

  • History Teacher

    SEEEEEEEEEE YAAAAAAAAAAAA!!! A LOOOOOOONG HOMERUN FOR ROBBIE CANO AND THE YANKEES TAKE A 6 TO 4 LEAD! Mr. Kay is hands down the worst. What credentials does he have. It is evident that Paul O. can’t stand him. Al Leiter is pretty bad as well. He loves to show grips of pitches and relates every situation to his own career.

    Sterling…I can handle. Suz saves him.

    Morgan, Buck and Tim M. should be fired for all of time.

    • Ryan S.

      I love it when Paulie and Kay take those passive aggressive jabs at each other when they’re on-air. I wonder if O’Neal destroys water coolers during commercial breaks if he gets really zinged.

      • Hawkins44

        Wow.. I actually don’t mind Kay as he calls the game pretty fairly. If the other team hits a long home run to win the game he will call it with the same emotion as a Yankee home run. Let me tell you, that is REALLY rare as most announcers are unadulterated homers….

        Being in Chicago, what is the general vibe in NYC, is Kay hated?

        • Joseph P.

          I don’t think it’s as much that he’s hated. Most fans I talk to are just annoyed by him.

        • Mike Pop

          Everyone hates Kay. I don’t mind him too much. He says some dumb shit but I can deal with it. He is very easy to understand and is quite emotional in my opinion. I prefer Kenny Singleton and Paully O Neil though.

  • Slugger27 Back From Hiatus

    kornheiser easily my least favorite… id rather listen to nails on a chalkboard than him do the mnf games

    • Craig

      How can people not like Kornheisher? Far better than listening to Theisman and that gang. Tony K. kinda reminds me of Larry David which is never a bad thing. All the crappy games that they play on MNF you often need some entertainment to come from somewhere else.

  • Rob S.

    The problem with Sterling is not his mistakes, it’s not his theatrics, it’s not his ego. For Me it’s the fact that he craps all over the Yankees while cheerleading for the other team. Every little thing that goes the Yankees way is… “oh the Yankees caught a break” “oh, what a break for the Yankees”. Never anything like “The Yankees put pressure on the other team and good things happened”. Now if things don’t go the Yankees way them they got what they deserve “if you walk people you deserve to lose” or “if the manager doesn’t intentionally walk Manny here, he should be fired”. So basically anything good that the Yankees do is a lucky break and anything bad that happens is what they “deserve”. Meanwhile the other teams players can do no wrong and Sterling gets extremely excited about all their accomplishments which is of course a result of their talent and effort. Let’s not forget that every routine play made by the opposition is either “tremendous” or “fabulous”. I don’t think the word fabulous has any place in baseball announcing. Does anyone enjoy listening to this crap? If you do you can’t be much of a Yankee fan. They need to dump Suzyn and put a hard-nosed former big league player in the both with Sterling to correct all of his retarded analysis. I hate John Sterling.

    • johnny

      yeah, last year he made it sound as if the yankees weren’t a good team at all. oh wait, they weren’t

  • Joseph M

    John Sterling is the worst announcer I have ever heard by a country mile. He is the Ed Wood of play by play. It’s incredible, he never shuts up yet the fan tuning in rarely has an idea of what is actually happening on the field of play. The game score is given almost as an afterthought as John delivers sermon after sermon, “the most important pitch is strike one” yada, yada, yada.

    John’s play by play style, he doesn’t call the action on the field he spends his time telling the listener what he thinks about what is happening on the field. The fact that the number 1 broadcast market in the country has an announcer this bad should get a mention in the Guinness Book of World Records.

  • Elmgrovegnome

    I like Sterling. It is probably more tradition for me than anything because I was disappointed when Tommy Hutton left.

    Kay and Wladman are only exceded in their douchebaggery but Morgan and McCarver.

  • susan mullen

    I love listening to John Sterling. I have XM and have listened to most other radio teams. They share certain traits rendering them unlistenable. Foremost is ultra high pitch to the voice, which is almost 100% among younger types. Compare John Sterling to any of them. Being flip about John Sterling is I guess hip and cool, but I find it a sign you haven’t listened to the garbage the baseball media machine is feeding into the system. Sterling and Waldman together are tremendous-for a Yankee fan.

    • Ben K.

      Off the top of my head, I can name at least four teams — Phillies, Red Sox, Mets, Dodgers — with better radio teams, and that’s just from years of subscribing to’s gameday audio. Sterling is not a good play-by-play announcer; he’s not a good analyst. He has a colorful way of calling games, but that’s hardly a positive.

      There is something to be said for just shutting up now and then and letting the sounds of the crowd seep through the radio. What Sterling and Waldman do is the exact opposite of subtle, good broadcasting.

  • the most felonious vocalist

    Sterling has many faults but I am thoroughly entertained by his antics. This is probably because I’m rarely forced to rely on him for accurate information since I watch almost all the games on tv. If I had to listen to the rado all the time I could see his act wearing thin quickly. Suzyn is horrendous.

    Michael Kay is the true villain. His combination of arrogance and ignorance is really unprecedented. One thing that really bothers me about him is the way he’ll state some ridiculous uninformed opinion of his and then try to pass it off as a question by asking the color guy if he agrees. O’Neill is awful but he sure isn’t afraid to point out Kay’s stupidity. Leiter and Cone also exposed his ignorance regularly. It kills me that Michael Kay is the centerpiece of the YES Network. Centerstage gets some good guests and I’ve even enjoyed some episodes despite Kay’s buffoonery but that show would be so much better if they replaced him with Bob Lorenz. Lorenz actually guest hosted a show it was much better than usual. That ridiculous guffaw of Kay’s makes me scream. Before I started muting the games whenever Kay was part of the broadcast team, he was really cutting into my enjoyment of the games as I’d end up yelling at Michael Kay for 3 hours a night.

    My favorite Yankee broadcaster is Ken Singleton. It’s great when he’s the play by play guy. I feel like Al Leiter makes a lot of good points. David Cone has potential but is very reluctant to criticize anybody. Flaherty is an idiot who doesn’t really understand how teams win baseball games. I have no idea what he’s ever done to earn his spot with the Yankees. He does occasionally point out Kay’s stupidity, which is a plus. I already miss Bobby Murcer, who was the epitome of class and enthusiasm and had a great voice.

    • Rob in CT

      “Before I started muting the games whenever Kay was part of the broadcast team, he was really cutting into my enjoyment of the games as I’d end up yelling at Michael Kay for 3 hours a night. ”

      Hah. I reached that stage last year.

  • Rob in CT

    Sterling has a good radio voice. If I can just manage to tune out what he’s actually saying… He’s kinda blind now, and he has a habit of waxing poetic about the worst player on the field… which does have its own special charm. I can deal with Sterling.

    Waldman is a toxic combination of terrible voice & bad announcing. I feel bad about it, but she drives me insane. The combination of Sterling and Waldman is nigh unbearable.

    Kay is terrible… I feel like he’s gotten worse (more arrogant). I miss Jim Kaat. I like Leiter’s work (and he will challenge Kay at times, which is key). Coney and Flahrety are fine. I love the road games that Kay doesn’t do.

    • Rob in CT

      Ack, I forgot to mention Singleton. He’s solid too. Really, the Yankees announcer problems could be largely solved by removing two people: Kay and Waldman.

  • Craig

    I gotta disagree with most of the comments and other than No. 1, that list is awfully inaccurate. Lou Holtz, 50?!?!?!?! I feel like jumping into a tree shredder when he’s on TV. I like Kay just for his HR calls (SEE YAAA!!) and Sterlings “Yankees Win” call gets him exempt from this list. I LOVE Carver and Buck (although I hated how he overreacted on that “vile, despicable, wretched, heinous” Randy Moss celebration, especially since I’m sure many fans, like me, didn’t even realize what he was doing) and Madden. Some announcers/teams just work well with a sport the way milk works well with brownies. How about we amend the list, include every single female sideline reporter (except for Goddess Erin Andrews) and take off some of the announcers that do not deserve to be on the list.

    Also, since that list is populated by many of the most well known and accomplished announcers – who would be left to include on a list of the best announcers? Harold Reynolds would be number 1 obviously, but what about the rest?

  • Craig

    Maybe I need YES Network to see what the big deal with Kay is b/c even on I don’t always get to hear him that often.