May
18

Can’t the Yankees do better than John Sterling?

By

The Yankees are the richest franchise in baseball. They spend upwards of $200 million annually on payroll. They just built a new Stadium, and have furnished it with the finest accommodations. Yet there is one area where the Yankees have skimped: their play-by-play men. This criticism is particular to radio man John Sterling, of whom Post columnist Phil Mushnick has had enough. I’d like to second Mushnick’s motion to remove Sterling from the booth.

This, of course, will never happen. Sterling has been the radio play-by-play man for the past 20 years, and has a contract which reportedly runs through 2011. Still, his shortcomings have become more pronounced over the past few seasons, to the point where there is now a blog named for his poor calls. But because Sterling is so entrenched in the Yankee family, there is no chance of him going anywhere, no matter how many errors he makes in describing the scene.

Mushnick shares a handful of examples from this past weekend alone. The most egregious came during Saturday’s game, when Sterling mistakenly called Hideki Matsui‘s double a home run. This coming on a ball that didn’t even hit the wall on a fly. Matsui ripped it, no doubt, and Sterling fired up the home run call, beginning with “It is high,” proceeding to “it is far,” and then finishing with the exclamation, “It is gone!” But it wasn’t. Yankees fans have grown accustomed to this false call, though most of the time Sterling utters the first two, but concludes with “it is caught,” many times before the warning track.

Another example Mushnick describes is one I experienced personally on Friday night. Waiting outside Gate 8 for my friend to show up, I was stuck listening to Sterling’s call. There’s really nothing worse than standing right outside Yankee Stadium and having to hear Sterling describe what’s happening just beyond the wall. Derek Jeter, leading off the bottom of the first, hit a liner to left. Denard Span caught it at his waist, but the way Sterling described it I was sure Jeter had doubled off the wall. A train screeched by at that point, so I wasn’t able to hear his correction. It wouldn’t have been necessary had he gotten the call right the first time.

Sterling is also wont to blame others for his own blunders. If the scoreboard count is incorrect, forget about it. He’s John freaking Sterling, he doesn’t need to keep track of the count. Never mind that he has the YES monitor right in front of him. This leads to another criticism. Last week, I believe against Toronto but it could have been Baltimore, the home plate ump was signaling strikes by putting up a fist in front of his chest. This apparently annoyed Sterling, since he couldn’t see the ump’s call. Far be it from him to look at the monitor to see the call.

Not only does he regularly bungle calls throughout games, but he also apparently 1) has no memory of the recent past, and 2) doesn’t bother to learn the players on the roster. On May 7, in a tie game against the Rays, Jose Veras trotted out for the ninth, which would have been his third inning of work. This was just to buy a bit more time for Mariano Rivera, and pretty much everyone knew that. Sterling probably did, too, but he commented that he couldn’t remember the last time Veras had pitched three innings. This would have been a benign comment had Veras not pitched back-to-back three-inning affairs just two weeks before. He pitched three innings on April 18th against Cleveland, in the blowout game, and then pitched 3.1 in the 14-inning game against Oakland. Regarding knowledge of the roster, my dad called me from the Jersey Turnpike during Spring Training, bemoaning Sterling’s lack of knowledge about Mike Dunn, who had just entered the game. Is it so much to ask a guy whose job is to talk about the Yankees to know the players on their 40-man roster?

We could take all day and chronicle the shortcomings of John Sterling, and some of us might have fun doing so. Yet no matter how much we complain about his errors in the booth, he’ll still be ready to go at 7 p.m., as he is most weeknights — the man hasn’t missed a game yet. However, the entire issue boils down to this: John Sterling’s ego is so massive that it gets in the way of his ability to call the game. Like Tim McCarver, Sterling is in love with the sound of his own voice. That sometimes leads to unintentional humor, like his drawn out “off the mezzzzzzzanine” calls when home runs hit off that part of the park, or like IIH, IIF, IIC’s Warble Index. Most of the time, though, he’s too busy mocking people who think about and analyze baseball to accurately call a game.

Mushnick sums up his stance thusly:

But something’s gotta give — either Sterling gets better (most unlikely), gets his time reduced by a fresh voice (why not?) or gets out.

And the idea that New York baseball fans, the last 20 years and counting, deserve better is too parochial. What baseball fans, and where, deserve this?

The answer to Mushnick’s rhetorical is no one, anywhere. This goes especially for the Yankees. The team is rich enough to bring us multiple $100-million players and a ritzy new Stadium, but can’t find the courage to remove a force which has been detracting from their brand for the past five, ten years? That’s what kills me the most: the Yankees talk endlessly about their powerful brand, yet that brand is represented in large part by John Sterling. He is like an ambassador for the team, spreading their message via AM radio waves. And on an almost nightly basis, he embarrasses that brand.

Yankee fans deserve better. They deserve to have games called accurately by someone or someones who understand not only the Yankees, but baseball as a whole. They deserve someone who will do his or her homework and bring fresh ideas to the fans who listen by radio. They don’t deserve John Sterling and his ego. Unfortunately, we’ll have to deal with it for at least two more seasons after this one.

And to think, we almost had Vin Scully.

Just for kicks:

The jiggle

Jim Norton on the irritating Sterling

Categories : NYC Sports Media

225 Comments»

  1. I Remember Celerino Sanchez says:

    Sterling and Waldman is the worst duo since Milli Vanilli.

    Seriously, it is painful to rely on those two absolutely incompetent and annoying broadcasters when you have to listen to the Yanks on the radio.

  2. thebusiness says:

    at least he’s not joe morgan

  3. My Pet Goat says:

    It’s hard for me to complain about Sterling, when he benefits from the comparison to his broadcast partner. Suzy is hands down the worst part about being a Yankees fan. Hands down. Don’t get me wrong, I still loathe Sterling, and Kay as well. But Waldman is an embarassment.

  4. Derek says:

    “Its a Tex-Message from Tiexeira!!!”

    i thought that was actually pretty good

  5. Yankeegirl49 says:

    Sterling and Waldman are both an embarrassment and painful to listen to.

  6. Tom Gaffney says:

    I disagree. It’s true that Sterling can be unbearable at times, but the answer is not to get rid of him. He has an iconic call (Thaaaaa Yankees Win!) that is part of four Yankee championships and it’s still the go-to call whenever ESPN wants to post highlights of a big Yankee win. He still has a great voice and is capable of making the great calls at times.

    The answer is to pair him with a strong color analyst who can balance out Sterling’s eccentricities. You, yourself, said that Sterling makes for countless unintentionally funny moments, so the Yankees need to take advantage of that and make them INTENTIONALLY funny. The old Yankee TV broadcasts were legendary for Seaver, White, Messer and others poking fun at Scooter’s mistakes and crazy statements. The Yanks need to put a strong personality who knows his stuff and has a good, sarcastic sense of humor next to Sterling. That would be the best and funniest broadcast in baseball.

    • The ability to accurately describe what is happening on the field of play to people who aren’t watching the action live or on television >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>> “having an iconic call”

      • Tom Gaffney says:

        I disagree – I want to be entertained. That’s the most important thing for listening to broadcast. The best broadcast teams always have personalities. Think about it – would you want to listen to a monotone computer voice accurately describing the action with perfect detail?

        • Chris says:

          When you’re talking about TV announcers, I agree with you, but on the radio it’s important to describe what’s actually happening.

        • So you’d rather be entertained by things that aren’t actually happening on the field? The complaint about Sterling’s bombast is secondary. The primary complaint is that he doesn’t accurately describe the game. That’s why I listen to the radio usually, because I can’t watch it.

          • Tom Gaffney says:

            Honestly, I don’t even care that much if he says something happened when it didn’t occur that way, but if he had a strong color guy to correct him and keep him closer to the real world, I think it would be a very entertaining broadcast. Right now, I agree, Sterling with Susan is a disaster. They just indulge each other’s idiocies.

        • I Remember Celerino Sanchez says:

          Why does it have to be one or the other?

          Why can’t an announcer be competent and entertaining?

          Sterling’s complete inability to get the facts straight in a game makes any entertainment value irrelevant.

          Or, as Mushnick put in in the article:

          “Every game played by the Yankees is a doubleheader — the game that’s played and the game Sterling calls.”

          • Tom Gaffney says:

            That would be great, but it’s tough to find good personalities and I would miss some of Sterling’s calls, contrived as they may be. Call me nostalgic, if you will.

        • Think about it – would you want to listen to a monotone computer voice accurately describing the action with perfect detail?

          Strawman argument. You’re acting like there’s two options and two options only: entertaining guys with great, iconic home run calls who can’t see straight enough to call an accurate game, and robots who call a good game and are boring as shit.

          That’s just not true. Sterling’s call is iconic, but there are other play-by-play guys who can call an accurate game who can still keep you entertained.

          • Tom Gaffney says:

            I’m just saying that if I had to choose between the two, I’d take entertainment every time. For me, it’s much more important.

            • jsbrendog says:

              but if i wanted entertainment id put on a music station, or talk radio. I want to know what is going on in the yankee game so that I can follow along.

              • Tom Gaffney says:

                I like being entertained by baseball. It’s a game, it’s supposed to be entertaining, right? For serious analysis, I can go to RAP or The Yankee Universe or Pete Abe, but sometimes I like to sit back and laugh.

            • Okay, then.

              Let’s say that tomorrow, I bring you a talented, entertaining kid who just graduated broadcast journalism school and has lots of charisma and on air charm, but he can call a game well. Wouldn’t you be willing to ax Sterling, who calls a game poorly, for someone else, even an unknown, who is just as charismatic and has just as good of a voice as Sterling, but who commits fewer gaffes than he does?

              You’re acting like Sterling is the best and most charismatic and entertaining radio personality ever, and that any replacement for him is a massive step down in entertainment value. I just don’t see it.

              • Tom Gaffney says:

                I think personalities are tougher to find than you would think. I also think that chemistry is a huge issue and I used to like Sterling with Kay. With the right partner, I still feel Sterling could be really entertaining. There’s also a nostalgia factor that you can’t completely dismiss, esp with a team that has the tradition of the Yankees. Personally, the new guy would have to be much, much better for me to just give up on Sterling.

                • I Remember Celerino Sanchez says:

                  I think Sterling’s personality is a net negative. I think you are one of the few who would miss him.

                  I don’t associate him with the championships. I associate him with frustration when he blows calls, or demonstrates that he doesn’t have the simplest, most basic baseball knowledge.

                • jsbrendog says:

                  john sterling, is that you?

                  it is isnt it?

                • I Remember Celerino Sanchez says:

                  Okay, now it makes sense. Good call, jsbrendog.

                • HolyGhostClaw says:

                  LOL!! IEJT

        • jsbrendog says:

          i would rather hear my gps announcing the game while i am stuck in traffic sweating my balls off yelling at my radio instead of being subjected to sterling/waldman.

    • whozat says:

      Wait…your solution to a play-by-play man who doesn’t know who’s on the team, doesn’t really remember what’s happened in the last few weeks, and can barely be bothered to pay attention, AND often gets important calls BLATANTLY WRONG…is to get a new COLOR guy?

      I really don’t care that he called the championship years. I care that, right now, when I listen to him I have no idea what’s happening in the ballgame because he’s wrong much of the time.

    • His iconic call is so contrived these days. That it was a part of four World Series victories does not mean that fans should be subjected to objectively terrible play-by-play calling and no color commentary.

    • ChrisS says:

      No, it’s not a great call. It’s a distinctive call. Like nails on a blackboard.

      I can’t listen to a Yankee broadcast on the radio. I’d rather watch it on Gameday.

    • The Lodge says:

      Someone like Charlie Steiner?

    • I Remember Celerino Sanchez says:

      “and it’s still the go-to call whenever ESPN wants to post highlights of a big Yankee win.”

      That’s the problem. He embarrasses the Yankees and Yankee fans with his idiotic, incompetent calls.

      If Sterling was canned, the fact that ESPN would have to grab a different clip is a good thing, not a reason to keep a self-aggrandizing, total know-nothing in the booth.

    • Zack says:

      being shown on ESPN doesnt mean you’re a good announcer, look at who they put in the booth for monday night football, sunday night baseball, etc.

      Who do they have doing the game tonight? Not Morgan, Miller, and Phillips right?

    • George G says:

      One of the biggest differences there is that Scooter made mistakes, but acknowledged those mistakes when “huckleberry’s” would correct him on-air and he was a very humble man.

      Sterling is completely full of himself with an ego to match the Yank’s payroll.

      Interestingly enough, Kay has been throwing so subtle barbs at Sterling during the TV broadcasts.

  7. We should ax Sterling and hire Morgan Freeman to be the radio voice of the Yankees.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-2BzLf2jwIM

    • HolyGhostClaw says:

      That would be awesome!! Maybe we can throw Tim Robbins in there too!!

      Redd and Andy back together again!

  8. jsbrendog says:

    i never thought i would say this, but suzyn waldman makes me yearn for the days of charlie steiner. by god the yankees have the most atrocious announcing team in radio history.

    im just happy suzyn isnt on yes anymore.

    shes got a face for radio and a voice for the silent pictures

    and sterling. oaktag.

  9. dc1874 says:

    I grew up with Bill White..Frank Messer..and Scooter..they would rotate every 3 innings..2 in the tv booth..1 solo on radio..They were a class team…none of this self promotion..attention starved..ego driven nonsence of Sterling….

  10. Ian says:

    I grew up on the team of Sterling and Kay. When they broke them up, I feel it diluted the quality of Yankee broadcasts on TV and the radio. The fact that Kay is on 1050 means that they can’t even do an off-season radio show together!

    I’ve got used to Kay’s nightly talk show where he interviews Ken Singleton and/or a group of retired Yankees. However, I still long for Sterling and Kay.

    My suggestion? They should host the Batting Practice show.

  11. jonathan says:

    John sterling is the worst play by play man in baseball. I am a die hard baseball fan who loves the yankees but cannot listen to the yanks anymore on the radio. The sad truth is that they are AWFUL

  12. Joey H. says:

    Why complain about something that isn’t worth complaining about. It really isn’t all that bad. And if you have a problem listening to him but want the scores when you’re out of the house, sign up for the text messaging updates. I find Sterling very entertaining.

  13. Ron Burgundy = John Sterling.

    Think about it.

  14. A.D. says:

    Does YES/the Yankees have the power to oust him, or is he employed by WCBS? Obviously they could potentially flex some muscle around future contract negotiations with WCBS, but is Sterling a Yankee employee?

    • HolyGhostClaw says:

      Sterling is probably a WCBS employee, because he was doing the broadcast way before YES was created. Just my guess…

  15. Nady Nation says:

    The worst Sterling-ism I’ve ever heard live was from a game last year in Detroit. I believe Carlos Guillen crushed a HR to right center, and Sterling literally said “Abreu drifts over, aaand hee makes the catch, 1 away. (awkward 5 second pause with crowd cheering in the background)…wait, it’s gone! Pardon me!” There was a 5 second period where I was under the impression that Abreu just caught a routine flyball in RF; meanwhile the ball sailed over the wall. Unbelievable. Sterling is brutal, but to be honest, Waldman I think is worse. She never will, nor should she, live down the “Rawger Clemens is standing in George’s bawx” fiasco.

    • The Lodge says:

      I am stuck listening to the games on the radio more than half the time.

      Sterling makes me want to kill myself.
      Waldman makes me want to waterboard myself and then kill myself.

    • I Remember Celerino Sanchez says:

      See, the fact that Abreu made the catch rather than dropping it or shying away from the wall and letting it fall should have been your first clue that something was up …

      Seriously, it’s stuff like that that makes listening to him a horrendous experience if you, you know, care about what’s happening in the game.

  16. Troy says:

    heh, notice the fist pump at the end of the first clip.

  17. Moshe Mandel says:

    I know it is unpopular (wow did Tom’s comments above get ripped or what), but I like Sterling. I think that he is entertaining and exciting. Yes, his mistakes drive me nuts, but he corrects them after a few seconds and you get over it. I also think that his calls, whether you like them or not, are appealing to kids. I know that my nephews listen to games to hear his home run calls and “the Yankees win,” and they certainly would not be listening otherwise. There is certainly value in that.
    I actually had a solution- it would never happen, but I think it makes sense. Michael Kay’s main problem as an announcer is his inability to stop talking, making him a poor fit on Tv when the picture needs to do some of the talking. Sterling’s main problem is his inaccurate descriptions. What if we flipped them? Kay was always a better fit on radio, and Sterling’s messed up calls wouldn’t be a problem if we could see it for ourselves,and he would just entertain.

    • jsbrendog says:

      the only thing in there i will agree with is that it might be salvageable by flip lfopping kay/sterling as you make a goo dpoint as to their strengths and how they might play out in different mediums.

    • Tom Gaffney says:

      Then we’d have to listen to Kay describing the Yankee uniforms again :) Love Kay, but I hated that schtick.

    • John Cerra says:

      I think you are getting to the core here. If you watch an older Yankee classic on Yes, they overdub Kay/Sterling’s radio call on the video.

      Sterling was much better on those games…maybe even crisp. They called a good game together.

      I thought Kay was great on radio, and sometimes calls YES as if it is radio.

      As I understand it, the Kay/Sterling partnership wore itself out.

      Unfortunately, Charlie Steiner was another Sterling, he did not complement well.

      At this point, I believe Sterling is over compensating for what he thinks Suzane is missing. Frankly, I like her, although maybe a little less would help. Except of course, that would mean MORE Sterling. I don’t think I can take that.

  18. Steve says:

    Sterling and Waldman are atrocious in every possible way. They are so bad, that they make me want to turn on The Fan to hear Howie Rose call the Mets game.

    Sterling miscalls every situation like he is Mr. Magoo. And Waldman has such a thick Boston accent that it’s uncomfortable. Even if she were the best color commentator in the business (which she isn’t), the Yankees couldn’t find someone that doesn’t sound like Red Sox fan to do the job?

    How many radio play-by-play gigs would be more coveted than the Yankees job? And this is what we get?

    A batter will make an out after a Sterling home run call, and then he and Suzyn will talk about superfluous nonsense, and then Sterling will then return with “so it’s a 3-1 count…”

    The only good thing to come out of that group was the legendary soundbyte of Suzyn gushing with elation when Clemens was in the broadcast booth to announce his return to the Yankees.

  19. manimal says:

    Just got a call from the doc’s and it turns out I had swine flu… It lasted 3 days and I didn’t take any meds and I survived.

  20. The Lodge says:

    Does it drive you nuts that he says:
    The-aaaahhhhhhhh….. pitch

    Prior to every pitch.

  21. Axl says:

    “This would have been a benign comment had Veras not pitched back-to-back three-inning affairs just two weeks before. He pitched three innings on May 18th against Cleveland, in the blowout game, and then pitched 3.1 in the 14-inning game against Oakland.”

    That’s today! Quick, hop into the DeLorean! lol

  22. gxpanos says:

    Ugh, Sterling. I totally agree. They need to get YOUNGER on the radio. You have to be sharp to be a radio announcer. Also, why is there no color guy on the Yankee radio? I mean, I know play-by-play is much more important than color on the radio, but having Waldman in there? Ridiculous. And “iconic” calls are overrated, simply because people like them, and then idiots like Sterling will get married to them, and then the call just slides down a steep slope toward annoying cliche.

    I first watched the Yanks in like ’95. I remember Kaat (oh, how I miss him, no matter what anyone says about how often he talked about his playing days!), but who was the play-by-play back before YES, on MSG? Was it Trautwig, or was he studio? I remember the play-by-play being good back then.

    Cone is very unpolished and awkward to me. He gets really amped about replays, and not just when they’re going to commercials, and it’s just weird. He was freaking out about the Gardner-Mauer thing, acting like he was calling it as it happened. Weird. O’Neill is the best because he screws with Kay and is really funny, but his analysis is a little weak. Singleton, of course, is the best–but is he a play-by-play guy? I think it’s unfair to make him one, when he’s so good in analysis. In conclusion, the YES TV announcing is a total mess. They need to pick three by figuring out who has the best chemistry, and stick to it. I hate the Sox, but c’mon, Remy and Orsillo? Those two make NESN games a lot of fun.

    Of course, this all hinges on firing Kay. Obviously.

    • Axl says:

      Orsillo?!? AHHHH!!!!! Don’t get me started…

    • steve (different one) says:

      i think Cone has a lot to offer on pitching. he just knows a ton about how to pitch. he’s unpolished, but i think he’s still an asset.

      Singleton is enjoyable.

      Leiter is ok, but seems a little angry. Flaherty is meh…Kay is unbearable.

      of course, this is just my opinion. i’m sure SOMEONE out there must like Kay considering he holds not one, but two, plum jobs with two separate networks.

    • I totally agree. They need to get YOUNGER on the radio.

      Yup, that’s our problem.. We’ve got too many aging, positionally challenged DH-types in the broadcast booth. We need to be able to play radio small-ball instead of always clogging up the airways going “station-to-station”.

  23. Axl says:

    At least you get to watch the Yankees and see Michael Kay talk about nonsense. I’m stuck being forced to listen to Sterling…and watch and listen to Don Orsillo on NESN which is literally the worst possible voice to hear day in and day out. Screaming and yelling when the Red Sox make a routine catch in the outfield. Remi was ok…it seems like the color commentators are always much better because they never talk as much. Singleton is great. I also enjoy Flaherty a lot…although when he and Leiter are on together it’s hard to tell them apart…

    Sterling is out of control…but Joe Costiglione or whatever sounds like he permenantly has a clothes pin pinched on his nose.

    Just be thankful we don’t have Don Orsillo…he’s easily the absolute worst.

    • UWS says:

      Are you kidding me? Along with Gary Cohen and Ron Darling, Orsillo and Remy are one of the best TV combos out there!

      • whozat says:

        Seriously. Jerry is usually drunk by about the 7th, so he’s hilarious…especially when they go to extras.

        And Orsillo rarely gets a call wrong and has a great announcer voice, and is a perfect straight man for Jerry.

        The only reason you don’t like them is because they’re on the Red Sox local broadcast network. They’re not SUPPOSED to be impartial. They’re there to be listened to by Red Sox fans.

      • Axl says:

        I listen to them everyday…I live in the area…Remy is great…Orsillo can be decent if he’s talking normal…but as oon as the ball leaves the bat…doesn’t matter if it’s an outstanding catch or a routine out…he’s screaming and yelling about how awesome it was…

        • Moshe Mandel says:

          Agree with this. remy is great, Orsillo is not too good. The red Sox radio broadcast is unlistenable and a bit sad. You know they get updates on the Yankee game (not a general scoreboard update, just the Yankees) at least three times a game? And Castiglione is awful.

        • whozat says:

          I lived in the area for ten years, and watched a LOOOOT of NESN. Orsillo is no worse than any other local announcer, in terms of getting excited about stuff that happens.

          You get pissed about it because he’s getting excited about things the Sox are doing. I know that you’d prefer it if he prefaced every comment with “I know this doesn’t hold a candle to the Yankees…” but that’s just not going to happen.

    • Tony says:

      yea cohen was really entertaining – he’s a bore

  24. Patrick says:

    I was listening to the Matsui game on the radio, while also DVR-ing the game. I went to check how close the ball was to a homerun and just laughed. My favorite is A-Rod’s 500th and the balls that were hit leading up to it. Everything is, just like Sterling, a homer.

  25. steve (different one) says:

    hmmm….tough call. on one hand, Sterling IS pretty terrible.

    but on the other hand, Mushnick is hacky d-bag writer for the Post.

    steel cage match?

  26. jsbrendog says:

    my fav hr call was the baltimore orioles radio announcer, this had to be probaly 5 or 6 yrs ago now. and they were playing seattle i believe, and the bases were juiced (not to be confused with sucka got no juice) and the batter cranks one to left field. it is a no doubter. and this is what follows:

    “and the pitch, high fly ball, BREAK OUT THE MUSTARD AUNT HELEN ITS A GRAND SALAMI!!!!!”

    to this day i randomly think o that and it makes me laugh

  27. Doug says:

    off topic, but pirates claimed steven jackson

    • I Remember Celerino Sanchez says:

      Are the Pirates trying to recreate the Yankee minor league system circa 2007? Hacker, Jackson, the guys from the Nady trade …

      • whozat says:

        I think it just speaks to what a truly barren system they have, that our castoffs are better than their 40-man roster.

    • Maybe when the Pirates play the Indians in interleague play, we can watch Carl Pavano and Luis Vizcaino square off against Ross Ohlendorf, backed up by Karstens, Hacker, and SteJax in the bullpen.

      Hopefully, Jake Westbrook is off the DL by then, so they can have a longman ready for Pavano’s explosion.

      :: head explodes ::

  28. Brendo says:

    Bitching about Sterling? Aren’t there more important things to complain about like the bullpen, empty seats, Girardi, Cashman, the terrible drafts the past 15 years, the lack of any impact minor leaguers, etc?

  29. Keith says:

    Hate Sterling, Waldman and Kay. Also, they are so embedded that you guys here at RAB subconsciously through their awful sayings into your posts every once in a while. Stop saying “as is his wont” It’s not a real phrase that anyone but the Yankee announcers says!!!!

  30. Ace says:

    I disagree with Mushnick. I’d like to see him cover 162 games a year and never make a mistake. This dude is a nit-picking asshole who works for a tabloid-level newspaper. You could literally listen to any broadcast of any game by any broadcaster and come up with 3 mistakes over an entire weekend. I’m not saying Sterling is the greatest of all time but he has a great radio voice, fills the air with a lot of chatter and keeps me entertained. I am saying this as someone who has subscribed to the MLB.com radio package for the last 3 years and listens to a ton of games via the radio. If you want to knock Susan Waldmyn, fine – her voice is grating and she really doesn’t offer anything more than Sterling is already providing. Sterling isnt THAT bad in my opinion.

    • I Remember Celerino Sanchez says:

      I think what we are all saying is that it’s not just three mistakes a weekend. It’s more like three mistakes an inning. (Okay, I might be exaggerating.) But the bottom line is the guy not only gets the calls wrong on the field, over and over again, but his knowledge of the game is sorely lacking, which affects his ability to tell us what’s happening.

      The guy is straight-out incompetent.

      If it was three mistakes a weekend, I’d let his self-aggrandizing shtick go.

    • Tom Gaffney says:

      Agreed – this should be a fire Waldman post

  31. steve s says:

    Sterling’s home run calls and The Yankees Win calls are worth all the mistakes everyone harps on and you will miss them (if you are a true Yankee fan) when he’s gone. Mushnick, on the other hand, writes the worst column in NY sports (Raissman is second). Speaking of a guy who gets a free pass, the single worst signature call in NY sports broadcasting belongs to Howie Rose who says “put it in the books” only when the Mets win (losses go in the books too Howie). Also his often played “Matieu”/Matieu” (excuse the spelling) goal call was as amateurish as they come.

  32. Dump Kay, too. The Dodgers have Vin Scully, the Philles had (:() Harry Kalas and we have these two as the heads of our respective broadcast teams?

  33. Kevin M. says:

    I just want to know…..how do you miss a call like the Matsui double? I mean…you’ve got a fantastic view of the field from the booth AND a monitor right in front of you. I really literally want to know how you call a ball that lands 10 feet in front of the wall a home run?

    Even worse than that he called a HR on the catch BJ Upton made earlier in the year….a catch not anywhere near the wall.

    Again…somebody please offer an explanation….how do you miss a call like that????

  34. Drew says:

    The one thing that ticks me off is that I get in the car, often mid-half inning, and it takes until the end of that half inning to hear the score. I mean, I know they don’t want to be monotonous repeating the score but would every five minutes be so bad? I get so mad listening to the calls of hits, walks, flyballs, K’s without any note of the score. It really sticks in my craw!
    As for the bad/erroneous calls, I’m used to them, I hear Kay all week, “Driven to rightfield! Caught on the infield grass.”

    • jsbrendog says:

      “Driven to rightfield! Caught on the infield grass.”

      the opposite of the old coors field, and hampton lays down a bunt and its outta here! a home run

    • Tom Gaffney says:

      Scooter once made a call, “Holy Cow, White, that hit the moon!!… Wait a minute, that’s not the moon.”

  35. TheLastClown says:

    After reading the “We could’ve had Vin Scully” article:

    Personally, I live in LA & don’t listen to Yankee games as per John Sterling at all, ever. I’m not a fan, but I don’t have to deal with him, the O&A clip is the most I’ve heard him in years.

    I do watch on MLB.TV, however, and am subjected to Michael Kay much too much for my liking. I like the color guys, Kenny, Cone, Al Leiter etc., but I am fascinated by Michael Kay.

    This man is such a tangled web of neuroses, it’s hard to believe he actually has a lucrative series of jobs with the biggest American sports franchise. You can hear him cringe inside, marking his mental enemies list when his broadcast mates make fun of him about his pettiness, his general un-knowledge & misconception of baseball, or his gigantic cranium.

    This article though, he states in this article that he wouldn’t have attempted to become a “gopher” in the Yankee machine if it meant he would have to swallow his insecurities all the way down to basking in the radiant glory of Vin Scully. A roach who scatters at lights first sight. I mean really, how does a sniveling cauldron of inferiority like this survive? I really do feel bad for the guy. For all his accomplishments…

    Olbermann too though. He said it “seems a sacrilege” to even precede Vin Scully. And it’s easy breezy to play GE-brand’s funhouse mirror Ed Murrow lite & distort important swirling political issues daily. No dishonor in that, but speaking somewhere in time close to Vin Scully? Blasphemous.

    I love Vin Scully for the record, and the article conveys the only portrait of him I’ve ever heard. Class act. I think Hollywood’s a much better fit for Michael Kay. Get Scully to come home for his sunset years, let Michael scatter on out here. Perchance to dream…

  36. adeel says:

    I never realized how bad Sterling was until I put on the radio while watching the Yankee game. It’s not just the missed home-run calls; EVERYTHING is up for interpretation. Inside pitches are outside, high is low, ball can be strikes… maybe I caught him at a bad time…

    That sad… He is still better than Waldman and Kay….
    1) Replace Waldman with Francesca (just to see Franscesca and Sterling fight every day; that would be entertaining)
    2) Fire Kay and let Kim Jones have a shot!

  37. Weisdog says:

    Sterling is horrible – the whole point of the radio announcer is to paint a picture of what is happening in the game since the listener is not there. Missing calls is not made acceptable by being “entertaining”.

    One thing that infuriates me that Mushnick missed is that Sterling is also the “master of the obvious”. How many times has he said something along the lines of, “it’s a 3-2 count, if he doesn’t throw a strike here, he’s going to walk him”? No, really, John, thanks for clearing that one up for me.

  38. Drew says:

    Hire TEH Kellerman!!1!

  39. Yankee1010 says:

    I haven’t been able to read the whole thread, but I’m amazed that there are more than a few people who would prefer to keep Sterling. What an abysmal game caller. Considering he’s on the radio, game calling is pretty much is only function.

    He can’t be gone soon enough.

  40. Stultus Magnus says:

    Unfortunately, Sterling will probably be with Yankee fans for another decade.

  41. Stultus Magnus says:

    For all of you who like Sterling, listen to anybody else in MLB call a game. Listen to the WFAN when the Mets play the Yankees. Sterling is one of the worst, ever. Period. Done. No discussion. I love the Yanks. Sterling drove me to cable because I couldn’t stand his blown calls and horrible lack of detail to the game.

  42. JackISBACK says:

    I can’t take Sterling OR Waldman. Its like Beavis and Butthead, but without the intentional comedy. He misses counts, misses hits, misses players, infact he is one the main reasons I over-speed on highways, so I could get home and watch the game on TV ASAP.

    And Waldman with her retarded stories “So you know John, you will never guess who I ran into on the elevator today” to which John replies “Oh who might that be?” And Waldman comes up with “Brian CASHMAN, THE GM of the Yankees was ON THE PHONE!! in the elevator, so I just thought that was something cool” to which John replies “It just goes to show you that the GM’s work is never done in baseball, always on the lookout, never an offseason”

    Like WTF lady, who cares? And How she screams when anything exciting happens, gets so annoying.

    And while we’re are it, can we get someone better looking than Kim Jones? Lets face it, she’s not there because of her intellect, so atleast get someone hotter than a MILF candidate please. Even the Mets have like Julie Alexandria or something. C’mon!!!

    • jsbrendog says:

      And Waldman with her retarded stories “So you know John, you will never guess who I ran into on the elevator today” to which John replies “Oh who might that be?” And Waldman comes up with “Brian CASHMAN, THE GM of the Yankees was ON THE PHONE!! in the elevator, so I just thought that was something cool” to which John replies “It just goes to show you that the GM’s work is never done in baseball, always on the lookout, never an offseason”

      the scary thing is that this is SPOT on

  43. How about Bob Papa? Does he do anything during the football offseason?

  44. Lanny says:

    Waldman is even worse than Sterling. Those 2 makes Hagin and Rose seem like the best duo ever.

  45. JoeSit.(ragman) says:

    Beauty is in the eye of the beholder. I am in Michigan and listen occasionaly via the internet. Homers in broadcasting are a passing trend and when they are gone you will miss them. Bob Ufer was a Michigan play-by-play man for like 25 years and he watched an entirely different game than the rest of us, yet his enthusiasm was unmatched and he became a legend and beloved and is a hall of famer.

  46. Mike Pop says:

    Heh, I was at that game.

  47. Publius says:

    More like Beavis and Beavis. Waldman and Sterling are *both* the stupid one.

  48. Kevin says:

    I love John Sterling. The guy is into the games. He has fantastic homerun calls. And I love the thaaaaaaaaaa yankees win call. Okay he messes up a call and then corrects it, and sure he isnt the most knowlegable guy around. but hes friggin fun to listen to. I call my dad after every win with a full sterling call. Highlight of my day is hearing him yell “an a bomb, by a-rod” “a tex message” “Robby cano dontcha no” he’s awesome.

    • Ellis says:

      I completely agree! I hope I don’t get personally attacked for this, but I love John Sterling. He’s into it, I never get sick of his voice, and he knows Yankees history like the back of his hand.

  49. MikeD says:

    Nope, sorry. It’s Waldman we want gone. I’ll tolerate Sterling for another decade if only Walman goes away.

  50. Hi, I'm Jerry, this is my associate Cornelius says:

    His blatant disregard for objectivity is stunning.

  51. Mike says:

    Mushnick calling Sterling “bad” is like Stalin calling Hitler “bad.”

  52. susan mullen says:

    I love listening to John Sterling. Mushnick’s views are nothing new or unique. I ask you again to listen to play by play radio men for other teams. 90% of them sound exactly the same. They shriek at 3 octaves above their normal speech level. In particular, they raise and lower their voice level every 2 or 3 syllables so you’re listening to a man trying to sound chirpy or happy. I assume this is to make casual listeners think the game is exciting. Please remember radio is an intimate medium. In baseball on radio I am hearing a conversation with John Sterling. What you will get instead of John Sterling is a shrill, cookie cutter robot that comes out of the current machine. I won’t listen without John Sterling. I like Charley Steiner very much as the solo play by play radio voice of the Dodgers, but he was not good on Yankee radio. I did not listen for those 3 years (more than a few minutes a game) and I much prefer baseball on radio than television. Please do not use Mushnick as your guide against Sterling–others pbp men are much worse. And they don’t have the long history and continuity to share that Sterling does.

  53. Keith says:

    Uh-duh. I understand that”as is his wont” is proper english, but no one uses it in conversation other that than sterling and kay. It’s pretentious and annoying, stop using it.

  54. Tony says:

    I think this is a bit harsh. If you want to listen to a technically correct broadcast – listen to the Mets on wfan. The problem is they have no personality & are very bland & boring. Sterling “for me” is fun to listen to. Yes he makes mistakes – so what – so was Rizuto & he was fun to watch on wpix. I enjoy listening to him & I only wish Kay was still with him. Kay is not as good on tv as he was on the radio.

  55. Ballgame says:

    I don’t need an announcer to make the game more exciting, I need the Yankees to do that. I personally like when Flaherty and Singleton do games. It’s more relaxed, they stick to the game and don’t force conversation. The season is long…we can’t help getting annoyed with announcers who have to talk for 4 hours about a game 162 times a season. So Sterling is exactly what I hate. Too much forced talk.

  56. Giovanni says:

    I can’t stand Sterlin or Waldman. I’d rather listen to every opposing feed of the game than those two. Being someone who subscribed to the mlb.tv package (I live in Minnesota now rather then NY) there are certain games I just can’t get. Any national broadcast games, or the few times the Yankees play the Twins. On those occasions I listen to the radio, and have been for the last 4 years. I’m amazed the Yankees have allowed those two to ruin baseball games for as long as they have.

    It’s astonishing that anyone could like them.

  57. Docbooch says:

    If you don’t like Sterling you either didn’t grow up listening to the Yankees on the radio for the past 20 years or you take baseball too seriously. Please, he’s entertaining. I’ll live with the screwed up calls every once in awhile. There is no other announcer that puts as much energy and life into a broadcast.

    Suzyn is the one who must go. A color analyst from a woman who has not so much as thrown a pitch is just ridiculous. Like her opinion on anything even matters.

    btw, Tom Seaver replaced Bill White for a few years before jumping ship to the Mets for awhile.

    If you want to ick on somebody, stick to Suzyn..the woman who probably blew every old timer to get where she is. Other than that, dissing Sterling is blasphemy…you should check that blog IIH, IIF, IIC. They love him.

  58. Docbooch says:

    Oh, I forgot…the third choice would be you are not a Yankees fan, since every non Yankees fan can’t stand Sterling.

  59. DocBooch says:

    After the posting above, I realized how sexist my statement about Suzyn Waldman sounded. I guess it was just the heat of the argument. What I mean is that for that particular position, a person who has actually played the game is really what should be there. I value opinions from Cone, Singleton, and O’Niell a lot more and I know what they say is true because they have been there.

    You might as well make me the color analyst for the radio. To her credit, she gives good insight to conversations she has had with the players and I get a good feel for a players state of mind from her. I just can’t stand when she talks about pitching, the type of pitch and what a pitcher is trying to do. I remember when she covered the tv broadcast a few games a couple of years ago with Jim Kaat. She went into her know it all commentary about what a pitcher was trying to do and Kaat flat out told her she was wrong. I really don’t think he enjoyed working with her to say the least.

    I like what one of the earlier posters had to say about pairing Sterling with an even keeled ex ball player. Kind of like a White to our good ol Scooter. That what balance it out perfectly.

  60. [...] days ago, I read two articles disparaging the CBS Radio broadcaster for the Yankees,John Sterling (River Ave. Blues & NY Post).  I have always liked Sterling, although I understand why some people want to [...]

  61. Joanne Hanley says:

    John Sterling and Suzyn Waldman are very enjoyable to listen to. Suzyn makes me proud to be a woman who is an avid baseball fan…she knows so many intricate, relevant baseball facts that always improve my understanding of each individual game’s strategy. John Sterling is the consummate broadcaster who paints a mental picture of each play. His knick-names and colloquialisms for plays and the players add flavor to every broadcast. I particularly enjoy day games, as I turn the radio on in my office, and happily listen as these talented broadcasters give the play by play.

  62. [...] Radio Network compatriot Suzyn Waldman. We’ve gone on the record wondering if the Yanks could do better but recognize that we’ve been stuck with Sterling for better or worse. Some people love his [...]

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