Oct
28

Yanks re-up with WCBS, Sterling, Waldman for 2012

By

Yankees radio broadcasts will air on WCBS-AM for the 2012 season, and the club anticipates the return of John Sterling and Suzyn Waldman to the Lowes broadcast booth, the Yankees announced this afternoon. While it is tough to imagine life without the dulcet tones and understated approach of what one New York columnist has not-so-affectionately dubbed Ma and Pa Pinstripe, their return to WCBS was not a foregone conclusion. The 2011 season marked the final under a deal with WCBS that had guaranteed the Yanks $13 million annually for the radio rights, and throughout the season, we heard rumblings that WFAN or WEPN 1050 would make a play for the Yanks.

Instead, the Yanks and WCBS have re-upped for one year at undisclosed terms. The team said it has “retained the option to extend the agreement for another year.” Both parties however will “continue discussions about a longer term partnership.” With a handful of potential suitors willing to pay big bucks for the radio rights, the Yanks will definitely ask WCBS for more money. Barring a deal, they could try to buy their own radio station or move frequencies. That this is a one-year deal suggests that ESPN Radio could be involved next winter if they find a station with a signal stronger than 1050. For now, though, we are graced with one more season of John Sterling and Suzyn Waldman on WCBS 880 AM.

Categories : Asides, NYC Sports Media
  • Mike Myers

    Waldman is back in the BOOOOOFF

    NO!

  • Yank The Frank

    You just can’t predict radio…

    • Eric Solomon

      I LOL’d

  • Natron

    While I cherish Ma & Pa Pinstripe (Sterling in particular), it might be nice to get some new blood that has sharper baseball insight in 2013.

  • Tyrone Sharpton

    Sterling’s awesome. Waldman sucks though and should be booted ASAP

    • Kiko Jones

      This.

      • Mark

        This

    • Evan3457

      If by awesome, you mean a complete failure at the single most important job a radio play-by-play man has, an accurate call of the game, then I agree.

  • Marsha

    Noooooooooooooooooooooooooooo.

  • Randi

    I’d take “Ma & Pa Pinstripe” over the blowhards at the Worldwide Loser anyday

  • Plank

    Is their Spanish radio contract still the same?

  • http://www.twitter.com/howienewville Howie

    As a Yankee fan living on the West Coast, therefore needing to listen on MLB at bat while I commute home from work, let me just say that I am pounding my head into the wall at the thought of another year of Sterling and Waldman.

    • mustang

      I feel sorry for you i only have to deal with it a few times a week.

    • Al

      As a west coast fan myself, I just learned to live with it in traffic just like i learned to live with traffic itself.
      They are so bad, that its almost enjoyable. Like “so ugly almost cute” concept. I can dig it for another year…

    • gbittar

      It amazes me no end that Waldmyn keeps coming back. She’s so obviously grating on the ears, unless perhaps to her relatives and others accustomed to that tone of voice. Hyenas mate, I guess, so there must be someone who genuinely loves Waldmyn.

      But for the rest of us, there was a day in the not so recent past when Rizzuto, White, and Messer called the plays, people loved it. I understand it’s hard to catch lightening in a bottle, but when you’ve caught mud, why hold onto it for decades? Who owes whom what?

      Meanwhile, as bad as their field of play, the Mets have announcers are endlessly entertaining, in Keith, Gary, and Ron.

      This whole ongoing trainwreck reminds me of how everyone is force fed Joe Buck every year, even though most people can’t stand him.

  • mustang

    I like Sterling but I was ready for a change my poor car steering wheel has taken a pounding over the years because of all the blown Sterling’s homerun calls.

    • Al

      “It is high, it is far, it is….. caught!”

      • Billion$Bullpen

        This alone is enough for me to want them both gone. And that is not the only reason. But either get better glasses or get off the radio.

        Being an out of towner these days I like they are still on WCBS as I can get the games most nights.

      • AySz88

        Wha? I always figured that, for drama, he does always does that for balls literally “high” and “far” even if not home runs. It makes sense to on the entertainment level.

  • Plank

    A one year contract makes me think the Yankees didn’t get the raise they were hoping for. I was really thinking they would buy their own network. There are a few clear channel stations in NYC that I think aren’t being maximized and the Yankees could have bought and immediately made more valuable.

    • Billion$Bullpen

      I do not think its just about the NYC market. Obviously that is most important but on a good night you can get that signal far and wide south as far as DC and north very far into Red Sox country. Not sure how far it goes to the west but I would assume a decent amount. I know that is not their main concern but being a large brand they want to hit as many people as possible.

      I wish people in or outside of NYC could purchase only Yanks radio / tv games as a package. I would drop some $ on it, but at the same time I do not like the radio team and despise Michael Kay.

      • TomH

        On a clear night I can get WCBS on my car radio in Toronto and on my cottage radio 160 miles north of Toronto. If I were the Yankees, I wouldn’t want to lose so powerful a signal.

        • Plank

          There are other clear channel stations in NYC that have the same reach. Their desire to have such a large reach will limit possible partners, but CBS isn’t the only one.

          Also, you may be getting the actual 880 signal, but it’s also possible that you are getting the signal of one of the many stations that syndicate the game.

          • TomH

            No, it’s WCBS. I like to listen, after the game, to the traffic reports in NYC.

  • http://www.twitter.com/matt__harris Matt :: Sec110

    That’s basebal..err….buisness Suzyn.

  • Plank

    Is there a link with more information or is this your own investigation?

    • http://www.secondavenuesagas.com Benjamin Kabak

      That’s all the info the Yanks released today. The press release was rather bare bones.

      • Plank

        Thanks.

        This isn’t Yankees or RAB specific, but I always think news sites should put a note in a posting if the information came from a press release of the subject they are covering. The story wouldn’t change, but I think people should know that this is the story from the Yankees perspective.

        No one does it currently, maybe RAB could start a journalistic trend.

        • Billion$Bullpen

          I would appreciate that as well. Most of the times across most large news platforms you can tell if you read what is not in there.

  • thenamestsam

    Does anyone know Waldman and Sterling’s salaries? I’m just curious and a brief internet search revealed nothing. Wondering if anyone ever heard anything.

    • Plank

      Also, are they paid by WCBS or the Yankees? Do the Yankees get to choose the broadcasters?

  • David N

    Happy to have John and Suzyn back, not so happy to have them on CBS. For some reason, I can never get good reception on 880.

    And while I thought that John had slipped a fair amount, I listened to Bob Uecker doing an NLDS game, and I realized that it could be a lot worse – you had no idea what was going on in that game.

    • Dave B

      Word—Ueck is a legend and funny as hell during blowouts, but he is completely distracted during some games.

  • Paul VuvuZuvella

    Shoot me now.

  • Zooboy

    Oh. My. Gawd.

  • John in Ithaca

    Maybe some of you don’t remember that Suzyn Waldman was really our only ray of light back in the dark days of the late ’80s and early ’90s with her Yankees reports on WFAN. She’d scurry around and get little trade rumor nugget after nugget and report that to us–and that was all we had to hang on to back then. Yes, maybe she isn’t the greatest in the broadcast booth…but she really is our old longtime Yankees buddy. Let’s not forget that. And she loves the Yankees as much as we do.

    And, sure, Sterling has his flaws too, but I have been listening to many other teams’ radio broadcasters this season over mlb, and many of them are worse, a lot worse. Last night’s walk-off homer called by the St. Louis radio announcer was pretty weak–he didn’t let the listener know the moment the ball left the yard…it was something like, “hit to deep center, get up, get up, get up, and we’re going to game 7.’ That guy’s Pujols third home run call was atrocious. Sterling would have had those balls going over the walls and into the hands of the crowds in the listeners’ minds’ eyes. I appreciate that.

    It might be good to add a third member to the crew, some new energy; I’d love that. But for now, I am happy to hear some more dramatic Sterling and know that Waldman really has her heart in it.

    • TomH

      I endorse this entirely, especially about the comparative merits of Sterling/Suzyn against much of the competition. The Ma and Pa put-down, with its implication that they’re a couple of rubes is much better directed at many of the provincial broadcasting teams, including many of the tv broadcasting teams. That’s my reason for preferring even the generally-disliked (but not by me) Michael Kay, whose ironies always make me laugh and whose interplay with Singleton et al. are usually way above his competition.

      The one thing I hope the Yankees are wise enough never to do is to hire a couple of stat-heads for the radio booth. For every neo-stat lover they gained they would lose about 5 listeners who would be bored to distraction by the pronunciations of the various acronyms. Such a move would not be in direction of greater “sophistication” but in the direction, rather, of pedantry, always a turn-off.

      • gbittar

        Sheesh. Nonsense. Check out a Mets broadcast. It’s just about the only thing that organization gets right.

        • AySz88

          I haven’t heard the Mets broadcasts, but they’re a “local” team in the middle of a community of nerdy Chinese-Americans like myself (Flushing), a stone’s throw from U.S. Open tennis, served by just one express subway line piped from Midtown. So their stats might be catering to a fan audience that’s a little more “sophisticated” than the national fan audience of the Yanks. We can hope that the Yankees’ audience “catches up”, but it’s probably early for that. (Though who knows, maybe Moneyball has changed tastes?)

  • Jake

    No. It can’t be…..No………No……..NOOOOOOOO!

    Halloween came early this year. Feels like one of Sterling’s calls,where I got excited that it might be out and there would be hope in the world, only to have the catcher run backwards to catch it.

    I absolutely HATE the tandem. Sterling is just blind, and his stupid repetitive slogans get annoying once you listen on a regular basis. Waldman is just like that old aunt that everyone has, who gets super excited when she bakes cookies. Like calm down lady, it’s cookies. I just can’t stand her mundane stories.

  • Matt M

    Y’all should be careful what you wish for. Alternative could be way worse.

    • http://www.twitter.com/tomzig Tom Zig

      This. A million times, this.

  • Frank

    880 is the worst reception for a Yankee game

  • Rich in NJ

    Kay, Waldman, Sterling, and Flaherty are just awful.

  • walter

    Can’t say I’m happy about this. I’d rather them get people in there that can actually call a game. Sterling’s a joke and I’m tired of waldman.

  • ThatsBaseballSuzyn

    Sterlings gaffes have become comical to me. At 1st i was so frustrated but ive learned to deal with it..then i thought to myself “why does the #1 sports organization of all time have such poor quality announcers? It really boggles my mind! Sterling is quite the entertainer with his HR calls etc but the rest of his game sucks. He stumbles and forgets and makes mistakes that drive me insane! His old time cliches are a pain in the ass. And when u listen to him try and read his boxscore after the game its cringe worthy. Suzyn is a collosal disaster. Her voice irritates me . Her storys are just not good and the chit chat betw them are borring. Plus sometimes i can count to 20 and its still complete silence… This news blows….

  • David K.

    Sterling has a great voice and he is theeeeeeeeeee most dramatic play by play man in baseball ever. I listen to other team’s radio and it’s like listening to a funeral. Yes, it’s extremely irritating when Sterling does his home run call and then says “no, it’s caught at the wall”, but if you read the recent New York Times article (which also has his salary info), he says he makes the call as he’s watching it and not after the fact. Other than perhaps a pair of glasses so he can see better, I don’t have a problem with Sterling. I like him, it’s so entertaining. Where else would you ever hear the word “milieu”? But Susan I can do without, she adds nothing to the broadcast. And where does she go after the 8th innings? Why can’t they get someone who really would be a better match with Sterling’s style? Susan is so bad that Sterling practically dominates the whole broadcast.

    • http://secondavenuesagas.com Benjamin Kabak

      After the 8th, Suzyn leaves the booth so she can be on the field to get the post-game interview as soon as the game is over.

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