Report: Yankees will remain with WCBS 880 in 2013

Yanks lose to Blue Jays, look bad doing it
Thoughts following the series loss to the Jays

Via Phil Mushnick, the Yankees have decided to remain with WCBS 880 for another season, rejecting ESPN’s bid to purchase their radio broadcasting rights. This almost certainly means John Sterling and Suzyn Waldman will remain the radio voices of the club for at least one more year.

The Yankees renewed their long-term deal with WCBS for this season about a year ago, which figured to set off a bidding war as ESPN shifted over from 1050 AM to 98.7 FM back in April. The 98.7 signal is stronger than 880’s, but it’s not as far-reaching. The current deal with WCBS pays the team about $14M per season, and supposedly the company loses money with the broadcasts. Ben wrote more about a potential radio broadcast shift back in April.

Yanks lose to Blue Jays, look bad doing it
Thoughts following the series loss to the Jays
  • mikey

    ya know, you really can’t predict broadcasting

    • Pat D

      I disagree. It’s easy to predict that most all broadcasting sucks.

      • gc

        Or that no matter what the broadcasting is like, people will go out of their way to complain about it.

  • tom

    Good….ill miss hearing…”theres a high pop…and the pitcher flips to 1B in time for the out… wait hes safe….no wait hes standing on second”….

    • JohnC

      Eh. You’d probably find something wrong with any new voices they brought in anyway.

      • Ghost of Mariano Rivera

        Oh, come on. Most broadcasters are boring, but at least they broadcast accurately. And Sterling is just annoying as all hell. Worse than Chris Berman with the puns.

  • BTG

    Suzyn is unlistenable. She has nothing to add except for a few grunts and to say, for virtually every hit, that the pitcher left the ball up. John would be okay with a better partner that played to his strengths. I can’t take those two anymore.

    • Rich in NJ

      As long as she covers for Sterling’s um, visual shortcomings, she will likely stay as long as he does.

    • jjyank

      A few grunts you say? Throw in a fart or two and she can be the seventh inning guy! Woman. Thing? Whatever.

    • Ghost of Mariano Rivera


    • PhillyMatt

      John, that pitch was thigh high and he just smacked it! (input some unlistenable noise here)

  • Maurice

    Without a doubt John and Susan are the worst in the business. I’ve been a lifelong Yankee fan who actually enjoys listening to games on the radio but the chemistry between the two of them just doesn’t work. Broadcasting a radio game should be conversational but Susan turn’s it in to an academic environment in which she tries to prove how much she knows. It’s just not enjoyable!!

    • Mark P

      I couldn’t agree more!! John Sterling should also get Lasik done. Praying for ESPN in 2014!

    • Magilla Gorilla

      Now that I am out of state, I generally listen to via mlb radio. Nowadays, I always listen to the other team’s radio broadcasters. I can tell you that there are very few quality radio men. TV is much better throughout MLB. Most are severe hometown fans. Most will see victory and loss only in terms of their team’s success or failure. So, if Russell Martin grounds out weakly, it is the success of their pitcher, as opposed to being what Russell Martin would have done against any pitcher. Same with the failures.

      I concede that Sterling knows the game. I do not mind the mix up on plays. That happens because he is so fast.

      What I cannot stand is the repetition of lines that were amusing one day but absolutely painful to listen to year after fucking year. Someone told Sterling that signature calls are important. He has taken this beyond any reasonable bounds. Moronic nicknames. Every swing and miss is super charged with the phony excitement that the ball may be going out of the park, when Sterling knows that the ball is in the catcher’s glove.

      He needs to say very much less. Call the game or be the color man. Sterling tries to be both and miserably fails.

      • RetroRob

        Sterling was a very good broadcaster who seems to have gotten lazy, focusing on the HR call and little else in his latter years. His style was always a bit over the top, but he was a pro. I never understood the Suzyn hiring. No problem adding a female voice to the booth, but there are other options, better options out there.

    • David

      Oh come on people!! They are the best broadcasters. Just listen to the mets or the red sox people it will make john and suzyn look great! At least they are entertaining.

  • Rich in NJ

    Score one for mindless homers.

  • JohnC

    I really enjoyed the days when Sterling and Kay were together on the radio. They had a real good chemistry. Didn’t care for Charlie Steiner, but Waldman is the worst. She either grunts or say ‘Oh boy’ when the other team gets a hit or laughs at every other little thing.

    • Rich in NJ

      I agree, they were very good together and have been awful apart.

    • MBN

      “I really enjoyed the days when Sterling and Kay were together on the radio.”

      Same here. I thought that Kay was the best of all Sterlings “side-kicks” over the years at being able to make Sterling listen-able. In addition, I liked that almost all the other sidekicks announced a few innings, but Waldman never does, unless Sterling is late coming back from the bathroom.

  • BigLoving

    Sigh……I guess it’s another year in which the only time I listen to the Yanks on the radio is when I can tune to the Mets broadcast during the subway series.

    • gc

      Oh, woe is you.

  • Frank O

    I for one am glad that they are staying on WCBS. I listen to WEPN on both 1050 AM and 98.7 FM. The FM signal quality is only marginally better than AM in Danbury CT where I live. I have to switch between AM and FM on a daily basis to find out which sounds better. There are clear sunny days where the FM signal is full of static. I don’t want to have to listen to the Yankee game while I’m driving and strain to understand what is going on (I know that I’ll get comments that this is the case now with Sterling’s broadcasts). When I’m driving up to Cape Cod I know that I’ll be able to listen to 880 most of the way there.

  • awy

    sterling is a national treasure. ok, maybe not, but at least a treasure.

  • William

    I am glad to hear that 880 will be the NYY radio station next year. I live in Rhode Island and I can listen to 880 and Sterling/Waldman during all the games. Go Yankees!

    • JCK

      Ditto. Also in RI, so happy to hear 880 will still have the games next year.

  • murg

    More devastating news for Yankee fans. Sterling is a buffoon that cannot meet the basic requirements of a broadcaster: accurately describing the action.

  • jjyank

    Where’s the Plouffster? I need his take on this.

  • Billion$Bullpen

    I am about as far south as 880 goes so I am happy they are still there but HATE the radio broadcast team.

  • Matt :: Sec110

    I don’t mind John and Suzyn, so this works for me.

  • Jamie insalaco

    If espn radio is anything like their tv coverage, I’ll take my chances with john – at least he watches the game

    • Cuso

      If espn radio is anything like their tv coverage, I’ll take my chances with john – at least he watches points his head/eyes in the direction of the game

      • Cuso

        haha strike fail

    • KatiePO

      I’d actually prefer ESPN TV. The people on ESPN Radio are the biggest bunch of egotistic and arrogant hosts I’ve ever heard on radio. Have you ever listened to the Mike Lupica show at noon??? UUUUUUGGGGGHHHHHHH!!

  • Pat D

    I honestly don’t mind Sterling and Waldman that much. I know that sounds like blasphemy, but that’s just like my opinion, man.

    I could really care less as to what station the broadcast originates from, so long as I can get it where I live. As long as the FM station out of Belvedere keeps airing the games, I don’t care who carries the games.

  • ADG

    14M a year? damn, why don’t we just have them pay Swisher to play for us next year?

  • Brett

    As awful as they are, the worst part to me about these broadcasts are the constant product promotion. I’m sick of all the advertising – every other pitch they are peddling something. This is not John and Suzyn’s fault – they do what they are paid to do. That’s what happens when you overpay for broadcast rights, you have to make it up somewhere.

    • Billion$Bullpen

      I get it. But that is how they pay the Yankees, they sell ad spots. No way around that. Never going to change.

    • Rich

      “That’s what happens when you overpay for broadcast rights, you have to make it up somewhere.”

      WRONG. That’s what happens when they can get the revenues. It has nothing to do with “overpay for broadcast rights.”

      If WCBS’s parent got the rights for free they’d still get as many paid spots in as they could.

    • Randi

      “I’m sick of all the advertising – every other pitch they are peddling something.”

      They do the same thing during the YES broadcasts – only difference is that they constantly peddle Yankee Stadium. I understand it, but it gets annoying after a while.

  • Better off Eddard

    I couldn’t be happier. John Sterling is Yankee Baseball and they’d be making a big mistake to get rid of him. Waldman I could do without.

  • The Tenth Inning Stretch

    I razz on Sterling/Waldman a lot, but honestly they’re better than most other radio tandems. I listen to afternoon games daily at work on the At-Bat app, and I’ve heard lots of various teams’ broadcast crews, and I consider myself lucky to have these two. Of course, that says a lot more about the inept state of play-by-play radio than it does Sterling and Waldman.

  • Get Phelps Up

    They should re-pair Kay with Sterling, get rid of Waldman and make Singleton the full time YES pbp guy.

  • Raul Ibanez AKA Tom Marvolo Riddle

    Very mixed feelings on this. I rip on John and Suzyn all the time because when it comes to play by play they are both terrible. John’s usually to busy looking down and marking his score card to be bothered with what’s happening in the field, and Suzyn is busy trying to prove she knows baseball as much as anybody else (she doesn’t.) They also use very very arcane and non-baseball related metaphors to describe their feelings or what’s going on during the game. Exp “You know Suzyn this reminds me of a time oh, some 40 years ago when (fill in name here) was a Broadway star. I only bring it up because…” Then I look up (fill in name here) to find out they were a marginally successful off broadway actor. Meanwhile the game is actually happening on the field and they just seem to forget about it. On the other hand though, they are literally all I know. From ages 6-12 when I first got into baseball I was hardly able to watch games because my Mom and sister weren’t sports fans, and we only had 1 TV. From 12-18 I ran w/ the “punk kids” i hardly found time to watch baseball and never admitted that I did(cause sports were fore jocks) From then on I’ve listened/watched every game and though I rip on John and Suzyn part of me loves them like an annoying aunt and uncle and I cannot picture a Yankees radio broadcast with out them behind the microphones.

  • TomH

    Thank God! Great news. The pedantry of statistical metaphysics in the booth postponed for at least another year.

  • Randi

    In other news, ESPN just re-upped with MLB for eight years, $5.6B, which means we won’t be able to get away from the clowns in the ESPN booth either.

  • bkight13

    Love it!!! I live in Ocean City, MD and pick up 880 AM on my $5 radio at the beach for most day games. Agree about Waldman, she is like nails on a chalkboard.

  • CT Yankee

    For some reason, 98.7 fm gets me some spanish station in my area. 1050 am still works great. *scratches head*

    Nice to see it’s still sticking around WCBS for another season.

    • Randi

      Only problem is that in September (I think that’s the month) ESPN will make 1050AM the spanish sports station.

  • Chop It Up

    Serious question…If WCBS loses money broadcasting the Yankees, why move forward with them? What’s the benefit?

    • Randi

      Probably just to keep the amount of listeners. I keep hearing about people far south of NYC being able to get the signal (like bkight13 in Maryland).

      • VT Yankee Fan

        At night I can get the signal here in VT a about 40 miles south of the Canadian border. We have a local station that carries the game here though.

    • RetroRob

      …because they don’t lost money broadcating the Yankees. That’s a game all radio networks play.

  • Randi

    I’ve heard that complaint from people in your area who were upset that ESPN changed stations. That 98.7 signal is strong BUT its a popular station dial. So if you live in the same area as a local radio station that broadcasts on the same station dial, you won’t get ESPN. The change was great for everyone living in the city, but not great for folks living around NYC.

  • VT Yankee Fan

    Bring back Rizzuto, Messer and White!

  • RetroRob

    I’m actually fine with this. Not because I want to hear John and Suzyn, but more so because I don’t want ESPN getting the Yankees local broadcast rights. I don’t want the Yankees home station to be infested with the likes of Mike Lupica. I find 1050 and its new FM sister signal to be unlistenable as a sports fan.

    Plus, the new FM signal is really no better than the AM signal, at least north of the city, and the Yankees have tons of fans the further north traveled. As I was heading up to the Hudson Valley Renegade game the other day, I was testing their signal expecting that they might end up on ESPN, and I didn’t have to get to much past Westchester before the signal was getting spotty.

    The Yankees need to negotiate a deal with one of the 50,000 watt clear channel AMs in NYC. WFAN, WOR, WABC, or their current WCBS. They can be heard anywhere in the tristate, and at night their signals skip up to Canada and into Michigan. WFAN would be the best. Just kick the Mets off that station. The main sports station in NYC should not be home of the hapless Mets. Plus the station outside of the Francesa is bizarrely too pro Mets for such a weak team, although I guess not so strange afterall since it’s the home station. Although they’d have to also insist that Steve Somers be retired.

    • Big Members Only (formerly RI$P FTW)

      You need yes-men working on their station? (pardon the pun)
      I’ve never heard of anyone listening to that station outside of a game.

  • Big Members Only (formerly RI$P FTW)

    Yuck. Maybe I’ll learn Spanish so I can listen to someone else.