Jan
29

Michael Kay inks new multi-year deal with the YES Network

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Michael Kay will continue to be the primary play-by-play voice of the Yankees after signing a new multi-year agreement with the YES Network, according to a release. Kay has been with YES since the network launched in 2002 and he’s not leaving anytime soon. No word on the other announcers, if you’re wondering.

Categories : Asides

87 Comments»

  1. Dave says:

    Goddamit. I hate Michael Kay…

  2. Michael Kay says:

    Hmmm…maybe Derek Jeter will invite me to brunch at his apartment now. What should I wear that won’t make me look fat?

  3. flamingo says:

    It’s like the Yankees won’t retire anyone with a signature home run call.

    (I actually like John Sterling. But Kay?!)

    • Winter says:

      Wait. You like Sterling? HOW?

      • flamingo says:

        It’s more nostalgia than anything, because I grew up with his shtick. But I do like him. It’s Waldman I really can’t stand. I think Sterling needs a new radio partner.

      • Havok9120 says:

        The same way everyone a generation older than me thinks the Scooter was the greatest announcer in the history of baseball.

        HOLY COW THERE IT G-…pop fly to the pitcher.

        • Jimmy says:

          There was something genuine about Scooter that Sterling doesn’t have. Everything with Sterling seems to be about using his shtick, its grating. Scooter was a bit like a goofy uncle. He didn’t force the “Holy Cow” or the “huckleberry” calls like Sterling forces his catchphrases. You had to have heard both for a while to compare them fairly.

          • I am not the droids you're looking for... says:

            Completely agree. I was there for both.

          • Robinson Tilapia says:

            Apples and oranges, though. There’s only one Phil Rizzuto.

            Sterling does have more of a rehearsed shtick for sure.

            I don’t like some of the simpleton stuff that goes on with John and Suzyn (some I don’t mind – I actually understood what they meant by “professional ballplayer” – sorry, Plouffy). I also realize that shaking your fist at the radio in anger is sometimes part of the experience. I don’t think having Bill James in the booth would be necessarily better, especially since he’d be wanking off to/on Dustin Pedroia.

    • Jacob says:

      Complete opposite for me, I’d much rather have Sterling replaced than Kay (not that I love that guy either). If I had a nickel for everytime Sterling messed up just simply describing what happened on the field while I scratch my head listening to the radio, I’d be rich.

  4. NettlesE5 says:

    There is a chance, ever so small, the yankees will rid themselves of Arods contract and John Sterling in the same year…..please god

  5. Hoss says:

    I hope that Singleton is coming back. He is the best in the booth. Incredibly knowledgable with total class. Can even play a little OF if needed.

    • johnnybk says:

      Agreed. I like when they get sweet Lou in too, he’s always good for a few anecdotes and a laugh or two.

    • johnnybk says:

      Kenny was also one of a few people who graciously came out to shake some hands at the player entrance on the way out of the final game at the old stadium. I appreciate that.

    • Patricia says:

      Singleton is horrendous. He is not a Yankee. Still an Oriole. Cone and Lou are great.

      • Captain says:

        thats ridiculous. he’s horrendous because he played for the Orioles or for his announcing? because his announcing is nowhere close to horrendous. definitely the best person YES puts in the booth.

      • Jim Is Bored says:

        I don’t care if the announcers were/are yankees. I want to not hate the entire world when I’m listening to them. Singleton doesn’t drive me insane, so I like him in the booth.

        Love Cone too.

        • Robinson Tilapia says:

          Do Patricia and Amanda hang out? I wonder.

          We could, of course, list the announcers who now work for one team, but played for another, and that list would go on for several pages, even in small type.

          • Nice Guy Eddie says:

            Ive always wanted a 3-man team w/ Singleton doing play-by-play, Coney giving his opinion and Piniella just doing his thing

  6. Jim says:

    Kay is as good as anyone at calling the action when the ball is in play and has a superb talent for capturing the big moment. I don’t think he gets the credit he deserves for those 2 things.

    However, his banter in between the action is pretty atrocious. He consistently asks his partners the same questions over and over each season as if he has learned nothing of the game throughout the years. He’s also loath to really get on a Yankee about anything negative or critical. (Though I’m sure that is mandated from the upper brass)

    All in all, it could be worse. Kay is fine.

    • Steve says:

      I think the question thing is for the benefit of the audience. Any first time watchers in the audience probably appreciate the insight of the former players, so Kay is asking the questions to get the ball rolling. Of course, it’s definitely possible that he just haven’t learned haha

      • Jim says:

        I understand, but then I’d say he underestimates his audience. He’s doesn’t cover nationally televised games. He’s calling games for the Yankees network. You don’t hear Gary Cohen constantly asking Keith Hernandez and Darling to educate the audience. Let them do their job.

        • Steve says:

          That’s definitely fair. As a journalist (though obviously not nearly the same as Michael Kay) I know there are certain questions I can ask that will get me a great answer every time. It’s kind of a crutch, I guess. I don’t know if that is what he is doing, but I wouldn’t be surprised if it was.

          • I am not the droids you're looking for... says:

            He also has to fill otherwise dead air. Sometimes the color guys are pretty flat, like they’re afraid to speak unless spoken to directly which drives me nuts :)
            I love Singleton, Cone, Leiter and a few others. I don’t know the general booth rules but I usually want to hear more from them. Even if I “know” the answer from decades as a fan I don’t tire of good stories well told.

    • Eddard: Back and better than never says:

      He should be negative to guys like A-Rod. We just heard today that A-Rod is still doing PEDs. The Yankees just need to use that and void the rest of the contract. Get that cancer out of the locker room. I love it when Kay is willing to stick his nose out there and be negative, you sure as hell won’t hear any former player do that.

    • KennyH123 says:

      Really? No he isn’t fine. He is clueless. He is HORRENDOUS at calling the action when the ball is in play.. not bad, HORRENDOUS. Superb talent? Dude, what are you smoking?
      Its idiots like you who know next to zero about baseball that keep no talents like Kay making millions.

    • Herby says:

      If he’s talking about the game at all, how many times have plays slipped by and they’re talking about golf games, or how he doesn’t like mayo..or how Jeter’s gift basket to his wife wasn’t good enough? Kay is horrible. What I’d really like to see is Kaat coming back.

  7. Eddard: Back and better than never says:

    I love Michael Kay. He’s entertaining and calls the game fair for both sides. Just think how much the broadcast falls off when Kay or Kenny isn’t doing PBP. STAT guys don’t like him but they’re not the mass audience. Mass audience loves Michael Kay and that’s why YES smartly inked him to a new multi-year deal, even though Hal said he didn’t do extensions.

  8. Jose says:

    How can you guys not like Michael Kay?! To me he is one of the best announcers there is. He gives informative stuff during slow game times and he is just pure entertaining to listen to. To me other announcers just sound dull and boring once you listen to Michael Kay. He is awesome.

  9. Fred the Elephant Boy says:

    Not sure what’s worse news, Kay’s new deal or the A-fraud allegations.

    Anyone else notice that Axisa carried the team’s water yet again today? No commentary or bloviating on the PED news whatsoever. Just a recap of the actual news and various links. Don’t forget who butters RAB’s bread folks. It’s the YES Network. Guess there aren’t any SABR stats that can be spouted on this one.

    Axisa has been supporting A-fraud and insisting he will play out his contract for the Yanks. It now appears that this very well may not be the case. Sycophants like Tilapia Fish Fingers in turn carry RAB’s water, attacking other people’s opinions from his mom’s basement before starting his shift at the TSA security line at Laguardia. Who knows, maybe Tilapia Fish Fingers is one of A-roid’s new mules now, since he knows how to spirit these substances across borders.

    Anyone with half a brain knew that once the Yanks signed Youkilis to a $12MM deal, A-roid wasn’t going to play an inning this year. It’s highly possible the team already knew about this latest PED news, as well as the fact that his PED-ravaged hip (despite what his highly paid surgeon says) could likely end his career.

  10. Robinson Tilapia says:

    That little girl’s gotta eat.

    Like with Sterling, he’s a dingbat, but he’s MY dingbat.

  11. M-Three says:

    I am a fan of Michael Kay. He calls the action it like he sees it. Kay gets excited for the big plays (like every teams play-by-play guy) but isn’t a complete homer. He does call out when someone is slumping or the team struggles w/RISP.

    The way that YES improve the broadcast is by cutting down the number of rotating analyst. Keep Singleton, Flash and O’Neil because they are all entertainment and know the game. They need to gets rid of Cone and Leiter. Both of them are booring, have no personality & bring no excitement to the game. Plus, every other word out of their mouths is about that crap sabermetrics. Cone & Leiter always ruin the game broadcast when they waste our time with that garbage.

  12. Get Phelps Up says:

    I didn’t even know his contract was up.

    • Havok9120 says:

      Nor I. But I’m pretty sure that that’s because (unlike Sterling/Waldman) there didn’t seem to be a real chance he didn’t get retained.

      I mean, I know he bothers a lot of people, but there are many team-based play-by-play guys who are far, faaaar worse.

  13. Yankee in CT says:

    Michael Kay is best when he isn’t around one of his man-crushes. Paul, Leiter and Flash are bad for him. He gets all giddy when they’re around. Kenny and Coney are most effective at keeping Kay at bay.

  14. forensic says:

    Cool, since I’m one who actually does enjoy him calling games most of the time.

    They can show Flaherty (and Waldman) the door anytime they’d like though…

  15. Darren says:

    A long long time ago, when Sterling and Kay were the radio team, they both did their jobs very well. Their calls were mostly schtick-free, and they allowed themselves to live in the moment. I know it’s hard to believ, but it’s true.

    Also, pumpkinhead.

  16. Mr RSU says:

    THERE IT GOOOOOOOESSS!!! SEE YA … to anyone taking over PBP duties from Kay that anyone was hoping for

  17. amanda says:

    yankees biggest move this winter eh

  18. Now Batting says:

    How’s it go? The Yanks play two games every night. The one on the field and the one Sterling calls.

  19. Bob Buttons says:

    Wouldn’t be the worst thing. I mean, I had thoughts about killing myself after listening to a game called by Buck Martinez. Well, technically I would be smashing my TV to bits and since I watch a lot of TV, I’d be making my life a lot more boring, thus losing a lot of will to live.

    But yeah. Buck Martinez indirectly caused me to live shorter.

  20. Jimmy says:

    You allow Buck Martinez to have far too much influence over your emotions.

  21. mark says:

    Huge Sterling fan. Sterling and Kay were good together on radio.

  22. Rizi Walnuts says:

    Kay is more like our play by . . . . hey-did-you-see-that-latest-movie guy. Entire innings go by without a word about play on the field. He promotes inane discussions. He’s jokey. And not funny. A dangerous combination.

    • Robinson Tilapia says:

      You just described half the home-team announcers in baseball.

      I don’t want my hometown guy to sound like the “Game of the Week” guy. Sorry. I want to feel like a member of a special club when I’m watching my team on their own network.

  23. bobmac says:

    Is there anything worse when Kay and O’Neill are in the booth together?They should get a room.Love when they start talking about how much money Kay makes.Who cares?Singleton and Cone are the best the Yanks have as they actually talk about the game and tell you something that you don’t already know.Looks like another year of turning down the sound while watching the game when those two aren’t around.

    • Herby says:

      I actually like when O’Neill does games, as much as I like Lou, I think he’s slipping a bit and it shows in his announcing. Leiter is just an egotistical asshole and it comes across in his announcing style. What can you say about Sterling, thankfully he doesn’t do TV. Flaherty is pretty much useless.
      Part of resigning Kay should’ve been make him watch Star Wars, watch a damn episode of Sesame Street and eat some damn condiments so we don’t have to hear about all year.

  24. Steve says:

    Yuck….Not a fan of Big Head Kay….Good for him for getting the contract, but horrible for us because we have to hear him

  25. MartinRanger says:

    I still remember Al Leiter explaining Aaron Small’s changeup in…was it 2006? I’d love to have more of him in the broadcast booth.

  26. V says:

    Ugh. So if I tune in to a random August game, I can have him ‘teach me’ about the game as if this is the first game I’ve ever seen? Pass.

    My viewership has been declining from every-single-game from 2006-2010 to about 75% in 2011 and 50% in 2012. Something tells me that trend will continue.

  27. deanland says:

    Shocking though this may seem: we always mute YES and listen to Sterling and Waldman. Nothing is worse than Kay’s PBP. Buck Martinez was better than listening to Kay, and he was pretty inept at the task.

    Sterling’s skills have dropped off considerably over the past three years. He relies too much on shtick and inanity, and too little on the game itself. The coy plays on names are over the top, and his constant erroneous telescoping of plays are almost the expected norm, making for a poor PBP experience. Suzyn Waldman knows the game, and seems to tolerate the inanity and truly appreciate him otherwise. I have no issue with her. As the equivalent of a beat reporter and color person on the radio side, she does get the stories and covers the team quite well.

    On TV there is no-one better in recent years than Kaat was, and I like Flaherty for analysis. Singleton does a very good job, and on those West Coast trips when Kay stays home, the PBP on TV is worth watching.

    I miss the days of Mel Allen and The Scooter, and Bill White and various others were the golden years. But this also has to do with age and expectation. I grew up listening to them, and yes, The Scooter was like a nutty uncle. I felt like Murcer carried the mantle (no pun intended) for The Scooter when he did the games. He was witty, frank, and knew the game and called it like he saw it. I also recall Jerry Coleman doing the games, and loved his analysis and PBP.

    Frank Messer struck me as a bit too clinical or sterile in his delivery, but not a bad announcer.

    FWIW, I never liked Red Barber. I also found Charlie Steiner obnoxious to a fault. When Sterling was paired with Jay Johnstone the broadcasts were good.

    There was one year (I think just one) when Hank Greenwald and Tommy Hutton called the games on radio. They were excellent.

    O’Neill and Cone need a lot of work; they don’t take to the announcing job naturally. Leiter is good in the booth, except when paired with Kay, when it becomes a ridiculous lovefest. I can’t comment on Lou in the booth, as I never heard him on YES, since we tune out the audio and listen to Sterling and Waldman.

    I also recall the bad old days of the broadcasts on MSG. Al Trautwig, although a decent PBP guy, could stick his foot in his mouth with incredible regularity. Paul Olden was wooden, but not unbearable.

    It is getting to be time for new blood in the radio booth, as Sterling’s PBP skills are on the wane. Until there’s a change in the radio broadcast rights partner, it looks like John & Suzyn are there to stay. I can live with that. But the multi-year deal for Kay seals the deal for me: no more audio from YES except when they take those KC, Oakland and Seattle trips he always seems to avoid. Kay is, in a word, intolerable.

  28. Anthony says:

    I am not a Kay fan at all and learning about the extension was disappointing to say the least. He is too hung up on giving ridiculous stats that have nothing to do with the game. Yes MK we have access to the internet too. Needs to talk less. I can live with the catch phrase and all. Jim Kaat was the last good announcer they had. Ken S is ok. John F is ok. Guess I’ll be listening with the sound down a few more years. Enduring him is almost as bad as having to listen to Buck and Tim M on fox.

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