The TYA staff on the Yankees' television and radio broadcast teams

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A few weeks ago we were approached by the excellent Mike Sielski of The Wall Street Journal for our general opinions on various aspects of the television and radio broadcast teams presently covering the Yankees. Unfortunately, due to space restrictions, none of our answers ended up making it into Mike’s article, but he was good enough to grant permission for us to republish his questions and our answers here on the blog:

1) What do you think of the job John Sterling does as the Yankees’ play-by-play man on radio? Please explain why you like him or dislike him.

Larry Koestler: John Sterling has become an easy target among the Yankee faithful, particularly among the younger generation of fans. He’s bombastic, melodramatic and over-the-top, and has been rather famously and mercilessly teased for his theatrical and overeager home run call, which unfortunately seems to be applied to just about any ball hit in the air, regardless of how far it travels (“It is High!Click here to read the rest

Making Changes In The Radio Booth

With the radio contract between WCBS-880 and the Yankees coming to a close and a bidding war for the radio rights to the Yankees on the horizon,there may be changes to the Yankees’ broadcast team in the near future. RAB touched on this yesterday, and many of the commenters on that post advocated replacing John Sterling and Suzyn Waldman, something I suggested months ago. The team here at TYA had a lengthy email discussion on this topic last night, and we came up with 3 general paths that the Yankees can take in regard to their radio broadcast team:

1) Leave things the way they are: The Yankee radio rights are going to be heavily bid upon because they are incredibly valuable as they currently are. It seems unlikely that the Yankees would tamper with the property and make changes in the booth before selling the rights, and it would be equally unexpected to see a company purchase the rights and then make changes that could upset listeners.… Click here to read the rest

Time To Move On In The Radio Booth

Bob Raissman checks in with some intriguing news:

Is the curtain falling on Ma and Pa Pinstripe? Will next season be John Sterling and Suzyn Waldman’s last in the Yankees radio booth?

Right now their future is up in the air. The Yankees contract with WCBS-AM, worth about $12 million per year, expires at the end of the 2011 season, so do Sterling and Waldman’s pacts. Sterling has been the radio voice of the Yankees since 1989. Waldman joined him in 2005.

There has yet to be any serious negotiations between the Yankees and WCBS. The job status of Ma and Pa cannot be resolved until a new radio-rights deal is cut. Industry moles say other outlets have chatted informally with Bombers brass. These potential suitors are looking to get a sense of which direction the club wants to go with its radio rights.

Outside of WCBS, which probably wants to keep the Yankees, it’s highly likely ESPN will – if it hasn’t already – stick its beak into the mix.

Click here to read the rest

Why Not Flip Sterling and Kay?

Neil Best recently interviewed Yankees radio voice John Sterling, and there were some interesting quotes:

In his 21st season as the Yankees’ voice, Sterling remains perhaps the most polarizing figure in New York sports media, a hot-button topic both loved and loathed – sometimes by the same people.

What does the man himself have to say about the phenomenon?

“What am I going to do?” he said, sitting in an auxiliary booth before Tuesday’s game. “The first time it happens in your life, it hurts. The second time, it hurts a little less.

“Now, after the 150,000th time, it hurts even less. So basically that’s it. It’s just a matter of pragmatism. Why bother? Why stew over that?”

Later, he added, “You’d like everyone to like you, but I don’t think it’s possible.”
The most frequent complaint is his anticipating of plays, often wrongly. There even is a blog dedicated to him under the banner, “It is high, it is far, it is .

Click here to read the rest

Media Notes: Scully A Yankee? Pete Abe Gone? WS Games Before 8?

A few media related notes that caught my eye:

1) From Keith Olbermann we get word that Vin Scully could have been the Voice of the Yankees. He was offered the position in 1964 when Mel Allen retired, but decided to remain with the Dodgers. Wouldn’t it be nice to replace the revolving door of YES Network announcers with the amazing Scully. What might have been.

Shelter release

2) Speaking of announcers, Phil Mushnick destroys John Sterling in his latest column. Mushnick has long had a problem with Sterling, but this piece is particularly vehement. Personally, I like Sterling. he makes a lot of mistakes, but he is entertaining, and he makes the last three innings of a game as exciting as can be. What do you think about him?

3) Pete Abraham is taking a mandatory week off due to cutbacks by the Gannett Company, who owns the Journal News. This brings into harsh relief the crumbling state of the newspaper business.… Click here to read the rest

Sterling and Kay Among Yahoo's Worst Announcers

Jay Busbee over at Yahoo! Sports put together a list of the 50 worst announcers in sports. Always a contentious topic, the article has gotten 2654 comments to date, with plenty of suggestions for additions to the list. Quite frankly, announcers in the media saturation age have become so overanalyzed by columnists like Mushnick and Raissman that it is difficult for anyone to look good. They spend an inordinate amount of their time speaking to the public, and that just means they will eventually say something stupid or make a mistake. Whereas in the past, those mistakes would go largely unnoticed, today they are placed onto YouTube within minutes.

Regardless of my opinion on the issue, the Yankees’ TV and radio play by play men were both recognized as being among the worst at their professions. WCBS Radio’s John Sterling came in at number 17, with the caption reading “Catch-phrases flop to the ground like beached marlin; “Thaaaaaa Yankees win!” is the worst victory cry ever.” I disagree with this assessment of Sterling, as I find him entertaining when the game is on the line.… Click here to read the rest