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 .

Michael Kay And Steroid Hypocrisy

From Bruce Jenkins:

At the height of Barry Bonds’ pursuit of the home-run records, Duane Kuiper and Mike Krukow made lively, enthusiastic calls on the Giants’ network. They always loved Bonds as a ballplayer. They knew that whatever the extent of his plunge into steroids, it didn’t tarnish his reputation as one of the greatest and most entertaining hitters of all time. Most of the Giants’ fans knew this, as well, and they cheered their hearts out whenever he went deep. Kuiper’s home-run calls, in particular, go down with the most inspiring of modern-day broadcasting.
It seems this didn’t go over too well in other cities. Kay, who anchors the Yankees’ telecasts, ripped Krukow and Kuiper in a public forum for getting so excited over a steroid guy. Steiner, part of the Dodgers’ radio team, made some equally rude comments (off the air), establishing himself as a real high-and-mighty beacon of integrity.
Except it doesn’t work that way. Alex Rodriguez opened the season in disgrace after the steroid-related embarrassment of spring training, but that didn’t stop Kay from going nuts when A-Rod slugged his first home run.

Chemistry, Pies, And The Idiocy Of Michael Kay

Chemistry is an issue that seems to stir up a lot of discord among sports fans, particularly those that are inclined to focus on statistics and objective data to reach conclusions about sports. Personally, I believe that as fans, it is very hard for us to make judgements on this kind of stuff, one way or another. If everybody who plays the game seems to think that closing takes a special skill and chemistry does matter to teams, who am I to dispute that when we are really talking about the psychology of the game? Meaning, if people in the game believe things that fly in the face of objective fact, I can argue with that and call them stupid all I want. But when talking about the psychology of the game and the clubhouse, I think that fans come to the debate with a distinct disadvantage of not being in the clubhouse and not having the relevant information. All we can do is look in from the outside, with our noses pressed against the glass, and try to guess at the psychological aspects of the game.…

MLB: No Fun Allowed

Nick Swisher pitched the 8th inning yesterday, and struck out Gabe Kapler while surviving the inning without allowing a run. He also smiled while on the mound, and saved the ball that he used to strike out Kapler. Apparently he broke some of the Unwritten Commandments of MLB, where fun is not allowed and honor and respect always rule the day.

Jorge Posada was not amused, stating that:

“No one was laughing,” he said when asked about Swisher’s performance. “Today was embarrassing.”
That was obvious. The question is whether it was revealing of what lies ahead for the Yankees. They wanted to send a message to the defending AL champs that life in their division would return to normal this year, and instead they were trailing 9-0 after two innings, not only getting mugged but looking outclassed in every way.

(I added that second sentence to show how badly John Harper overreacted to yesterday’s loss). Posada, on the other hand, was justified in his displeasure, as the team got rocked and it is within his rights to expect people to react as he does to losses.…

A-Rod: I've Given Up On Being Liked

Alex Rodriguez recently did an interview with YES Network’s Michael Kay, and had a few very interesting things to say:

Alex Rodriguez believes the other 103 positive tests from Major League Baseball’s 2003 survey program should remain anonymous, the Yankees slugger told the YES Network in an interview to be aired Tuesday….

“This is really about my mistake,” Rodriguez told Kay. “You know, many nights I fell asleep thinking about who I can blame, and this guy, or that guy. And when I woke up I kept coming back to the same person; it’s me. I mean, there’s no one to blame. I hope those 103 names never come out…..”

The recent revelations are certainly the most prominent items in what has been a tumultuous five-plus year stay in New York for Rodriguez. Asked by Kay if Rodriguez worries that people do not like him, Rodriguez said that he has “given up on that.”

“It’s just the way it is,” Rodriguez said.

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.…

Moose Points Finger at…Rivera?

Joe Torre’s book seems to be getting a lot of people embroiled in controversy. The latest to be ripped by media personalities (if you consider Michael Kay a personality) is Mike Mussina, for the comments that he made about Mariano RIvera in Joe Torre’s book. From Mike “Tiny” Lupica:

“We were up 3-0 and Mo (Rivera) came in again with the lead and lost it. He lost it again. As great as he is, and it’s amazing what he does, if you start the evaluation again since I got here, he has accomplished nothing in comparison to what he accomplished in the four years before. He blew the World Series in ’01. He lost the Boston series. He didn’t lose it himself but we had a chance to win in the ninth and sweep them, and he doesn’t do it there.”
The tone here isn’t angry, the way the tone of this book isn’t angry, despite the coverage it has gotten.