YES Censors Affiliated Blogs Over Rafael Soriano Criticism?

When news of Rafael Soriano’s signing filtered onto Twitter on the evening of January 13th, many Yankees fans were aghast at the length of the deal and the fact that the club had sacrificed a draft pick to obtain an 8th inning man. A number of those fans used their platforms as bloggers to criticize the signing. In particular, Mike Axisa and Joe Pawlikowski expressed displeasure with the move over at River Avenue Blues (RAB), while Steve Goldman penned a critical column entitled, “What the Heck Are the Yankees Doing?” that ran at his Pinstriped Bible blog. What happened next reeks of censorship and raises questions about the degree of journalistic integrity required by a sports network that is owned by the team that it purports to cover.

Pinstriped Bible is directly affiliated with the YES Network, as the site is designed to look like the YES homepage and is frequently featured on the YES front page. A few hours after being posted, Steve Goldman’s post was suddenly pulled, only to reappear a number of hours later with a new title (Soriano Strengthens the Pen, But Do Dominoes Fall?) and a softened stance.… Click here to read the rest

YES Right, Raissman Wrong On Clemens

Bob Raissman, as his wont, fired off a rant against the YES Network’s treatment of the Roger Clemens indictment. Here are the key passages:

Seriously though, why would the brainiacs running YES, or suits in the Yankees front office, offer Clemens a cloud of media cover by initially blacking out news of his indictment? Maybe they don’t want their voices discussing the possibility of Andy Pettitte having to testify at a Clemens trial. Or the fact that any other current Yankee who was around Clemens when he was with the club could be subpoenaed.

Beyond that, the franchise has distanced itself from the Rocket. He has no current value, marketing or otherwise, to the Yankees or Al Yank. Nonetheless, there’s still some affection. Kay’s “report” was sympathetic, his tone melancholy. Cue the weeping violin.

“I don’t know if he lied to Congress but I’ll tell you this, on a personal level I got along great with Roger Clemens. I liked him.

Click here to read the rest

On YES

I’ve been holding a lot of this back, so if this seems like nit picking, I’m sorry. These feelings on the Yankees’ behemoth of a regional sports network have been welling up inside me since the beginning of the season.

But, since I’m generally a nice guy, I’m gonna start with some positives. Generally, YES does a good job presenting the game. There are rarely picture quality issues and aside from the occasional close-up-that’s-too-long, the camera work is solid and acceptable. They may not try anything bold, but they keep it simple and there’s something to be said for that.

A good portion of this piece will be about the Yankee announcers, but to their credit, they’re generally pretty good. My girlfriend has the Extra Innings package so I’ve had a good deal of exposure to non-Yankee announcers and aside from Vin Scully, I don’t particularly like any of them. Most of them blatantly root for the teams they call games for and are just way over the top.… Click here to read the rest

Help say "See ya!" to Michael Kay

Hey Yankee fans,

For those of you who may have missed it — and let’s face it, most of you probably did, given another gorgeous, if slightly muggy, weekend in the City — Yankeeist created a Facebook group page dedicated to ousting Michael Kay as the YES Network’s play-by-play announcer and replacing him with the inimitable Bob Lorenz. Lorenz’s voice was a sound for sore ears this past weekend, as YES took him out of the pre- and postgame studio and placed him in the booth with John Flaherty.

The result was nothing short of transformative, as Lorenz has a naturally smooth timbre to begin with, and is essentially the complete antithesis of Kay’s incessant whining and penchant for pointing things out that would be obvious to a three-year-old. While Lorenz’s dynamic with Flash was great, I couldn’t help but imagine how wonderful a game called by Bob and Kenny “Look Out!” Singleton or Bob and Al Leiter would sound, and the more folks who speak out in encouragement of adding Lorenz to the regular booth rotation, the more likely it becomes.… Click here to read the rest

If we get enough support, perhaps we can get Bob Lorenz to replace Michael Kay in the booth

Have you ever met a Yankee fan who likes Michael Kay? Me neither, which is why after Bob Lorenz’s sterling performance in the booth, it seemed appropriate to start a grassroots campaign to get Kay out as YES play-by-play announcer and Lorenz in! Show your support by joining our Facebook group:

Bob Lorenz to replace Michael Kay as YES play-by-play announcer [Facebook] … Click here to read the rest

Will we ever see a true sabermetrician in the play-by-play booth?

I know this particular bit of news is a few days old, but since I hadn’t gotten a chance to comment on it and it’s an otherwise slow Friday baseball morning in January, I wanted to add my voice to the chorus of those who will miss David Cone at the YES Network.

When Coney first showed up in the booth during the 2008 season I thought he was terrible. His voice sounded out of place (although I think this tends to happen anytime an unfamiliar voice turns up during Yankee broadcasts. When you watch a team 162 times a year, you tend to get used to the Michael Kays of the world, for better or for worse), and he seemed ill-prepared and out of sync.

Of course, I also felt the way about John Flaherty when he first started, and while Flaherty wouldn’t be my first choice were I to assemble a dream Yankee booth team, I’ve begun to appreciate what he brings to the table.… Click here to read the rest

Thank you, Nick Swisher, thank you

By Mike Jaggers-Radolf

Lost amid the excitement of the YES Network’s pregame coverage of Game 6 of the ALCS was a segment looking into the offensive struggles of a Yankee who was a major contributor during the regular season but whose bat had gone cold in the playoffs. That Yankee: Nick Swisher. I know what you’re thinking. I thought it too — Nick Swisher?!

I’ve taken the liberty of pasting below the entire everyday Yankees lineup, along with their regular season slash stats and postseason slash stats. I’ve also put the list in order of the player the Yankees most needed to contribute this postseason through to the player that could die and the team would pretty much be fine (sorry Melky, nothing personal):


Regular Season

Post Season

BA

OBP

SLG

BA

OBP

SLG

Rodriguez

.286

.402

.565

.438

.548

.969

Teixeira

.292

.383

.532

.205

.273

.308

Jeter

.334

.406

.465

.297

.435

.595

Damon

.282

.365

.489

.238

.273

.405

Posada

.285

.363

.522

.258

.361

.484

Matsui

.274

.367

.509

.233

.395

.367

Cano

.320

.352

.520

.229

.341

.371

Swisher

.249

.371

.498

.125

.222

.156

Cabrera

.274

.336

.416

.314

.368

.371

The logic behind this order is that A-Rod and Tex are the best all-around hitters on the team.… Click here to read the rest

Start times for ALCS Games 1 and 2

As per RAB, Friday and Saturday night’s ALCS Game 1 and 2 will each start at 7:37pm.

Oddly enough, I kind of liked the slightly earlier start times in the ALDS. Even though 6:07pm interfered with a number of fans’ abilities to get out of work to catch the first pitch, it was also nice to have the games conclude by a reasonable time given the four-hour-plus length of Yankee postseason contests.

Don’t get me wrong, I’m the last person to complain about a long baseball game, but the commercial breaks on these national telecasts are a solid minute if not longer than those of the regular season YES broadcast, which amounts to at least an extra half-hour of wasted time if not more.… 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