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Yankee Panky #14: Your way or the Subway
2007-06-20 09:15
by Will Weiss
Note: The Bronx Banter blog has moved to bronxbanterblog.com.

This blog is for the peeps.

I'm leaving it up to you to present your take on the highs and lows of the weekend’s coverage of the Subway Series, and give me your preferred broadcast tandems. I enjoy hearing people’s reasons for liking or disliking a certain commentator, host, TV reporter or writer. I know I said I wouldn’t do this in the beginning of the season, but I will add my preferences, as diplomatically as possible.

TV
YES vs. Channel 11/SNY vs. ESPN
• Michael Kay, Al Leiter, Ken Singleton (YES)
• Gary Cohen, Ron Darling, Keith Hernandez (Ch.11/SNY)
• Jon Miller, Joe Morgan, Peter Gammons (ESPN)

My preference: ESPN, despite the multitude of Morganisms. I’ve listened to hundreds of broadcasts from Kay, Cohen and Miller — all of whom transitionned from radio to television. But to me, Miller is the only one who when he does TV, lets the pictures tell the story of what’s happening on the field. Perhaps this is because he has more experience doing the radio/TV shuffle. Kay (6th season as TV only) and Cohen (2nd) are improving, though.

Pre/Postgame
Hosts: Bob Lorenz (YES), Matt Yallof (SNY)

My preference: Matt Yallof is a capable host and he does well with Lee Mazzilli the times I've seen them on together. But overall, I haven’t seen enough of SNY’s postgames to make an informed judgment. YES’s show is more fine-tuned, from what I’ve seen of the two stations’ programs.

THE RSN DOT.COMS
YESNetwork.com vs. SNY.tv vs. MSGNetwork.com (yes, the URL is still active)

My preference: Although hosted and operated by the same parent company (MLBAM), the editorial objectives of YES and SNY are much different. MSGNetwork — I haven’t been to their site in about a year, so I don’t really know if they’re a factor in this discussion, at least on a Mets-Yankees front. (Come on, you didn’t really think I was going to get into that one in detail, did you?)

RADIO
WCBS (Yankees) vs. WFAN (Mets)
• John Sterling and Suzyn Waldman (CBS)
• Tom McCarthy, Howie Rose, Ed Coleman (WFAN)

My preference: With all due respect to John and Suzyn, this isn’t even close. Shuttling back and forth between the two stations, the differences in preparation, chemistry and knowledge of the game are clear. I’m not saying I wouldn’t listen to John and Suzyn, but given a choice in a Mets-Yankees game, I’d rather listen to Tom and Howie. … The only parallel I can draw regarding this one goes to hockey. I’m an Islander fan, but when the rivalry with the Rangers was in its heyday, as much as I loved the Isles’ combination of Jiggs McDonald and Eddie Westfall on SportsChannel, I preferred to watch the MSG cast with Sam Rosen and John Davidson.

 

THE PAPERS
Newsday, The NY Times, The NY Post, The NY Daily News, The Bergen Record, The Newark Star-Ledger, The Journal News, The Hartford Courant

My preference: Honestly, I have none. I subscribe to the Times (I’ll admit, it’s mainly for the crossword and PLAY Magazine), but I read the others online.

THE BLOGGERS/NON-TRADITIONAL ANALYSTS
Sites: See the right-hand side of your screen.

My preference: There are so many blogs it’s tough to keep up with. My regular stops — in no particular order of favoritism — are here, Steven Goldman, The Weblog That Derek Built, Was Watching, Replacement Level and Futility Infielder, and 38Pitches (Hey, why not? At least he writes it himself.).

Who among everyone listed topped your lists for the weekend? What was the best game bit or feature you read for the Series? What was the best note or story told on a broadcast? I believe there’s a reason we watch, listen and read beyond the game itself. Am I alone in that sentiment?

Until next week …

Comments (66)
Show/Hide Comments 1-50
2007-06-20 09:48:17
1.   bp1
I don't know if I can answer your specific questions, but I find the ESPN broadcasts almost unwatchable. Also, I am in the minority in my liking of Sterling and Waldman. If I want clinical objective analysis, I'll go to the web and check out some of those sort of blogs, but since I am only looking for good fun when I listen to the radio broadcasts, I enjoy the schtick and over-the-top of John and Suzyn.
2007-06-20 09:56:54
2.   monkeypants
1 I'm curious--why do you find ESPN unwatchable but Sterling-Waldman good, over the top fun? Do you find ESPN biased? Certainly S-W are not the most objective, as you point out.
2007-06-20 09:57:07
3.   debris
1 Do you enjoy be talked down to, treated as if you're either a moron or listening to a ball game for the first time? Were you not aware, for example, that Tom Glavine needs a generous strike zone to be effective? And if you were not aware, were you not then aware after Mr. and Ms. Pinstripe let you know the first time? Did you have trouble understanding this simple fact of Glavine-life the second time they let you know? How about the third? fourth? fifth? sixth? seventh? eighth? ninth? tenth? eleventh? twelfth? thirteenth?

I'm not a Yankee fan, as is quite well known here, but if I were, I'd be insulted and offended at the fact that Yankee management feels it necessary to keep these two on, talking down to the the Pinstripe Public, year after year. Does Yankee management really believe that their adherents really know nothing about baseball?

2007-06-20 10:01:13
4.   weeping for brunnhilde
My favorite broadcast team is Hernandez, Darling and Cohen.

They just have such a great chemistry, and Darling's a great straight man for Keith.

Those guys are warm, have a great sense of humor as a group, and really click well. They clearly enjoy each other's company and enjoy watching baseball together.

And you never know what Keith'll say next and Cohen has a nice wry sense of humor.

Plus, they're extremely knowledgable about baseball. Cohen never misses a trick, I find him to be really perceptive about what's going on on the field.

And Herndandez and Darling are great about recognizing and discussing fundamental baseball.

Keith says things like, "Ok, all you kids out there, this is not the way to execute a rundown."

And they really appreciate good hitting and pitching. "Oooh, nice pitch!" they'll remark.

They just have such a deep appreciation for baseball.

Plus, you get the old stories about the those Mets teams they were on and about the old players and what it was like to actually be on a baseball team or to be a rookie, etc.

Just great broadcasting all around.

2007-06-20 10:03:27
5.   weeping for brunnhilde
3 Agreed, but what are you going to do?
2007-06-20 10:03:37
6.   Shaun P
3 No. But one could ask the same thing about many, many other radio (and TV) teams out there.

To this as diplomatically as possible - Yankee brass knows (guesses?) that the majority of people who use the radio to access a Yankees game for the majority of the game*, as opposed to TV, are more comfortable with a couple of older folks, one who has been doing the games for a long time. Such people aren't dumb by any means, but they remember a time when many baseball radio broadcasts (save for Vin Scully and the like) were somewhat (mostly?) like what J+S put out there every night. And they like it.

That maybe reads a little too much like an old Dana Carvey SNL skit ("That's the way it was and dammit, we liked it!" (fist slams on table). But there it is.

*Anyone who's stuck in traffic, driving, etc is going to deal with J+S because there are no other options for getting the game. But guaranteed when those folks get home (or wherever), they almost certainly don't run in and flip the radio back on - they flip on the TV or the 'Net.

2007-06-20 10:07:50
7.   weeping for brunnhilde
6 I seem to recall that when I was a kid I was able to listen to the radio and watch the game with the sound off and the two were synchronized. Now there's a delay, which is terrible because I wanted to listen to the Mets broadcast when the game was on ESPN but of course there's a really annoying delay that makes it unbearable to do that.

Does anyone know if they started doing this precisely because they wanted to chain people to the television and its commercials or what?

2007-06-20 10:09:25
8.   monkeypants
6 Is that what it was like on the radio in the old days? I used to listen to ball games all the time in the days before cable, as did my older brother (older by a number of years). We've discussed this and we don't remember radio broadcasts as excrutiatingly bad as Sterling-Waldman. Even when Scooter was blathering on about cannoli there was still an attempt to describe the game as it was unfolding. There are whole stretches of Yanks radio broadcasts when you don't know what is going on, or at best it is described after the fact.
2007-06-20 10:10:12
9.   Sliced Bread
1 I'm with you bp1. I don't listen to the ESPN broadcasts, though I turned up the volume for Morgan's "in game" interview with Willie on Sunday night, and quickly muted it again after Morgan referred to Oliver Perez as Odalis Perez. Sure, it was an easy mistake to make, but Morgan makes far too many of them for my enjoyment.

I think the low of the Subway coverage hit on Monday morning. An ESPN radio update offered a quick recap of the Yankees Sunday night victory and played an audio highlight of A-Rod's sacrifice fly -- rather than his 27th home run! It was hilarious if you can maintain a sense of humor about the Yankee-hating pricks at ESPN.

I'm also with you re: Lumpy and Chuckles on the New York Yankees Radio Network. Their homer erotic (tradmark pending) coverage is amusing to me in the same way that it might be amusing to watch a Yanks game in a mental ward filled with Yankees fans. Good times!

2007-06-20 10:11:42
10.   monkeypants
7 Some delays are caused by multiple satellite links (here in Canada we always get a sports broadcast a couple seconds later than in the States); weren't additional delays put in place so that objectionable material could be cut out before reaching the airwaves?
2007-06-20 10:17:04
11.   standuptriple
I live in the Bay Area, so I've feel lucky to get Jon Miller for quite some time now. I believe he is much better on the radio though and his TV broadcasts are hampered by Joe Morgan.
For some reason Suzyn really chaps my hide. I can handle Sterling's bit, but she just doesn't seem to add much at all.
I am really glad the baseball world will get to hear, IMO, the worst stadium announcer in all of baseball at this year's All Star Game...Renell. She is horrible and can't excite a crowd to save her life (not that Giants fans can do anything but offer pseudo-excitement when BLB hits). You just don't realize how good of an announcer you have until they are gone. Hopefully Mr. Sheppard will be around for many years of enjoyment.
2007-06-20 10:19:15
12.   Sliced Bread
7 I live in northwest Jersey where it is difficult for some reason to pick up WCBS radio. The further you drive from my town, and the further you drive from the city, the better WCBS comes in. Weird.
Radiowise I get the games on 96.7 FM which is out of Newburgh, NY or some such place. That broadcast syncs up with the TV, (radio is actually a split second ahead of the TV - but when you factor in the 5 second delay in John Sterling's brain it's close enough) which is my preference when ESPN or Fox are doing the game.
I dislike Joe Buck's bluster as much as I dislike Joe Morgan's stupidity.
2007-06-20 10:19:35
13.   RichB
Ouch! No love for you pal Steve Goldman??? The NY Sun doesn't get a mention, but the Hartford Courant does? Harsh. You should give some props to the Sun, just for employing Steve.
2007-06-20 10:22:01
14.   Sliced Bread
13 Marchman's great too.
2007-06-20 10:24:35
15.   bp1
2 I can't explain it, just like I can't explain why I have a thing for brunettes over blondes. I do hate that the ESPN broadcast spends a lot of time with the cameras pointed at the broadcast booth, almost making it like Miller and Morgan are more the show than the game itself. Sure, they all do that, but ESPN seems to do it a LOT for long periods of time. I find that hyper annoying.

3 Oh c'mon. They are not delivering the state of the union address, and I'm quite sure they realize that not everyone listening to the game is listening to every single inning on the radio. Please. Baseball on radio is supposed to be fun, light hearted entertainment. To make it more than that is to suck whatever charm there is about radio baseball - the best of all sports on the radio. I did grow up during the Scooter, White, and Messer days, so having someone talk about Aunt Milly's 100th birthday or ask about the Cannoli during a late inning rally is no big deal to me and seems perfectly natural. Losing track of the game or the count? Eh. Who cares. I'll know who won the game at the end, right? The rest I can read in the papers (or on the blogs these days).

7 Not surprised, as every time I read one of your posts I invariably find myself nodding in agreement (or laughing - or both).

2007-06-20 10:26:08
16.   mbtn01
TV: SNY. Cohen knows his stuff and never overdoes it; Darling is much improved and Keith is Keith -- liable to say anything. Exciting.

I enjoy Singleton, miss Kaat and think Kay has too much ego.

As a small-minded miserable Met partisan, I tune to the YES postgame after Yankee losses just to watch everyone suffer. I find Yallof and the SNY postgame a little creepy: I don't need "newsmen" cheering for my team.

Radio: Howie really knows the Mets but enjoyed him a lot more with Gary. I have a hard time following plays as called by McCarthy. It's all a matter of milliseconds but my mind wants to know where the runners went before McCarthy gets around to telling me.

Waldman is unlistenable, but I love Sterling. I could do without the cheesy catchphrases, but love to hear him call the action: he has a great rythym and pitch, like he's doing some exalted form of singing.

Blog: Mets -- Faith and fear in flushing. Yankees -- Goldman?

Papers: I read the News.

2007-06-20 10:26:53
17.   mbtn01
TV: SNY. Cohen knows his stuff and never overdoes it; Darling is much improved and Keith is Keith -- liable to say anything. Exciting.

I enjoy Singleton, miss Kaat and think Kay has too much ego.

As a small-minded miserable Met partisan, I tune to the YES postgame after Yankee losses just to watch everyone suffer. I find Yallof and the SNY postgame a little creepy: I don't need "newsmen" cheering for my team.

Radio: Howie really knows the Mets but enjoyed him a lot more with Gary. I have a hard time following plays as called by McCarthy. It's all a matter of milliseconds but my mind wants to know where the runners went before McCarthy gets around to telling me.

Waldman is unlistenable, but I love Sterling. I could do without the cheesy catchphrases, but love to hear him call the action: he has a great rythym and pitch, like he's doing some exalted form of singing.

Blog: Mets -- Faith and fear in flushing. Yankees -- Goldman?

Papers: I read the News.

2007-06-20 10:27:25
18.   mbtn01
Sorry, didn't mean to post twice
2007-06-20 11:05:14
19.   JL25and3
8 To me, one of the biggest differences between Rizzuto and Sterling has to do with authenticity.

Rizzuto, well, he just didn't have much of an internal censor; whatever he thought just came out of his mouth. So we always knew about his bride Cora, his fear of snakes, bugs and lightning, every city's best restaurants (the ones where he didn't have to pay), his love for Dimaggio and his dislike for Stengel. Late in his career, he would even talk openly about listening to the last few innings while driving home.

But he was always completely real. None of it was rehearsed or rewritten, none of it was planned schtick - it was just Scooter. Even his "Holy cow!" was real - it wasn't just a tag line, he meant it every time.

With Sterling, on the other hand, everything is scripted, nothing is spontaneous. Practically his entire broadcast consistes of prerehearsed, tired routines. He doesn't describe the game much, he just goes from one stock phrase to another. For his home run calls, I don't think he's necessarily really excited, he just knows how to sound excited.

Give me Scooter any day.

By the way, I highly recommend trying to find a copy of "The Poetry of Phil Rizzuto." It's brilliant. There's a selection of it here: http://www.cosmicbaseball.com/oholycow.html

2007-06-20 11:10:49
20.   Start Spreading the News
I was listening to the Yanks radio broadcast yesterday. It is amazing that Sterling and Waldman have such a revulsion to stats. In one sequence when they cited batting average, they used the disclaimer "you don't want to rely on numbers too much but ..."

They didn't do that once in that inning but EVERY time they cited a batting average. So three or four times, "you don't want to rely on numbers too much, but ..." Alright, we get it -- numbers are unreliable.

The problem is that we cannot think of these guys as being anything but Yankee employees who want to please their boss (Steinbrenner, Cashman and maybe Torre). Sometimes to keep the level of cordiality they have with the manager, they are less inclined to criticize them.

When Steinbrenner was pushing hard to get a new stadium built on the west side, Sterling couldn't shut up about how decrepit the current stadium was and how the Bronx confines were horrible. Every freaking game -- all the time.

Another example, Sweeny Murti on WFAN. Since becoming the Yankee beat reporter, I find him less willing to criticize Torre. Most recent example was when he was asked why Torre took out Wang one out away from a complete game. He kept saying that Wang was already at 113 pitches and they didn't want to push him. But when asked whether one more batter would have really been pushing him, he just hemmed and hawed. He couldn't even bring himself to say, "Yea, I don't understand the reasoning." It was like he was afraid Torre was listening and would not interview him the next time. Bizarre.

2007-06-20 11:10:53
21.   standuptriple
Does anybody else take pleasure in the herniated disc of Randy? I didn't think so. Much too classy of group of fans for that. Recover quickly "Unit".
2007-06-20 11:14:23
22.   RIYank
21 I don't, seriously. I do feel a little relief.
But I'm trying, really hard, not to be disappointed that Schilling's MRI showed no injury.
2007-06-20 11:20:04
23.   standuptriple
22 He's just a 40+ yr old pitcher with a lot of miles on him. Honestly I'd rather him pitch decent approx. 50% of the time just to create a rift in the BOS clubhouse (like that is difficult) and fan-base.
2007-06-20 11:25:13
24.   RIYank
23 Yeah, it's not a baseball thing, it's a Schilling thing. Though I despise him less since the inception of 38pitches -- I may be the only one.
2007-06-20 11:28:47
25.   Shaun P
8 I don't think I got my point across very well. I wasn't so much referring to Sterling's lack of following the game as I was what JL25and3 got into in 19, and what bp1 said in 15. Yes, Sterling is not Rizzuto, but there are enough similarities that, IMHO, in the minds of the Yankee brass, its close enough.

Maybe those similarities are superficial, as JL correctly points out, but I don't think they ("the Yankees") care.

22 MRI's aren't always perfect. ;)

2007-06-20 11:30:06
26.   Shaun P
21 No, but I'm much happier the Yanks assumed the risk of Rocket's groin (usually shorter healing time) compared with the risk of Unit's back (usually much longer healing time).
2007-06-20 11:32:27
27.   debris
5 Simple. Replace them. While I was never a fan of the Scooter, who was, more often than not, misinformed, he at least had charm. And, as was noted in 19, he was real.

While broadcasting has come a long way in terms of the sophistication of the analysis, it has also lost a lot in terms of the language. While you certainly will learn a lot more about the way the game is played and how players approach their jobs from the better modern day announcers, I don't believe, other, of course, than Vin Scully, there is anyone in the broadcasting booth anywhere in America that has a voice or a way with language that Mel Allen and Red Barber had.

But back to Mr. and Ms. Pinstripe. Her voice is irritating, but I guess she can't help that. Her demeanor in the booth is shrill, but she can't help that. John Sterling, whom I never liked, has become a caricature of himself.

While Sterling does have a pleasant voice and a good command of the game, his overwhelming need to bludgeon the listener to death makes him almost as unlistenable to as his sidekick, Ms. Pinstripe.

Lest ye be thinking that this is the ranting of a Sox fan against anything Yankee, not so. Other than Ken Singleton, whom I wouldn't say I dislike enough to make an issue of it, I think the Yankee TV crew does a great job. It's my sense that the readership of this board isn't real fond of Michael Kay, something I'm not sure I understand. IMHO, he has a very pleasant voice and he calls a good and knowledgeable game.

2007-06-20 11:34:11
28.   rbj
Another vote for Rizzuto & White.
For this past weekend's coverage, I'll vote for the YES coverage -- if only for Leiter over Morgan & Miller. Get Jon a new broadcast partner. Didn't see Saturday's game, so can't say. And while Kay is/can be annoying, listening to most other teams' announcers makes me actually, um, not dislike him.

I'm out of market so don't get the radio or newspapers (don't even visit their websites).

Mainly I go to the blogs: Bronx Banter, Was Watching, Peter Abrahams (avoid the comments there for the most part), Replacement Level, NoMaas, No Sense Worrying. And of course Baseball Musings.

2007-06-20 11:34:36
29.   debris
25 Agreed on 38pitches. Prior to his blog, my sense of Schilling had been he may be an asshole, but he's our asshole. I really think he's doing a great job of deconstructing his starts, good and bad.
2007-06-20 11:35:37
30.   Bama Yankee
23 Hey, standuptriple, did you ever see that commemorative baseball card I worked up (per your request) after the latest Schilling near no-hitter?
http://i14.tinypic.com/4m2yg3r.jpg

He hasn't been the same since...

2007-06-20 11:38:45
31.   Andre
Fave TV - Jim Kaat & Bobby Murcer, although I also like Flaherty, Girardi, Leiter & Paulie when they're on. I'll tolerate Kay for those other guys. I don't really like the Mets announcers although I don't hear them much being in Boston. I have extra innings but only to watch the Yanks.

Radio - I can catch WCBS in the car in certain spots on my way home from work (even up here in Mass.) I tolerate Sterling & Waldman because I have to, but her voice is just creepy to me.

I actually prefer the SOX TV announcers to the YES announcers.

I would rather watch the grainy extra innings YES feed than a clear HD ESPN feed - I can't stand the ESPN announcers (all of them).

Watching the Yanks on Extra Innings when they're showing the other teams' feed really makes you appreciate the YES announcers for all their warts.

Dislikes for me usually come down to the voice (if it's annoying like Kay) or stupid catch phrases or repetitions.

2007-06-20 11:38:51
32.   standuptriple
30 I really don't know what to say. Southern hospitality at its finest. Well done, sir!
2007-06-20 11:39:15
33.   RIYank
29 Huh, so I'm not the only one.
But it's not just that he's actually informative. I think I might be reacting, so to speak, against the mainstream media's umbrage. "How dare he." Or, "sure, he can say all that stuff because nobody will hold him to account for it." I'm not expressing this well. Maybe it's just that he's giving the finger to his media critics. There's something admirable about that. (He says, grudgingly.)
2007-06-20 11:46:43
34.   pwicked
We mute the TV broadcasts whenever the Yankees are on down here in the south & listen to XM radio for the play by play. J & S are just fine. Most other teams radio broadcasters are lame, particularly Boston's. Frankly, if you can watch it, why do you need that a$$ole McCarver describing the play differently than you just saw, or Joe Suck mentioning A-rod's salary EVERY TIME the camera is on him, or the Yankees payroll, and on and on. The delay between TV & XM means we can see the action, then listen to J & S describe it. Its quite entertaining and remarkably accurate. Yeah, J & S are just fine...
2007-06-20 11:52:26
35.   bp1
35 Right - and the one thing I will add to my rant about ESPN 1 is how Miller says things like "Well that's something we haven't seen from him in months" when the camera caught A-Rod smiling in the dugout. I mean - geez. Gimme a break. The guy is just fingernails on a chalkboard.
2007-06-20 11:52:46
36.   Bama Yankee
32 Thanks. Glad you liked it (it took longer than I thought it would, but it was fun putting it together). The way Schilling's luck has gone maybe I should work up a Red Sox team picture card (or possibly an Auburn Tigers card for this fall). ;-)
2007-06-20 11:56:16
37.   bob34957
As a Yankee fan, I believe watching and listening to ESPN is like being stuck in jail. S and W are much better than ESPN. Agree with watching the Muts broadcast is top notch because of the chemistry. Why can't the Yanks go out and have some better announcers, too? Miss Kaat a great bunch. He make watching baseball fun. However Murcer and whomever without Kaye is great. I'm stuck in Florida with DTV and am limited with choices.
2007-06-20 11:59:00
38.   bob34957
One thing , John Miller is an embarrassment to the game of baseball. He is ESPN's equivalent to Tim McCarver. Who in hades decides when these dorks get a job? Do the practice being annoying or is it innate?
2007-06-20 12:00:34
39.   Tarheel
Maybe it is because up until the Extra Innings and XM came along, down here in NC the only access we ever had to the Yankees was ESPN and Fox, but I love watching on YES and listing to Sterling and Waldman. Maybe over time I will tire of these crews, but to get a taste of the local view on the team is great. (Kay does seem somewhat egotistical sometimes, though.) We have had the Braves force fed to us for all these years and I can't stand it, or their broadcasters.

All ESPN wants to do is pick out some controversial topic (like Arod) and show a close up of him between pitches and talk about whatever the topic of the day is. I also cannot stand McCarver. I actually loved it when Neon Deion kept dumping the water on him in the clubhouse several years ago.

So, I guess I can see where you folks in the NY area are probably tired of these broadcasters like I am of the Braves, but for the rest of us it is just wonderful to be able to watch and listen to the Yankees now.

2007-06-20 12:06:02
40.   pwicked
21 No pleasure in the injury, just glad he's not a Yankee. Although he never really was, was he?
2007-06-20 12:13:46
41.   bp1
39 Again - I might be in the minority - but I sort of like the fact that my team's announcers are "homers". I see nothing wrong with that. I much rather listen to the call of a game where the announcers reflect my mood rather than dispassionate baseball PhD's, or even worse someone who tries to be objective but just gets cranky.

Sterling for all his faults tends to reflect my mood in a game. When the Yankees are walloping the hell out of a team, he's happy and upbeat in his call. When they're leaving 20 men on base, he's crabby.

Just like me.

2007-06-20 12:16:02
42.   Tarheel
41
Exactly. I like hearing the announcers "pulling" for the Yankees.

I couldn't care less about hearing an impartial crew call the game.

Give me homers.

2007-06-20 12:17:22
43.   monkeypants
Wow, I never imagined there would be all this love for Sterling and Waldman--I guess the Yankees' brass knew what they were doing when hiring them. Personally, I would rather shove sharpened pencils in my ear than listen to them. The primary reason I purchased MLB.tv was so I did not have listen to another Yankees radio broadcast!

40 I think you have it slightly wrong. He was really a Yankee, but he was never a "real Yankee"™.

2007-06-20 12:22:43
44.   weeping for brunnhilde
41 Excellent point, bp, especially about Sterling reflecting the mood of a game. Spot on, that is a strength of his, although he expresses that mood through a stock repertoire of cliches and even emotions, which is unfortunate.

I like the Mets guys (both tv and radio) because I feel like they're also attuned to the mood, and will get cranky, but there's less of a homerism than the desire to see their team playing good baseball, if that makes any sense.

They're like serious fans, they try to be professional and reasonably objective while at the same time making it clear they're invested in the games and the team.

The thing about Sterling, in other words, is that he just goes over the top and lacks the nuance of the other guys.

But I definitely want my announcers to share the emotional roller-coaster of an inning-in-inning-out season with me, no doubt.

2007-06-20 12:25:34
45.   Bama Yankee
39 I'm in the same boat as you Tarheel. EI and XM (along with MLB.TV) allow me to experience several different announcing teams. When you have to watch the other team's broadcast it makes you appreciate the YES guys more (although, after almost missing out on EI this year, I said that I would never complain about which broadcast I got as long as I got one). I don't mind Kay or Sterling, but Waldman is hard to take.

BTW, I am with you on the Deion Sanders vs. McCarver water carnival. I imagine that being forced to listen to McCarver, Joe Morgan, Hawk Harrelson and Suzyn Waldman call your favorite sporting events would be like hell without the flames (although would want the flames so your eardrums would melt)...

2007-06-20 12:34:58
46.   bp1
44 Agreed. It's not that I think John Sterling is God' Gift to radio baseball. I just find his games fun to listen to - sort of like Henny Youngman and Rodney Dangerfield. The jokes were always the same, but we laughed anyway and had a good time.

(No - I'm not Henny Youngman old - but I remember who he was).

John Sterling is "half listen to the game in the back yard while playing with the kids" baseball for me. Although - the big game in '05 when Randy and Wakefield were locked in a 1-0 ballgame, I was clutching the radio to my chest at my daughter's soccer game like my life depending on it. His "Theeeeee Yankeees Win!!" call after that game was VERY sweet.

Eh - to each his own, right? To some Sterling is like sharp pencils in the ears (nice 43) but to some he's just harmless silly fun.

2007-06-20 12:35:20
47.   pwicked
43 Being a "real yankee" is exactly what I meant (thought it was obvious).

I'm with Tarheel & bp1. I don't need an "analyst" describing the play I just watched. I just watched it! When the radio announcer yells "Line drive! Base hit into right field!" I know exactly what that is and what it looks like in my mind. If it was an "A-bomb, from A-rod", then I want J & S gushing pinstripes right through my speakers. I don't give a rats azz how much he is paid, or how many hits he has when the wind is blowing from the east under a full moon.

Hey Tarheel, where in NC?

2007-06-20 12:36:51
48.   Tarheel
45
The worst announcing team is the Seattle guys. When they are the ones calling Yankee games on EI, it makes the Hawk sound great.
2007-06-20 12:38:32
49.   Tarheel
47

I am about 25 miles outside of Greensboro.

2007-06-20 12:43:52
50.   monkeypants
48 Funny--I really like the Seattle announcers: subdued, professional, understated. Why don't you like Hawk? He's the king of the homers, and his schtick is right up there with Sterling.
Show/Hide Comments 51-100
2007-06-20 12:46:15
51.   pwicked
49 I'm in Raleigh. 14 year transplant from central NY. Married a southern girl too. Makes me a... DAMN YANKEE! (sorry, couldn't resist)

The Baltimore announcers are interesting to listen to. So hopeful...

2007-06-20 12:50:08
52.   Jeteupthemiddle
On Saturday, I was listening to Sterling and Waldman on my way up to Westchester. About 15 minutes in of me yelling at the radio because Sterling was harping on something stupid, I realized that I could listen to the game on the Mets network.

It was much more enjoyable.

2007-06-20 12:53:45
53.   Tarheel
50 The Seattle guys are definitely subdued, hell they will put you to sleep. And Hawk is worse than a homer, he is just plain bad.

51 Hopefully, your southern wife will rub off on you and get rid of some of those Yankee traits....(kidding). When I was growing up there were very few people from up North around here. But over the last 10-15 years that has really changed. I am sure you can tell a difference in your 14 years here. I guess folks just like to come here for our nice warm weather and Southern charm, huh?

2007-06-20 13:08:24
54.   weeping for brunnhilde
Oh, and fwiw, Kay often prefaces observations with "You have to wonder what Joe is thinking here" and actually second-guesses a fair amount, as does Walman, for that matter and to her credit.

Sterling never does or if he does, manages to make it sound inconsequential at any rate, as if the game isn't in fact riding on it.

2007-06-20 13:17:12
55.   monkeypants
53 I guess that's where we differ. I find Hawk's just plain bad in noway substantially different (or qualitatively better) than Sterling's. I think they are both insufferable, loud, repetitive, uninformitive, homers. In my book they are both atrocious.

As for the Seattle guys--I subscribe more to the Scully school of thought on TV announcers--their job is to frame the game. I like that they are subdued. Too bad it puts you to sleep; I am generay kept awake by the action on the field rather than the jocularity and hijinks in the booth. I would much rather listen to their understated announcing than Buck's or McCarver's blathering (or Kay's most of the time).

2007-06-20 13:19:57
56.   pwicked
53 The influx of people from the North and elsewhere has been steady over these 14 years and Yankees fans are easy to find. I am however amazed at the number of fans who are from below the Mason-Dixon line. Pretty cool. My wife wasn't much of a baseball fan until we hooked up. Now she's as rabid as me so that "trait" thang is a two-way street ;->
2007-06-20 13:23:55
57.   Paul in Boston
I've done quite a bit of radio listening up here to both the Sox and the Yanks (wcbs comes in pretty well on a clear night, and there's the net). I know this post was about the Mets-Yanks, so sorry for the digression.

Sox radio: Joe Costiglione knows the game very well. Some people hate his high-pitched voice, but I don't mind it. Thank goodness Jerry Trupiano is gone -- what a moron.

Sox TV: Jerry Remy is an outstanding commentator; he and Singleton are my two favorites of the "ex-ballplayer" type. Very astute, not afraid to say when something is done wrong, seems to still be a true fan of the game.

Yanks radio: I confess I've always found Sterling appealing, warts and all. Sorry. Someone up there called it perfectly when he said that Sterling's mood always reflects the fan's -- great observation! (And no wonder debris hates him.) He's a real fan's announcer, no sense pretending otherwise. If he got rid of the stupid cliches ("Robby Cano -- don't you know!") he'd be even better. I can live with Waldman, won't be sorry when she's gone.

Yanks TV: Singleton is great. Kay is awful, my least favorite of all the Yankee crew.

2007-06-20 13:48:26
58.   DadinIowa
As a Yankee fan since 1961 in the Midwest, I spent many wonderful hours listening to my transister radio whenever the Yanks played Minnesota or Kansas City or Chicago. Through cracks and hisses, it was heaven to actually be able to listen to a few Yankees games a year.

Now, past fifty years old, I am awestruck to be able to listen to games over XM and now WATCH many games (those that are not blacked out, which are Minnesota, Chicago and Kansas City) over MLB.TV. John and Suzan are fine, donald duck would be fine..... I just appreciate being able to listen and/or watch the games of the BEST sports team in history.

Go Bombers.

2007-06-20 13:58:48
59.   Max
57 I was going to type something longwinded, but hey! Paul in Boston pretty much echoed everything I feel.

I really liked Sterling when he was paired with Kay, but maybe that's nostalgia for the teams that produced Derek's four rings. I still don't mind him too much in small doses, but I have to say that Sterling paired with Waldman really is hard to take for long stretches.

Like others here, I don't have to have super savvy analysis from my radio broadcasts, and some homerism is nice, as long as the outright stupidity and cliches are kept in check. I also do appreciate it when the homers take a moment to acknowledge when someone on the opposing team has done something well in a sincere and not cloying manner...like Ortiz battling Mo for 11 pitches in the ninth inning. Sometimes you want your guys to be fans of the game, not just fans of your team.

The NESN guys really are very good...Remy is outstanding, and this is coming from someone who despises Red Sox Nation and its bandwagon louts. Some of the guys in the NESN studio, in particular Eckersley, also have a great sense of the game and a wry sense of humor so that their homerism is easily digested. I get the feeling that these guys really try to rise above the yahoo-ism and paranoia of the fan base and enjoy the game for what it is, whether it's the Red Sox or some other team playing the game the right way. Carrying themselves with dignity and a sense of humor while standing in the midst of dung, so to speak. :-)

The Sox radio team is not my favorite, though I agree with Paul that Trupiano was really the worst...his absence is addition by subtraction.

I like the Mets announcers for the same reason weeping does, though I don't watch them much. The Yankees TV guys are good but the chemistry seems to be a mixed bag...though I don't watch them as much as others here do.

Whoops, I guess this did end up longwinded after all.

2007-06-20 14:51:59
60.   rbj
50 The Mariners announcers are pretty good, I like Dave Neuhouse (sp?)

And the NESN guys are good. Tigers' guys, esp. Rod Allen -- bad.

2007-06-20 14:52:44
61.   yankz
I only have one thing to say:

He gone!

2007-06-20 14:53:28
62.   JL25and3
Actually, I think one of Sterling's few saving graces is that he's much less of a homer than many, many other announcers. I've had XM for the last couple of years, and that's really confirmed it for me. Lots of other announcers routinely refer to the team as "we," which Sterling never does. He gives credit to the other players, and will criticize Yankees from time to time (when he decides to talk about the game at all).

If you want a homer, try listening to Ron Santo sometimes. He's hilarious.

38 You should hear Miller do radio sometimes. He's absolutely superb, probably the best this side of Scully.

2007-06-20 15:03:24
63.   sam2175
Did people say they like Michael Kay? He is insufferable with real poor knowledge of the game, that gets easily exposed when Paul O'Neill or Al Leiter are in the booth. In fact, those are the only times I like Michael Kay.

As for Sterling and Waldman, well, they were sort of okay to begin with. But those HR calls on routine flyballs to right really misrepresent the game. And he bores people to death anyways.

2007-06-20 15:06:35
64.   sam2175
I think the Texas Rangers announcers are outstanding with great knowledge of the game, and great objectivity.

Hawk Harrelson is a joke, as are the Angels announcers.

2007-06-20 16:26:53
65.   Start Spreading the News
Announcers are allowed to be homers, as far as I am concerned. So this includes Sterling's calls at the end of a Yankee win or all his theatrical finishes as a home run is hit. ABomb for A-rod, etc.. or Waldman's over-the-top call of Clemen's return.

But listening to Sterling and Waldman go on and on about how great Jeter's defense is or how Cairo does all the little things right. Waldman was unbelievably harsh on A-rod in May when he failed to deliver in a few spots -- almost never on Jeter when he failed as well. In May, the offense on the whole failed often but Suzyn would focus on Arod a ton.

It's those kind of things that make the pair really grating for me.

2007-06-21 16:55:30
66.   Will Weiss
Great comments all around, and very astute. Many of you commented on Sterling when he was with Kay. As an exercise, during a game, watch a few innings on TV with Kay doing PBP and then turn it on mute and listen to Sterling. I've found that their inflections, tone and descriptions -- especially when either team scores -- are similar. The only difference is that Kay, coming from a reporter's background, is quicker to second-guess decisions made by the manager or players. Thoughts?

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