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August 14, 2006

Comments

The Contrarian

I understand your frustration with Sterling. Unfortunately, I usually have the Yankees on WCBS radio only as background noise at times, so perhaps I should pay more attention.

Listening to Scooter during his waning days as a Yankee announcer was pretty painful as he flubbed lines and facts and basically acted like a frail old man.

Switching sports, college football broadcast legend Keith Jackson, prodded out of retirement of ABC, was horrifically inaccurate last season. His play-calling of last fall's Notre Dame-Stanford game (he wasn't helped by a rather boring Dan Fouts) is well-documented in Internet blogdom.

Fatherflot

I remember listening to Sterling 25 years ago when he was on WMCA (?) broadcasting Nets games and doing call-in sports talk. I can still hear him:

"Michael Ray passes to King; King slashes baseline; KING, SKY KING! BERNARD SKY B.B. KING WITH A THUUUUUUUUUNDEROUS SLAM!!!!!!!!!!!!!!"

But most of all I remember the phrase he used to express his disagreement with callers: "GIVE IT A REST YOU FILTHY CREEP!!!"


Mind you, this was about 1978, way before Savage and Hannity and Rush, before even the heyday of Bob Grant (or so I believe). This was, for me at least, my first exposure to talk radio as what McLuhan would call a "hot" medium, perfectly suited to verbal assault and battery.

Whenever I hear Sterling now I picture him as a kind of neo-Cosell character complete with a bad rug, fat fingers with a few gaudy Vegas-style power rings, a cigar perpetually going, and visions of a massive T-bone at Peter Lugar's after the game dancing in his head.

Richard

John Sterling is making it virtually impossible for me to follow the Yankees.

We need to start a Cliche Counter to keep track of how many times per game he spouts some hoary old "Baseball is a funny game" cliche. Or maybe you could turn it into a drinking game - Sterling says a cliche, do a shot. That might at least help deaden the pain of listening to him.

I have no idea how Suzyn can put up with him.

Good to read that I'm not alone in my opinions.

Evan "Funk" Davies

Being a Red Sox fan (and, therefore, ardent Yankee-hater), I have to say I am sometimes perversely amused by Sterling's buffoonery and blowhardisms. To me, they just seem to fit the team itself perfectly. But even I can only tolerate so many "funny game" comments, as Richard mentioned, or the completely predictable remarks about how unpredictable baseball is, or cutesy home run nicknames (I can't even bring myself to type the one I hate most, but it starts with "G" and ends with "bino" -- and speaking of home runs, among my favorite Sterling moments in any game is the inevitable misjudged home run call: "IT IS HIGH! IT IS FAR! IT IS..... caught by the left fielder, and the runners hold."). And of course every play a Yankee fielder makes is "the best you've ever seen." Oh, and then there's the way he over-enunciates and/or over-dramatizes the most mundane sponsorship announcements ("coming to you live from the Lowe's broadcast booth. Lowe's: let's build something togethaaaaahhh.")

OK, so maybe I'm not all that amused after all.

Bill W

Like Fatherflot, I remember Sterling's '70s call-in show. Thought he was a loathsome blowhard when I was 12, still do.

Every fall when the Yankees are eliminated from the postseason, I bellow "THUUUUH Yankees suck!"

J. Davids

Sterling is the Jimimy Glick of sports broadcasters.

In fact he's been doing the "back-to-back and a-belly-to-belly" call for many years now. It is one of the few affectations I don't mind because it best allows me to imagine him putting on his ascot and sailor's cap every morning.

Agreed though, the most maddening thing has been his increasing — almost daily, sometimes several times a game — abuse of the "baseball is so unpredictable" thing, and "that tells you how much stats mean!" Hey, Fruit Loops, if the stats don't mean anything, then PLEASE STOP READING THEM.

Listener Bob

Bronwyn, that was spot-on! My personal pet peeves are the juvenile nicknames & " thuuuuhhh Yankees win". I try to switch it off before that silliness ends the game.

Miss you very much, hope you're well.

Richard

Another great example of a blown call today.

The Orioles made the final out in the game as they beat the Yankees 12-2. With the "closing theme" music starting up in the background, John Sterling announced that there were now TWO outs in the inning...

Andrew

I was an Expos fan but my favorite player growing up was Don Mattingly so I used to strain my ears to pick up the Yankees on WABC through the static up here in Canada. Sterling was partnered with Michael Kay (?) and I used to flip to WFAN for Suzyn's post game reports. I thought she was great (ironic job for a Red Sox fan). Sterling was bad then and if the above comments are accurate he is no better now. Those were some pretty bad teams and I don't know how many times he would break your heart with the aforementioned blown home run call. When the yankees weren't at bat he would usually ramble on about what a great city/stadium he was at or where he ate or the view from the pressbox rather than bore us with the play by play. And given that he has one of the highest profile gigs in sports broadcasting is it really necessary for him to draw even more attention to himself with that ridiculous "the yayayayankees win..the yankees win". He would be my least favorite had I never heard Hawk and Wimpy call a White Sox game.

Jason Shepard

I have to step up and defend a man that has made summer wonderful for me for as long as I can remember. Sterling has gone through numerous wonderful color men and is now burdened with an annoying over-her-head color woman who does NO play by play (this not being odd in most circumstances but Sterling worked with Kay and Steiner who both shared play by play time with sterling). His voice has resonated in my dreams since I was a young child. I fell asleep to his deep, melodous calls of Yankee failure for a decade between 85-95. It was Sterling that kept me interested and it was the Yankees success that made him famous. He was good before the Yankees got good and I'm tremedously happy that the entire nation now gets to hear the voice that hung with this aging child as he went to sleep dreaming of jessie barfields and Mel Halls. I hope Sterling works as long as Bob Shepard.

Hoosier Daddy

"Both pitchers have had walk trouble. Well, a hit batter is the same thing as a walk."--John Sterling, 8/19/06
No, it's not the same.
And Jason Shepard is obviously kidding.

Met Fan

Jason
You must have had pretty good dreams in the mid-80's. Sterling first came to the Yankees in 1989.

churl

Both John Sterling and Michael Kay are utter buffoons who have retained their jobs by copiously kissing the fat derriere of George Steinbrenner, who has always valued subservience over competence in his employees (occasionally these qualities dovetail, but not in the case of the announcers). The great Yankee franchise, in the media capital of the world, should have top-flight pros like Gary Cohen or Jon Miller--guys you could imagine being recruited by the big networks. Instead, we have these two annoying cranks. What a travesty! No two announcers elicit more disdain from critics and fans alike, yet there they are, year after year, torturing Yankee fans with no other means of following their team. Does Sterling have pictures of George with barnyard animals?

And to think that this is the team that once set the mark for broadcasting class and greatness with Mel Allen. What a disgrace!

Brian

John Sterling gets progressivly worse everygame, his borderline retarded comments and catchphrases make me sick. I just want the goddam game not his spin on all things Yankees. He sugar coats any Yankee problem or slump. He rarely gives the score for christsake. I wish he would go away.

Robert

Sterling is the worst announcer I have ever heard.I tried to listen to game 2 of the playoffs yesterday on my car radio, and just could not take him any more. I finaly turned on the national feed on espn radio. That is how much he bothers me.
Today, in game 3, giambi hit a routine fly, and Sterling starts his home run call.."THERE IT GOES!! ..no it doesnt it is caught by the right fielder." The best was 2 years ago when he was crowing about the yankees going to another world series...until boston came back and won 3 straight.

NANCY RAE K NITZBERG

L, NANCY RAE K NITZBERG, LIVED IN BALTIMORE IN 60'S AND WORKED FOR WCBM RADIO AND W.B.DONER AND COMPANY, ADVERTISING AND KNOW PERSONALLY JOHN STERLING WHO WAS ON WCBM AND HAD A TALK SHOW WHERE PEOPLE CALLED IN AND JOHN LOVED SPORTS - NUMBER ONE OF ALL. (WCBM WAS OWNED AND OPERATED AT THAT TIME BY METROMEDIA, INC (JOHN KLUGE'S CORPORATION.) JOHN STERLING IS A SPORTS LOVER - AND A GREAT FRIEND FROM THE PAST WHICH I STILL ADMIRE MUCHLY AND I AM SORRY I MOVED TO FLORIDA IN 1971 - I SHOULD HAVE MOVED TO NEW YORK CITY FOR AN ADVERTISING MEDIA POSITION....STILL LOVE ADVERTISING AND RADIO MEDIA. PLUS.....SOMEONE SHOULD INTERVIEW JOHN STERLING.....? MY MAILING ADDRESS: BOX 547051 SURFSIDE, FLORIDA 33154 - PHONE AND VOICE MAIL 305-460-5769 - MY OTHER EMAIL ADDRESS IS: nraekn@gmail.com...

Yankee in Dixie

Sorry for the haterz but even his silly calls give me the goosebumps. I remember all those big games when the Yanks were winning every year. If you're a big fan theres nothing better. All my friends imitate him at every get together playin ball with our kids and video games and not all Yankee fans. It's just funny ya know?.

Andrew

John Sterling is the best- you guys don't know your ass from your elbow.

Bronxguy

John Sterling has ruined Yankees radio baseball for me. I grew up in The Bronx with such wonderful announcers as Mel Allen, Red Barber, Jerry Coleman, Bill White, Frank Messurand Bob Gamere. Yes Bob Gamere who many years before John Sterling ever called his first Yankees pitch coined the phrase " It's High, Its Far, It's gone" Sterling takes credit for it. His mistakes are enough to make one ill. A couple of weeks ago a ball was hit to center field and the runner on first went to third. Sterling said Damon throws in to 2nd and they feel they can run on Damon's arm. Damon wasn't in the play. It was Cabrera. Just one of so many he makes during a 9 inning game. PLEASEEEEEEE get rid of this idiot. Once the man is removed from the booth can we finally say " THEEEEEE Yahkees Win" The Yankees are too sophisticated a team to have such announcing gimmicks as Bern Baby Bern and A bomb from Arod etc. Give us our dignity back.

Irwin Chusid

I've been a Yankees fan since 1960, but stopped listening to games on WCBS because of these two insufferable bores. Sterling never met a cliche too timeworn for dropping into his banal play-by-play. After the 150th instance of reminding us, following an unusual play, that "you just can't predict this game of baseball," I began changing the station regardless of the score. Those 150 mentions probably occurred over a span of one road trip.

Waldman once referred to a particular player's uncertain status -- due to injury -- as "a puzzlement." WTF??

I finally swore off listening to game broadcasts after a reference Waldman made to Yankee great (and now coach) Don Mattingly. Sports pundits have long referred to Mattingly — who was a great player and has a reputation for being a gentleman, a smart strategist, and a beloved Yank — as "Donnie Baseball." It's a cheap, demeaning nickname, and it probably embarrasses Mattingly, who has too much class to say anything either way. Waldman, who has a weird accent (Brooklyn? Boston?), and who should respect Mattingly for his integrity and devotion to the game, called him "Dawnie Baseball." I almost slugged the radio.

I'll leave you with a frightening thought: the John Sterling "Yankees Win!" ringtone.

Ivan

John Sterling is fast becoming the greatest
announcer of all time. True Yankee fans adore
him, as he gets you excited the whole game.
He has a unique style that is so New York.
Yankees and Yankee fans are blessed to have
this dedicated, emotional, great broadcaster.
He is truly the voice of the Yankees and the
voice of New York.

frank

get rid of sterling--its ironic that on the tv side there are an abundance of good color commentators---while on the radio side we have a play---by play buffoon---and a color commentator who is a former bosox groupie----now suzyn is ok----but give me at least one person in the booth who actually played the game---who can bring insights from their baseball career----also dont allow one person to do 9 innings of play by play---please!!??---funny on the mets side howie is a great met announcer ---he needs a former player joining him in the booth---not the guy they have now!!!one mans opinion

frank

read it and weep!!!!!!!!!!!!!In March 2007, it was reported that Sterling and Waldman had signed contracts to continue as the Yankees' radio announcers through the 2011 season. [1]

Larry

Sorry guys...I've been a devoted Yankee fan since I learned to read as a 6-year old in 1949...and I thoroughly enjoy getting the Yankee broadcasts on XM radio (the only way to get them down here in Knoxville, TN). I think John Sterling is great...and I have zero problems with Suzyn also. The so-called "cliches" are part of the schtick of an announcer, and repetition is part of the fun as far as I am concerned. I like to have the game on in the background, and perk up with the "it is high...it is far" calls, and it doesn't matter in the slightest if it actually isn't a home run. If I catch a mistake, I just yell the correction at the radio (C'mon John! It's 19 - SIX!)...again, just part of the fun of following the Yankee broadcasts to me. I guess you just have to be a true Yankees to understand this... :-)
Larry A.

Steve

Not bad on Yankeeography where everything is scripted, prepared and rehearsed but terrible and hard to listen to as a play by play guy where he has to come up with the stuff himself.

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