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Sunday, December 22, 2013

Raissman: Will Michael Kay be a YES man or his own man on simulcast?

Who cares…I wanna see those Russian Robot jugglers Vova and Olga Galchenko on Center Stage again!

While Kay’s voice resonates on YES, his opinions echo through the canyons of the Valley of the Stupid — daily — as the star of an ESPN-98.7 afternoon-drive show named after him. Make no mistake, Kay is the face of YES and the marquee voice of 98.7. Like him, love him or loathe him this is an undisputed fact.

Tis the season to compare him to a snowball rolling down the side of a snow-covered hill. Kay Incorporated is growing. Yet will it wind up melting under the pressure of his newest endeavor — a radio simulcast on YES?

Naturally, comparisons will be made to Mike (Sports Pope) Francesa who is exiting his YES balcony perhaps for another simulcast venue. Being compared to and competing with the pontiff, in terms of style and the radio-ratings race, is nothing new for Kay.

Now there is a much trickier issue. His criticisms of the Yankees have always been stronger, more pointed, on 98.7 than they are on YES. Will that change once the simulcast kicks in? Those who already believe he has spent a career carrying a pinstriped water bucket will have another leg to stand on. No matter which way he goes, Kay will be hard-pressed to influence that wing of the party.

The bigger issue is internal. Francesa wasn’t kidding when he said “editorial control” led to confrontations with YES/Yankees suits. His Holiness did his own thing and took control. If he cared anything about placating YES suits, or the Yankees’ high command, Francesa wouldn’t have jammed Alex Rodriguez down their throats, providing A-Rod a Yankee-centric place to tell his story the way he wanted with no resistance from the interviewer.

What happens now when Kay is on the “wrong” side of a Yankees controversy? Does he jump in mouth first and verbally hit the organization? Or does he revert to taking a more measured, diplomatic, mealy-mouth approach?

Repoz Posted: December 22, 2013 at 09:14 AM | 10 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: media, yankees

Reader Comments and Retorts

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   1. willcarrolldoesnotsuk Posted: December 22, 2013 at 10:19 AM (#4622426)
I was scanning through the radio stations a few weeks back, and heard Michael Kay's voice. This was the first time that I heard him on his radio talk show (I didn't even know it existed until then). I was very, very surprised at how vituperative he was.

I'm not really a fan of Kay, for various reasons, but from his Yankees TV broadcasts, he has always seemed like a reasonably pleasant, amicable man. I mean, sure, he'd occasionally get a bit annoyed at something, but not any more than anybody else does every once in a while. But in this radio show, he was really pretty nasty. Is he often this way on the radio, or did I just catch him on a bad day?
   2. madvillain Posted: December 22, 2013 at 10:37 AM (#4622428)
Yes, but who is gonna make the chicken parm?
   3. TVerik, the gum-snappin' hairdresser Posted: December 22, 2013 at 12:17 PM (#4622459)

Nice word. $10.

The job description of a PBP person and a talk radio jock are overlapping, but more or less completely different. If Kay were vanilla on the radio and no one called in, it would be a pretty terrible radio show. And if he were a flaming firebrand during Yankee games, he would be replaced quickly. That doesn't point out inconsistency on Kay's part, but different roles.
   4. Rough Carrigan Posted: December 22, 2013 at 01:40 PM (#4622502)
I know it's considered de rigeur to rip Kay's yankee broadcasts, especially for Red Sox fans, but I have to admit that he's not that bad. His voice is fine. He does a decent job of description and he seems to try to elicit insightful comments from the other guys in the booth. He's not my favorite but he's not bad.
   5. TerpNats Posted: December 22, 2013 at 03:12 PM (#4622535)
Just remember that in the 1970s, John Sterling was a sports talk host (and yes, he was as bad at that as he is on Yankees radio). Then envision him as Kay's YES successor and be very afraid.
   6. willcarrolldoesnotsuk Posted: December 23, 2013 at 02:46 PM (#4622979)
Please donate that $10 to the ACLU. Thank you.
   7. Gotham Dave Posted: December 23, 2013 at 06:42 PM (#4623165)
Kay is a hell of a lot better than Sterling, although I think Sterling dragged him down when they were in the booth together back in the day. Kay isn't GOOD, but he's not the worst regular PBP man in baseball, and I think working at YES with athletes that he respects and in some cases idolizes (Cone, O'Neill, etc) has humbled him a lot compared to when he sitting next to Sterling, who is an effete old man (not bashing effete old men, mind you, just saying it's not what Kay respects, or an image that projects baseball expertise).

Sports talk radio is always and must always be terrible, so I don't see why Kay should be any different.
   8. Justin T., Director of Somethin Posted: December 23, 2013 at 09:40 PM (#4623239)
sitting next to Sterling, who is an effete old man (not bashing effete old men, mind you, just saying it's not what Kay respects, or an image that projects baseball expertise).

Sterling is a useless ####, since you don't want to say it.
   9. TVerik, the gum-snappin' hairdresser Posted: December 23, 2013 at 10:29 PM (#4623249)
I've watched a lot of many teams' broadcasts over the last few years. Kay is in the top ten of PBP guys around the league. Maybe top five.
   10. tfbg9 Posted: December 23, 2013 at 10:50 PM (#4623258)
Kay is in the top ten of PBP guys around the league. Maybe top five.

I assume I gotta stick to TV men. Vin is better. John Miller is better. Dick Stockton is better. Dewayne Statts is better. Charley Steiner is better. Gary Cohen is better. Dan Shulman is better. Denny Matthews is(was?) better. Sean McDonough... a personal favorite, I think he's better. I think Dave Sims is better. Dick Enberg too.

Off the top of my head, I like these guys more. Kay's OK, skill-wise. I just think he's a jerk. It's admittedly hard for me to separate-out my loathing of all things Yankee from my opinion of him.

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