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Thursday, July 08, 2021

‘Embarrassed’ Suzyn Waldman frustrated with Yankees’ broadcasting situation

Suzyn Waldman was embarrassed. She couldn’t sleep. And the root of it all was that she was in The Bronx, at Yankee Stadium, broadcasting on WFAN the Yankees-Blue Jays game that was being played in Buffalo.

In the ninth inning Wednesday, when the controversial foul tip-or-no foul tip play with Gary Sanchez behind the plate happened, Waldman was looking down at her notes for a moment – and didn’t see it. That’s the life of calling games off a monitor.

“I didn’t sleep all night,” Waldman told The Post. “I was really embarrassed.”

While it is true Waldman could have been looking at her notes, even if she were in Buffalo, she would have been able to see for herself the rhythm of the game. In her mind, being present would have helped.

This isn’t the only reason why the vaccinated 74-year-old Waldman and 82-year-old John Sterling — and while we are at it, the YES announcers as well — should be on the road soon, but it is an example of what is gained by announcers being at the ballpark.

In person, the game is presented better with more details. Anyone in the business and fans should hear it. Bean counters, be damned.

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: July 08, 2021 at 01:09 PM | 42 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: yankees

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   1. Jose Is An Absurd Balladeer Posted: July 08, 2021 at 01:30 PM (#6028263)
74-year-old Waldman and 82-year-old John Sterling


Holy ####. Credit where it's due they both seem to be doing pretty well for their age.
   2. pikepredator Posted: July 08, 2021 at 01:58 PM (#6028266)
Agreed. I would've pegged them both as at least a decade younger.
   3. Howie Menckel Posted: July 08, 2021 at 03:00 PM (#6028279)
Sterling became the father of triplets at age 61 - and no, I can't tell you if they look like him.
;)

Fifty years ago, he was an angry NYC radio sports host (WMCA).

his tag line, after excoriating a caller with the temerity to question - well, anything - was "GET OFF MY PHONE, YOU IGNORANT CREEP!" sort of entertaining to this youngster.
   4. Tom Nawrocki Posted: July 08, 2021 at 03:53 PM (#6028284)
Sterling turned 83 on the 4th of July. Mazel tov!

   5. bobm Posted: July 08, 2021 at 05:45 PM (#6028291)
[3] Circa 1972

In 1972, sportscaster John Sterling hosted a non-sports radio call-in show on WMCA in New York. This clip has John brilliantly dealing with a very aggravating caller. He shows amazingly exorbitant patience but eventually....well, you'll see.
   6. bobm Posted: July 08, 2021 at 05:49 PM (#6028292)
   7. bobm Posted: July 08, 2021 at 06:00 PM (#6028294)
   8. bobm Posted: July 08, 2021 at 06:03 PM (#6028295)
   9. Starring Bradley Scotchman as RMc Posted: July 09, 2021 at 08:09 AM (#6028361)
In the year John Sterling was born, WW2 hadn't started yet, tho Hitler was in charge in Germany (and marching into Austria), Orson Welles terrified the nation with his "War of the Worlds" and Babe Ruth was a coach for the Dodgers.

Different world.
   10. Jose Is An Absurd Balladeer Posted: July 09, 2021 at 09:21 AM (#6028367)
Sterling was the Hawks announcer the night Larry Bird dropped 60 on them.

I think he was the Braves announcer the night of the Rick Camp homer too.
   11. Darren Posted: July 09, 2021 at 01:33 PM (#6028406)
In the ninth inning Wednesday, when the controversial foul tip-or-no foul tip play with Gary Sanchez behind the plate happened, Waldman was looking down at her notes for a moment – and didn’t see it. That’s the life of calling games off a monitor.


That's the life of calling a game in person too, right? Couldn't her partner or someone on the broadcast team have tipped her off?
   12. Doug Jones threw harder than me Posted: July 09, 2021 at 01:38 PM (#6028407)
I mentioned this on another thread, but in the past year I have really grown to enjoy Sterling/Waldman via MLB TV/Audio, having never listened to them before. Theeeey do a really good job.
   13. Darren Posted: July 09, 2021 at 01:48 PM (#6028409)
What do you like about them? I can't stand the banter or their game calling (then again, I don't like many broadcasters and am a Red Sox fan so...)
   14. What did Billy Ripken have against ElRoy Face? Posted: July 09, 2021 at 02:27 PM (#6028418)
That's the life of calling a game in person too, right? Couldn't her partner or someone on the broadcast team have tipped her off?
Totally. This is nothing but “Something went wrong while working remotely that would have gone wrong anyway, but I’m going to blame it on working remotely because I’m a septuagenarian who doesn’t like the concept.”

“See for herself the rhythm of the game.” Sheesh.
   15. Doug Jones threw harder than me Posted: July 09, 2021 at 03:18 PM (#6028425)
What do you like about them?


I can't quite put my finger on it. One thing to understand is that I much prefer "radio broadcast-style" to "tv broadcast-style", so I love that the nice MLB TV feature where I can superimpose the radio broadcast without any delay, which is important. Sterling/Waldman have a nice banter, and they don't leave a lot of dead air (a problem with a lot of broadcasters, notably Duane Kuiper (now unfortunately undergoing chemotherapy) of the Giants when he's doing the radio by himself, and the A's broadcasters seem to suffer from that malady a lot. They broadcast the game and tell you what's going on descriptively, without getting very "look at me", which some of the "jocks" tend to do sometimes. I've also grown to like the San Diego Padres radio announcers, Tony Gwynn Jr. as a color guy does a good job. I don't mind the very mild Yankee homerism. Listening around the league has been interesting, but I have to say a lot of the radio teams are kinda bland, and it may be the distinctiveness of Sterling/Waldman is what draws me to them. Some of the radio teams sound like they are just punching a paycheck, and Sterling/Waldman sound like they enjoy being at the game, which I appreciate.
   16. Hombre Brotani Posted: July 09, 2021 at 04:12 PM (#6028437)
What do you like about them? I can't stand the banter or their game calling
Neither can I, but growing up with Vin Scully has ruined just about every other announcer for me.

That said, I get why fanbases get so attached to their hometown voices, and dislike other teams' announcers. Those PBP teams, especially the long-time ones, become tailored very specifically to that one franchise and those fans. That fanbase won't hear the homerism to the degree that people outside their base will hear it. They're accustomed to the banter, they have a relationship to those voices and those styles. Plenty of really (IMO) gawdawful announcers have retired as beloved figures of their communities. It's just another reminder of how provincial baseball still is. There's nothing wrong with that. Like who you like... unless you like Hawk Harrelson. There's no excuse for that.
   17. SoSH U at work Posted: July 09, 2021 at 05:05 PM (#6028439)
Yeah, this could have happened if they were in the ballpark , Oddly enough, the night before this was written, Sterling mistook a replay being run by the M’s crew as the live feed. That was a better example of the problem of calling the game remotely.
   18. Starring Bradley Scotchman as RMc Posted: July 09, 2021 at 06:49 PM (#6028455)
Tony Gwynn Jr. as a color guy does a good job

Good grief, Tony Gwynn's son is an announcer now?! Geez, I'm old.

Living in upstate NY since 1995, and having listened to Sterling and Waldman for most of that time, I've always thought (1) shouldn't the sport's flagship franchise have better announcers than these two? and (2) they're perfectly cromulent; not everybody has to be Ernie Harwell. (I like 'em, basically.)
   19. villageidiom Posted: July 09, 2021 at 08:46 PM (#6028460)
Yeah, this could have happened if they were in the ballpark , Oddly enough, the night before this was written, Sterling mistook a replay being run by the M’s crew as the live feed.
That wouldn't have surprised me if it happened a decade ago and he was at the park.
   20. Brian C Posted: July 10, 2021 at 12:58 AM (#6028470)
Totally. This is nothing but “Something went wrong while working remotely that would have gone wrong anyway, but I’m going to blame it on working remotely because I’m a septuagenarian who doesn’t like the concept.”

“See for herself the rhythm of the game.” Sheesh.

I don't know, it seems perfectly reasonable to me. I know I personally pay way more attention to a game when I'm there in the stands than I do watching it on TV.

Or if you want to apply the same logic to a professional setting, since after all this is their job - who doesn't find it easier to zone out during a Zoom meeting at work than to zone out in the conference room at the office?

For me, being actually physically present has a huge impact on my attention span and focus. But I guess everyone's MMV.
   21. MY PAIN IS NOT A HOLIDAY (CoB). Posted: July 10, 2021 at 09:10 AM (#6028475)
I mentioned this on another thread, but in the past year I have really grown to enjoy Sterling/Waldman via MLB TV/Audio, having never listened to them before. Theeeey do a really good job.

Wait ... whaaaat?
They don't do a "great job", they want to make tear my soul out through my ears.
   22. Never Give an Inge (Dave) Posted: July 10, 2021 at 09:15 AM (#6028476)

Maybe this is obvious, but when they're in the park much of the time they're watching the game on the monitors anyway, right?
   23. sunday silence (again) Posted: July 10, 2021 at 10:40 AM (#6028477)
arent they leaving out the best part of the story? It was about a week ago and Judge had already homered in the 2nd I think and he's up in the third. And he launches another bomb in to LF stands!

Except that was a reply of the 2nd HR and Stirling didnt realize that as he called the HR. Suzyn tried to interupt him and then he corrected himself. They were both sort of bleh about it. It was funny
   24. BDC Posted: July 10, 2021 at 10:58 AM (#6028478)
Maybe this is obvious, but when they're in the park much of the time they're watching the game on the monitors anyway, right?

They are, and it can be instructive to listen to the radio feed while watching TV (as Doug Jones mentioned) to hear how often radio announcers report exactly what's happening on screen.

But to join in Brian C's comment: the video feed is a real tunnel-vision experience. A radio announcer live in the booth can check the scoreboard and the action on the field to get a much fuller sense of what's going on.
   25. The Yankee Clapper Posted: July 10, 2021 at 02:12 PM (#6028482)
I’ve come across quite a few instances of the network or visiting team’s remote broadcasters not knowing a fair or foul call, or even safe or out, just because the umpire wasn’t in the picture, or the director was late getting to the right camera. It gets straightened out after some delay, but it’s a better product with the broadcasters at the ballpark.
   26. Best Dressed Chicken in Town Posted: July 10, 2021 at 03:10 PM (#6028485)
the night before this was written, Sterling mistook a replay being run by the M’s crew as the live feed.
------
Judge had already homered in the 2nd I think and he's up in the third. And he launches another bomb in to LF stands! Except that was a reply of the 2nd HR and Stirling didnt realize that as he called the HR


I completely sympathize with Sterling on that one because I thought it was live at first as well. Something about the way the replay was shown. I think they had just shown a replay, and then it cut back in a way that made it appear to be back to live action, but it was just another replay. (It didn't help that I hadn't seen the first homer live, so I didn't realize that the "second" one looked remarkably similar...)
   27. Doug Jones threw harder than me Posted: July 10, 2021 at 03:26 PM (#6028487)
They don't do a "great job", they want to make tear my soul out through my ears.


I am sure this is a matter of taste, and also perhaps a matter of familiarity breeds contempt. My father (RIP), huge Dodge fan that he was, actually preferred any of the other Dodger announcers to Vin Scully, because he had grown tired of Scully's various mannerisms, as strange as that may sound from the standpoint of the present day.
   28. dejarouehg Posted: July 10, 2021 at 04:25 PM (#6028491)
his tag line, after excoriating a caller with the temerity to question - well, anything - was "GET OFF MY PHONE, YOU IGNORANT CREEP!" sort of entertaining to this youngster.


I didn't think this was Sterling....but Bob Grant definitely used this line on his callers on WABC.

I listened to Sterling on WMCA when I was young. The novelty of sports radio - at that time - was great.

Russo also started out on WMCA, with his buddies calling in.
   29. Sweatpants Posted: July 10, 2021 at 11:21 PM (#6028546)
The idea of John Sterling as someone with little patience for other people's slip-ups is amusing to me. Sterling the radio host would have hated Sterling the play-by-play man.

My favorite Sterling call: "Cervelli will not be stealing. There he goes!"
   30. Howie Menckel Posted: July 10, 2021 at 11:51 PM (#6028550)
my favorite Sterling one was when he was the Islanders radio play-by-play guy 40+ years ago.

Mike Bossy was about to break the all-time record for most NHL goals by a rookie - a rather big deal.

his shtick for that team was always: "GOAL, ISLANDERS GOAL, ISLANDERS GOAL, ISLANDERS GOAL!"

well, he did his homework for the Bossy record-breaking goal - and went off on a soliloquy about the true impact of this remarkable moment in league annuals.

I pity the poor bastard in the booth or in the headset who had to tell him, "Um, John....."

he stops, pauses, and says - as if reading a classified ad - "Turns out that shot was tipped, so we have a change in the scoring..."

I almost - but not quite - felt bad for him, because that's a pretty unlucky break.
   31. villageidiom Posted: July 11, 2021 at 03:08 PM (#6028594)
My favorite Sterling call: "Cervelli will not be stealing. There he goes!"
"IT IS HIGH! IT IS FAR! IT IS caught by Garret Anderson short of the track." (2002 playoffs)
   32. ERROR---Jolly Old St. Nick Posted: July 14, 2021 at 05:57 PM (#6029104)
I don't really dislike Sterling and Waldman all that much, but the YES team of Kay, Cone and O'Neill is infinitely better in every way.
   33. Lowry Seasoning Salt Posted: July 14, 2021 at 06:43 PM (#6029114)
I don't really dislike Sterling and Waldman all that much, but the YES team of Kay, Cone and O'Neill is infinitely better in every way.


I don't get the sense Kay has learned he's moved from radio to TV. He calls what is shown. There could be runners on second and third and

[ball hit hard up the middle]

"It's a base hit up the middle..."

[runner crosses home]

"Urshela scores..."

[runner rounding third]

"Voit rounding third..."

[shortstop cuts off outfielder's throw]

"It's cut off. Voit scores. A two-RBI single for Torres. Yankees lead 2 to nothing."

Either Kay does that all the time or somehow only in the highlights narrated by him that I have seen for years now.
   34. gehrig97 Posted: July 15, 2021 at 03:38 PM (#6029180)
@33: You are so right. I never really noticed it before, but now I will never not notice it.

And I have to agree that other than David Cone--who is an excellent analyst (no former player is more SABR-minded)-- the Yankees both is just awful. Kay and O'Neill are... eeesh. And they look even worse when compared to the team across town. I'm a lifelong Yankees fan, but the Mets booth is as good as it gets.
   35. Lowry Seasoning Salt Posted: July 15, 2021 at 04:23 PM (#6029185)
gehrig97 Posted: July 15, 2021 at 03:38 PM (#6029180)
@33: You are so right. I never really noticed it before, but now I will never not notice it.


Sorry. Really.
   36. ERROR---Jolly Old St. Nick Posted: July 16, 2021 at 10:08 AM (#6029249)
I guess I don't see anything particularly wrong with a TV announcer describing the action. There are plenty of times when I'm downstairs practicing pool or doing something else while I've got the sound turned up to follow the game. If I were sitting in front of the set for the entire time I might feel differently, but even then I don't see what the Big Deal is.

Other than that, Kay and Cone are as good at injecting analytics into the discussion as anyone, and Cone and O'Neill keep things from getting too solemn. YMMV, and I doubt if I've heard enough Mets broadcasts to make any kind of comparison. The only other broadcast teams I tune into sometimes are the Orioles (elevated by Palmer), the Nats (dreadful, although improved with the departure of Santangelo) and the Red Sox (funereal; it's like they're reading the developing play off a teleprompter).
   37. Jose Is An Absurd Balladeer Posted: July 16, 2021 at 10:32 AM (#6029254)
the Red Sox (funereal; it's like they're reading the developing play off a teleprompter).


The move from Don Orsillo to Dave O'Brien is about as dramatic as you can get in quality of broadcaster. O'Brien is what would happen if you let a computer build an announcer. He knows his stuff and he's got a fantastic voice but it all just sounds so sanitary. There is no sense of fun to his broadcast.

Having said that Remy and Eckersley are the gift that keeps on giving. Those guys are great and bring the best out of each other. They just love to talk baseball (or Studio 54).
   38. pikepredator Posted: July 16, 2021 at 12:15 PM (#6029275)
I'm pretty sure I would hate Joe Castiglione if I wasn't a Red Sox fan but he makes baseball on the radio a ton of fun. He's a total homer and I love him for it.

So I can see how Yanks fans could enjoy Sterling/Waldman even thought they drive me bonkers.

Agreed on Cone, I've always enjoyed his analysis. It's hard to stomach the other two.

Mostly I am a baseball-on-the-radio guy.
   39. ERROR---Jolly Old St. Nick Posted: July 16, 2021 at 12:17 PM (#6029276)
Yeah, Remy and Eckersley are fine. But the play-by-play guy is Death Warmed Over. He calls a home run with about the same degree of emotion as he calls a routine pickoff attempt. And after the last play of the game, you can barely tell whether the Red Sox have just won or lost.

Maybe it's just a New England thing, feeding on stereotypes like the New England farmers in old time movies whose vocabulary seemed to consist of "Yep" and "Nope".
   40. ERROR---Jolly Old St. Nick Posted: July 16, 2021 at 12:19 PM (#6029278)
Mostly I am a baseball-on-the-radio guy.

For recent radio announcers, the Orioles' Joe Angel was as good as it gets, almost as good as Jon Miller in his prime. A world class deadpan sense of humor goes a long way with me.
   41. Jose Is An Absurd Balladeer Posted: July 16, 2021 at 01:36 PM (#6029291)
I'm pretty sure I would hate Joe Castiglione if I wasn't a Red Sox fan but he makes baseball on the radio a ton of fun. He's a total homer and I love him for it.


Joe has lost his fastball the last few years. I think he was better off with the general consistency of O'Brien being in the booth with him. But I agree with you, he's our guy and I love him. Plus by all accounts he's just one of the genuinely good guys going. No one has a bad word to say about him.

And after the last play of the game, you can barely tell whether the Red Sox have just won or lost.


See for me that's a feature not a bug. I don't need my announcer to be a homer (though I don't mind it).
   42. ERROR---Jolly Old St. Nick Posted: July 16, 2021 at 02:01 PM (#6029295)
You can show some enthusiasm without being a homer. A homer is an announcer who openly roots for his team, ignores his team's bad play, and makes excuses when they lose. Johnny Most and Ken Harrelson were homers, Michael Kay isn't.

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