Sport

John Sterling’s Blown Call Habit Ruins Yankees Games

From Jim Kaat’s book Good as Gold: My Eight Decades in Baseball, out Tuesday:

After a year in the Yankees booth [1986]“Lev Pope, the President of WPIX, wanted to sign me on a multi-year deal, but [George] Steinbrenner would not approve. He had shot [Billy] Martin as manager [for the fourth of five times] and needed a place for him so he used that as an excuse not to hire me again.

“The real reason was that I was being too honest and objective for him — not Yankee-biased enough. … I think the reason I was accepted by viewers in the New York market is because I wasn’t a homer.”

On the day he went to WPIX-Ch. 11, Martin stated he wanted to be a total Homer and Steinbrenner wanted him to be “my eyes every day.” That was more like it.

In 1989, Steinbrenner found another perfect fit. He hired the boot-licking John Sterling as the Yankees’ radio voice. The rest is a 32-year history of failed calls and hasty, wild, and inexcusably inaccurate guesses that, when corrected, are heard on the third try.

Sterling arrived in the Bronx with a reputation for chattering, whatever it took to win the favor of team owners and land his next radio gig.

His smug, condescending, game-ignoring, self-promoting cheerleading had already made Islanders and New Jersey Nets radio and TBS’s Braves television shows a challenge.

And of course, as the “eyes and ears” of Yankees radio, he’s given his one-size-fits-all reputation to hundreds of Yankees homers that weren’t — a most unprofessional, self-imposed habit he could. I healed 32 years ago by waiting to know for sure instead of embarrassing myself.

Yanks
JohnSterling
Charles Wenzelberg/New York Post

But he decided to stay the course. So what if he leaves Yankees fans disappointed and baseball fans wondering how the New York Yankees would allow Sterling to represent them on such a stage?

I’ve stayed away from Sterling for the past two seasons out of respect for his age. But in the last few days, sitting in the car and listening to him, he’s no different at 83 than he was at 51. For him, his mere presence is why we’re listening. The games, as well as the saves, both of which he so often ignores, are secondary at best.

Before he was hired by the Yankees, I saw him literally stand at his pitchside mic position to cheer on individual Nets while dreaming up tense and goofy nicknames for them, another of his obviously self-serving, unhandled habits.

And since 1989, there hasn’t been anyone on his station or within the Yankees to fix him, fix him, and so baseball’s most famous team continues to give Sterling his full blessing to destroy broadcasts on the Yankees Radio Network, Florida, New England and even on a station in Hawaii.

Last Saturday, Sterling announced that DJ LeMahieu “Smashes bad, outside of third place” and then returned to his “You know, Suzyn” pontification. Did the ball land in the stands, was it caught by the third baseman? He didn’t bother to say. As usual. It’s radio to shout out loud!

Next hitter was Joey Gallo: “There she goes!” roared Sterling. Then: “If it’s kept fair, it’s gone!” Then “Off the top of the wall!”

Then talk back to us.

Wednesday, Giancarlo Stanton at bat: “Wave up, there it goes! Center far left! This ball is high! … It is far! … It’s gone! … But caught. Boy I thought that was gone.”

He’s been thinking that for 32 years and has been wrong hundreds of times. But nothing will change. His missed home run calls will be his legacy. A day at the beach with Sterling is not a day at the beach. Too bad he and the Yankees allowed him to do this to himself, let alone us.

SNY’s “lazy” criticism of replay calls just isn’t fair

When in doubt, blame the referees.

On Wednesday on SNY, the Phillies’ Johan Camargo lined a straight down the left field line for a two-run double. Neither Gary Cohen nor Keith Hernandez had a problem with the “Fair Ball” announcement. The ball seemed to hit the line, as the first replay seemed to confirm.

But the Mets challenged the call. Finally, a freeze frame replay showed that the ball may have missed the chalk foul ball even if some of the dirt spatter had landed on the line. It was so close that it took me a long time to finally call it a foul and I still had my doubts.

But after a third replay, Cohen said it was “clearly going to be a foul ball.” That’s a lot of throwback to a very tough call. Hernandez attacked third base ump and crew chief Marvin Hudson with, “How can a major league ump miss that call?”

That was terribly unfair, because if Hudson missed, it was by a fraction of an inch. And both Cohen and Hernandez were initially surprised that the Mets were challenging, then took several freeze-framed slow-motion replays to come to their conclusion, which could still reasonably have gone either way.


Once again, Rangers MSG guests must choose to attend Stanley Cup games because of obscene price gouging during the playoffs that will force many of the team’s most loyal fans to sell their tickets to brokers.

A regular season ticket priced at $294 per game is $394 first round, $495 second round, $710 third round, and $1,250 fourth round per ticket. But shameless is now confused with good business.

Sluggers a bunch of show-offs

Aaron Boone seems content with the least his players can do, so Giancarlo Stanton continues to pose on home plate even when his blasts land on the front row or slam into the wall. His habitual failure to play in last year’s playoff loss to the Red Sox turned at least one double into a single.

As a marlin, Stanton destroyed his groin when, after jogging, he slid awkwardly to second before seeing his fly ball fall. But he doesn’t study – or he doesn’t care – and it’s not like Boone asks for anything better.

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Giancarlo Stanton owns after seeing a home run.
Robert Sabo

Now let’s see how Buck Showalter handles Pete Alonso’s home plate, posing on balls that barely come out, plus his immodest bat-flipping. If Showalter wants to complain about his batsman getting knocked down…


When the Bills re-signed WR Stefon Diggs for $96 million, several readers questioned how much of that will be provided by taxpayers given the $850 million New York will be scooping up for a new stadium under the tacit threat that the Bills Lock Buffalo?

Will taxpayers be discounted from bills on Roger Goodell’s ‘good investments’ PSLs?


SNY has finally followed YES’ lead by posting the names of both the pitcher and batter near the scorebox. Such information is immediately helpful.


TV cartoon fans of a certain (ancient) age may remember El Kabong, Quick Draw McGraw’s alter ego. As seen on MSG Wednesday, El Kabong went 14-1 from Keeneland in the sixth race.

Damned if it didn’t win and pay $36.60. Cartoon fans of a certain age wouldn’t have had two bucks at El Kabong?

https://nypost.com/2022/04/16/john-sterlings-habit-for-blown-calls-is-wrecking-yankees-games/ John Sterling’s Blown Call Habit Ruins Yankees Games

JOE HERNANDEZ

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