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The best John Sterling home run call ever

Sep 18, 2013, 10:30 AM EDT

It was the best because, of course, it was not a home run.

I don’t presume to know the first thing about being a play-by-play guy and if I did it for 50 years I wouldn’t be even remotely passable at the job, I reckon. But I do feel like I’d figure out how to not call fly outs home runs within, say, the first couple of years.

(via Awful Announcing)

  1. scoutsaysweitersisabust - Sep 18, 2013 at 10:41 AM

    All of my dislike for the Yankees is summed up nicely by the knowledge their fans have to listen to these two on a daily basis.

    • coloradogolfcoupons - Sep 18, 2013 at 3:20 PM

      I knew the Yanks were going downhill. I guess this is why. They must be paying $35-40 Million/year for Announcers this good.

  2. blues1988 - Sep 18, 2013 at 10:42 AM

    man i would hate to have to listen to a girl announce my baseball games. especially one as annoying as her.

    • Ralph - Sep 18, 2013 at 11:03 AM

      Suzyn Waldman is unbearable to listen to, but it’s not because she’s a ‘girl’….just like how you’re an insufferable prick, but not because you’re a ‘boy’.

      • stex52 - Sep 18, 2013 at 1:54 PM

        Hey guys. You are getting trolled. Don’t nibble. You won’t get caught.

    • scoutsaysweitersisabust - Sep 18, 2013 at 11:07 AM

      It’s a good thing you don’t have the gig, I’d hate to have to listen to misogynistic douche-bags announce games.

      There’s nothing wrong with women in and around sports. As long as they are knowledgeable and don’t attempt to sell their gender (Which most professionals don’t.) Suzyn Waldman may be terrible, but it has nothing to do with her gender.

      • blues1988 - Sep 18, 2013 at 11:19 AM

        sorry, girls are only good at looking good and sideline reporting, they need to stick to that.

      • zzalapski - Sep 18, 2013 at 11:37 AM

        I pity the women in your life that have to put up with your sorry ass. It’s not 1988 anymore, sexist.

      • Liam - Sep 18, 2013 at 12:29 PM

        You can all hate on blues1988 all you want, but I’ll remain impressed that he’s managing to post on hardballtalk while living in 1954.

    • historiophiliac - Sep 18, 2013 at 12:21 PM

      Conveniently, females wouldn’t want to announce games for you anyway, since you’re intellectually too impaired to listen to the actual words coming out of our mouths. FYI, sound waves do not carry estrogen and give you cooties. In your case, I wish it did, but unfortunately not.

    • jwbiii - Sep 18, 2013 at 1:40 PM

      There are a number of very good women baseball writers now. Susan Slusser will be the next president of the BBWAA, Carrie Muscat, Brit Ghiroli, Amanda Comac, and Amy K. Nelson for long format pieces come to mind. I’m sure I’m missing a few. There’s no reason a woman can’t be a very good announcer. Suzyn Waldman just isn’t that woman.

      • nothanksimdriving123 - Sep 18, 2013 at 3:32 PM

        Janie McCauley covers SF Giants (and other sports) for AP. Quite good.

  3. rollinghighwayblues - Sep 18, 2013 at 10:43 AM

    Question to Yankee fans: How do you stomach listening to Suzyn Waldman?

    • rbj1 - Sep 18, 2013 at 11:06 AM

      We take Bluto’s advice and drink heavily. Though I escaped the NY radio many years before Suzyn came on board.

      Still, I have to suffer through Michael Kay.

    • phantomspaceman - Sep 18, 2013 at 11:33 AM

      I buy the package every year and listen to the away feeds.

    • Jason @ IIATMS - Sep 18, 2013 at 1:31 PM

      away feeds on satellite. They are both awful.

  4. Jack Marshall - Sep 18, 2013 at 10:44 AM

    Love it. Long time coming.

    In the early 60’s, the Red Sox had a third string radio play-by-play guy named Art Gleason (behind Curt Gowdy and Ned Martin) who was hilariously error-prone, and was likely to think birds and spots before his eyes were balls. Once his play-by-play went like this: “It’s a high, fly ball to left…no, make that a pop-up to the infield…I’m sorry, the pitcher never threw the ball!”

    Curt’s replacement Ken Coleman had a few bad moments calling easy flies homers, but he had a good excuse—with only one eye, his depth perception was poor. Great voice and broadcaster, though.

    • dan1111 - Sep 18, 2013 at 4:25 PM

      I’ve heard plenty of home run fake-out calls by announcers, where they get excited about a ball that they think is going out. But what really sets this apart is how long it took him to realize. It is an amazing seven seconds between when he called it a home run and when he realized it was actually caught.

  5. number42is1 - Sep 18, 2013 at 10:45 AM

    typical fucking Sterling…

    “That ball is high, it is far it is caught behind the plate by the catcher”

  6. southpaw2k - Sep 18, 2013 at 10:47 AM

    I really would like to know if Yankees fans actually enjoy Sterling’s schtick. I have to believe that he has some slimy dirt on his bosses on the Yankees’ radio network for them to allow him to continue his routine. I can’t think of another plausible reason why he still has a job.

    • Jeremy T - Sep 18, 2013 at 10:58 AM

      I enjoyed it when I was 8. Not so much anymore.

    • thevauntedchris - Sep 18, 2013 at 10:59 AM

      Of course no Yankees fan under 50 enjoys these two. It’s a shame really. They are perhaps worse than any other tv or radio broadcast in baseball. They bring nothing to the game other than if you like to watch with your senile grandparents..who haven’t kept up with baseball advancements in 30 years.
      It’s like they aren’t even watching the same game or team as the fans. It’s embarrassing to the Yankees. I cringe when I’m blacked out on a Saturday and this is my only option to keep up with the game live.

      • qacm - Sep 18, 2013 at 11:24 AM

        I’m well over 50, and I don’t enjoy them at all.

      • louhudson23 - Sep 18, 2013 at 3:01 PM

        WTF does the number 50 have to do with anything and how did you arrive at it? Senile grandparents failing to keep up with with baseball advancements for 30 years??….You sound more like Sterling than Sterling does….fools come young as well as old…thanks for proving it one more time….

    • phantomspaceman - Sep 18, 2013 at 11:47 AM

      They are awful. Suzyn Waldman is unbearable to listen to. Sterling’s home run calls are the worst, but if he cut back on that stuff he wouldn’t be nearly as bad. My biggest problem with them is that neither one of them has ANY use for stats. In fact, they’ve actually admitted as much during games. Every single pitch, every play, etc. seems to happen by pure luck to them. I believe that if Sterling toned down the schtick and they replaced Suzyn with someone a little more knowledgeable in the game the broadcast would be greatly improved.

      I certainly don’t need a stat-heavy broadcast, but I would like to hear some actual in-game analysis other than Waldman screaming some inane comment in to the microphone like, “I WAS TALKING TO JOE GIRARDI BEFORE THE GAME AND HE SAID C.C’s FASTBALL LOOKS GOOD.”

      • southpaw2k - Sep 18, 2013 at 11:59 AM


        I still remember hearing her call on that moment. I wanted to Hulk out and smash anything near me when I heard it then, and I still want to now whenever I think of it.

      • km9000 - Sep 18, 2013 at 12:15 PM


    • American of African Descent - Sep 18, 2013 at 10:59 PM

      Ok, I’ll say it. I’ve been a Yankees fan ever since Strawberry left for the Dodgers. And I actually enjoy Waldman and Sterling. The unbridled joy that these two offer through the radio. I also like Sterling’s home run calls as cheesy as they may be.

  7. bigdaddy44 - Sep 18, 2013 at 10:59 AM

    The worst announcing team in baseball, makes me actually feel sorry for the Yanks fans that have to listen to them. Yankees fans deserve better than these two clowns.

  8. proudlycanadian - Sep 18, 2013 at 11:01 AM

    I have listened to this several times. It is hilarious.

  9. ctony1216 - Sep 18, 2013 at 11:02 AM

    Boy, this struck a nerve. Many years ago, I used to turn down the volume on national TV broadcasts of Yankees games and listen to local radio. Now I turn down the volume on the local TV broadcasts and don’t bother with the radio at all. Michael Kay, Suzyn Waldman and John Sterling are very nice people, but nine innings of those guys are just unbearable, especially when the Yanks are losing. Whining windbaggery worse than any fan should have to suffer through — with so much irrelevant nonsense, or just inattention to the action, that the drama of the game becomes completely and utterly lost.

    Sometimes I tune in to Vin Scully announcing a Dodgers game just to remind myself what a baseball broadcast should sound like.

    • American of African Descent - Sep 18, 2013 at 11:00 PM

      Yes, they are less fun when the Yankees are losing. Fortunately, that hasn’t been too much of a problem for the past two decades.

  10. aceshigh11 - Sep 18, 2013 at 11:11 AM

    A drunken Harry Doyle would be more competent.

  11. mrpinkca - Sep 18, 2013 at 11:44 AM

    The great thing about soundcloud is you can visually see the dead air of embarrassment before you even listen to it.

    • jericoc - Sep 18, 2013 at 12:39 PM

      An absolutely brilliant observation!

  12. yankeesfanlen - Sep 18, 2013 at 11:45 AM

    No appreciation for low camp in these parts.

  13. peymax1693 - Sep 18, 2013 at 12:03 PM

    We Yankee fans know that Sterling and Waldman are a joke (the irony about “Georgie Girl”, as Bob Raissman calls her, is that she grew up a Red Sox fan.

    I do get the feeling that Sterling knows that the vast majority of people think he is a hack, so he plays up the schtick. He is “in on the joke” so-to-speak, much like William Shatner.

    • km9000 - Sep 18, 2013 at 12:19 PM

      I guess that’d make Scully Patrick Stewart or Leonard Nimoy, or both.

    • bbil2012 - Sep 18, 2013 at 7:18 PM

      I get that feeling also.
      I heard Mr. Sterling interviewed on a local station here in CT.
      He was talking about Chris Stewart and breaking down his swing. Now, not many people will do that, being Chris Stewart and all, so I had to assume he was accurate in his breakdown.
      Anyways, the man impressed me with his knowledge of baseball and recall of players and games from decades ago. I honestly didn’t expect this.
      The guy knows his stuff.
      Regarding the announcing, yah, I think it’s a lot of schtick.

  14. shaggylocks - Sep 18, 2013 at 12:22 PM

    I was once driving down from New England through New York and jonseing for a little baseball on the radio, and came across a Yankees broadcast. I’m not a fan of the Yankees–I was driving from New England, after all–but baseball is baseball. I swear, I listened to an inning and a half before they even mentioned the name of the opposing team (it was a small market National League team, back before regular interleague play, so I wasn’t all that familiar with their players).

    But even worse, it was such a blatantly homer-ific broadcast. Every time the Yankees were in the field all of the emphasis was on their amazing defensive prowess. Ohh, the batter just poked one past Texiera! But he made quite a leap there, didn’t he? Quite a defender at first, that Tex! Not much gets past him! Oh, and it looks like the runner at second came around to score. Yanks are now down two to nothing in the sixth (notice: no mention of the opposing team’s name).

    And then when the Yankees were at the plate, it was just the opposite. It was all about their intimidating offensive power: A good hit by Cano, on the ground up the middle.. but it looks like the shortstop managed to get there and turn the double play. Cano has been really hard to strike out during this series, putting the ball in play in all of his at bats today…. and so on and so on. If the Yankees had turned that double play, they surely would have waxed rhapsodic about their graceful 6-4-3 ballet, barely even mentioning the name of the opposing hitter.

    Based on this limited sample size, it wasn’t their “schtick” that bothered me, it was the stars in their eyes as they watched those New York titans of sport stride across the baseball diamond.

    I guess I’ve been spoiled by years of Joe Castiglione and Dave O’Brien. Those guys but on a great broadcast.

    • phantomspaceman - Sep 18, 2013 at 12:58 PM

      You are dead on. Your small sample size, in this case, is just a microcosm of every broadcast. And, to be honest, as much as I hate the Red Sox their radio announcers are very good and almost always flip to their station when I can.

    • sabathiawouldbegoodattheeighthtoo - Sep 18, 2013 at 2:23 PM

      I have long thought the playoff broadcasts would benefit from having a neutral play-by-play person with one color commentator from each team’s broadcast domain. I thought this would be fun to capture more of the fan’s emotions of the game, and good to have people who actually know the teams well in the booth.

      Could you imagine a booth with Waldman and Harrelson if the Yankees and White Sox ever faced off in the playoffs (not 2013, obviously)? There might be blood

      • dan1111 - Sep 18, 2013 at 4:19 PM

        This is a really good idea.

  15. The Dangerous Mabry - Sep 18, 2013 at 12:33 PM

    WFAN producers must be thrilled they’ll have this dynamic duo on their channel soon.

    • jericoc - Sep 18, 2013 at 12:41 PM

      Back in the day, Mike and Chris would have done twenty giddy minutes on this. I miss those days …

  16. eagles512 - Sep 18, 2013 at 12:50 PM

    Tom McCarthy does that nightly.

  17. sabathiawouldbegoodattheeighthtoo - Sep 18, 2013 at 1:33 PM

    At least he admitted that he blew it. I have heard many TV guys blatantly blow a call (use the wrong player’s name, announce an incorrect result, etc) only to have the booth go quiet for a few seconds, then resume without any acknowledgement or correction of the incorrect call.

    I have heard him get started with his “that ball is high, it is far it is…” only to have it caught by a second baseman in the shallow OF.

    I agree with some other folks: if Sterling was the zany color guy and there was a knowledgeable analysis person (Jim Kaat, Cone type) I would probably find Sterling amusing. Waldman has no redeeming qualities. I admit though, I used to put the ESPN telecasts on mute and listen to Sterling/Waldman over Morgan and Miller.

    • forsch31 - Sep 18, 2013 at 6:58 PM

      Problem is, he’s not a TV guy; this was a radio call, and he called it a home run before he realized it was caught. Kinda hard not to admit on the air that he blew it–he *had* to admit it, or fans listening would be wondering why A-Rod was called out after a home run.

      And he tried to cover for it first–“it hit and kicked over”? How, if Davis, made the catch against the wall? And how exactly did Davis fool him into thinking it was a home run?

      • sabathiawouldbegoodattheeighthtoo - Sep 19, 2013 at 10:15 AM

        Granted, he had to correct the call, but he really went the extra mile with the “I got that all wrong. I go that ALL.WRONG.”

  18. bigyankeemike - Sep 18, 2013 at 2:15 PM

    The thing with Suzyn Waldman is, she was VERY respected until she took the Yankee radio gig. She was excellent hosting sports talk radio and we all thought at some point WFAN would give her her own show.

    Now with the Clemens thing and all the mocking she endured afterwards, she’s basically a joke. It’s a shame.

  19. Bryz - Sep 18, 2013 at 6:58 PM

    “Line drive, base hit! Caught!”

    You’re not alone, Sterling.

  20. drewzducks - Sep 18, 2013 at 8:28 PM

    Ever since he called the Bird 60 point game in ’85 it’s been all down hill for this ass hat.

  21. eagles512 - Sep 18, 2013 at 8:39 PM

    I do give him credit for apologizing. Tom McCarthy misjudges just about every batted ball but instead of admitting it, it always, “the wind really knocked down” or “man did that ball carry” or “just got it off the end of the bat.” He’s by far the worst in baseball.

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