Tuesday, December 10, 2013

John Sterling - Love him or hate him?

As I'm sure those of you who are kind enough to follow me on Twitter (@barkerclive) know, I live in England and of course this means that I drink tea, have a butler, speak with a posh accent and complain about the weather. Whilst I can assure you that only one of these things is true, there is something I do enjoy that does seem to be quintessentially English and that is listening to sports on the radio. I mean, what better way to keep up with the latest thrashing England are receiving in the cricket?! Anyway, I digress slightly.

In amongst all of the hot stove news recently, I have heard very little about the switch of Yankees game radio broadcasts from WCBS to WFAN. As I mentioned, I enjoy listening to sports on the radio and the first thing I thought when I heard about the change was, "What about John Sterling?" for he has been the voice of Yankees radio since I started listening to games.

I know he is loved and hated in equal measure by fans but to me, he is the voice of Yankees radio and without him, it wouldn't be the same.

Sure, he's overexcitable, he reuses the same catchphrases over and over again and he has been known to make the odd mistake but let's face it, a Yankees win really isn't a Yankees win without his trademark. "Ball game over, the Yankees win, theeeeeeeeee Yankees win!".

His other trademark is the fact that he has a personalised home run call for each player. So after the usual, "It is high, it is far, it is GONE", he will give a special call with a play on the players name. For example when Curtis Granderson hit a homer, there usually followed a brief rendition of "The Grandy man can!" To the tune of "The Candy Man".

Now I've listened to other teams radio broadcasts and I would say that probably as many as two thirds of them are, for want of a better word, DULL. This is something that you cannot accuse John Sterling of. He somehow manages to inject enthusiasm and passion into his voice, no matter what's happening on the field. Other broadcasters do a simple play by play call (x hits one to shallow right, fielded by y and the throw is in time at first), now imagine that being said in a really dull and monotonous tone and you've got  what to some people may be a standard radio broadcast.

I'm sure when it was announced that Yankees radio broadcasting was moving to WFAN, some people hoped that would be the end of John  Sterling but as the Yankees have the final say in who commentates, he stayed on. This means for those who love him, we will continue to get the broadcast we're used to with the usual catchphrases, albeit with a few new ones thrown in too!

With this in mind, let's look at 5 of my favourite John Sterling home run calls:

1) Nuney to the mooney (Eduardo Nunez)

2) Who's sorry now? Not Alfonso! (Alfonso Soriano)

3) David is Goliath (David Adams)

4) The Bronx is Vernon (Vernon Wells)

5) You know what (opposing city)'s thinking? Curses, Zoiled again! (Zoilo Almonte)

Of course with the current offseason signings, not only will Yankees radio have a new home but certain players will too. No longer will we have the Grandy man and Robbie Cano, don'tcha know! Instead we'll have all new calls like (maybe):

Who can? Brian McCann can! *Cue cancan music*

Another ball buried by Ellsbury!

So overall, I think Yankees fans should appreciate what we have in John Sterling, the man is a legend in his own right and to me, will always be the voice of the Yankees. If people don't want to listen to him, just remember, you could always listen to the opposing team's radio feed and see how bad it could really be! 

Personally, I can't wait to hear what he comes up with next year and I guarantee, I'll be along for the ride with you John!

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Sorry for the Capatcha... Blame the Russians :)