WFAN announced yesterday that longtime Yankees radio fixtures John Sterling and Suzyn Waldman will return for the 2015 season, with someone who closely resembles one of our most beloved contributors saying of the pair, “they’re friends, they’re great people and they’re part of the Yankee brand.” If that sounds like a less than thorough endorsement for the duo’s chances of winning individual Ford C. Frick Awards, check out Newsday’s Neil Best delivering the damning faint criticism :
Of course it would be nice if Sterling waited for balls to clear the fence before announcing home runs – something for which he remains unapologetic, preferring, he says, to be ahead of calls rather than behind them.
It also would be helpful if he struck a better balance between shtick and game description, and if he let Waldman handle some play-by-play. (Either way, WFAN at some point ought to wedge a younger potential successor into the play-by-play mix to ease the future transition.)
But let’s face it, after 26 seasons without missing a game, Sterling is woven into the fabric of Yankee-land, from his goofy antics to his signature home run calls. And like him or not, he will be missed when he is gone.
And let’s face this, too: While Waldman herself is unconventional and subject to caricature, she also might be the only possible partner for Sterling at this stage. She is a team player who helps smooth the rough edges of Sterling’s mis-calls and patiently puts up with his idiosyncrasies.