Tagged: broadcasters

Memes of Ma & Pa Yankee

It’s time. Those truths broadcast into existence by WCBS Yankee radio announcers John Sterling and Suzyn Waldman deserve to be documented here, and here’s a start:

Heard today [again!]:
“You can’t predict baseball.” -Sterling
“It always starts with a walk.” -Sterling

Heard prior to today [and, to be sure, again soon- You could bet on it, but not on baseball!]
“There was no such thing as an oblique. Players got a pain in their side.” -Waldman

Oh, today’s game? What about it? (15-0 Yankees over Mets at the new Stadium, gaining back a game as Boston dropped one 11-5 to the Phillies, despite pitcher Josh Beckett’s self-help homer.)

Speaking Personally

Today we learned that WCBS-AM Yankees broadcasters John Sterling and Suzyn Waldman have been married — to others, I must add — and that wedding-day weather had no discernable effect on the temporality of either marriage. (The sun shined for John’s, and folkloric good-luck rain fell on Suzyn’s.) The weather didn’t help, they agreed.

John referred to Suzyn as his “partner” at home during today’s afternoon game against Tampa, started by CC Sabathia and David Price. Last weekend, I believe, he referred to his “companera,” sans the delimiter “Yankees.”

Mendoza Zeitgeist, Part 3

OK, now it’s official: Alfredo Aceves is Ramiro Mendoza re-Incarnate.

In today’s “Daily News 5th” segment, columnist Mark Feinsand mentioned that Pettite made the same comparison yesterday. He also said that Posada pointed to similarities between the pitching style of Aceves and a teammate of Mendoza, Orlando “El Duque” Hernandez, who threw off batters with his unpredictability in the face of the count, willing to throw any pitch at any point.

Is It a Meme Yet?

If Derek Jeter says so, it must be true!

After Alfredo Aceves picked-up Andy Pettite by pitching 3 scoreless innings in Cleveland last night, Derek Jeter told Suzyn Waldman that Aceves reminds him of our house-favorite righty middle reliever, Ramiro Mendoza. That was on the WCBS-AM postgame show.

Then on today’s pregame “Manager’s Show,” John Sterling mentioned Jeter’s comment to Joe Girardi, qualifying the point by noting that it’s the flexibility more than the pitching itself that inspires the comparison. Mendoza was known for excelling in both short and long relief at any point in the game. Girardi concurred.

3 days ago in Texas, columnist Mark Feinsand said in the “Daily News 5th” segment of the WCBS broadcast that Aceves reminded him of Mendoza. Aceves was relieving Joba Chamberlain, who had started the game weakly. As far as I know, Feinsand was the first to draw this comparison.

I once heard Joe Torre say that Mendoza pitched with ice in his veins. That must have been during his first stint with the Yanks. The pressure surrounding some of his playoff appearances was extraordinary. I remember wishing he had been named MVP during one of those playoff series.

Heard On Air: John, You Have a Flexor Mass

John:    “I don’t have one.”

Suzyn:  “Yes, you do have a mass, John.  You have a flexor mass.”

Both:     They giggle, and grope their way into their refrain about injuries that never existed ’til fancy names like ‘oblique’ came to mean ‘pain in the side’


Since when does Suzyn not know a part of the body that can be injured in baseball?  Was this a bit that she and John set up?!  After commercial, Carlos Silva (a friend of Luis Sojo, we understand) stepped in with an explanation in medicalese, which Suzyn translates to mean that it hurts when Bruney bends his elbow.

John:    “Bending an elbow is a great sport.  We’ll be doing some of that later, around 9 o’clock”


I love these two.  No wonder they changed-up, from calling her his Companera to YANKEES Companera.  Tongues can waggle like Gary Sheffield’s bat!  But you can tell, they play as clean as the Yanks (sans A-Rod).


Oh!  You want to know what is this all about?   The fabled radio broadcast team for the Yankees, of course:  John Sterling and Suzyn Waldman.  Check them out here, on MLB.com Gameday Audio, WCBS AM.  

Home on the Range at the OK Corral – Who’s the Sheriff?

Petitte vs Wakefield

Plate umpire Jim Reynolds called Petitte’s 1st inning 3-1 pitch to #3 batter “Big Papi” Ortiz a ball, though Sterling says it had the plate and was belt high.  Hmm, this after Petitte struck out Ellsbury and Pedroia.   On review of the video Waldman said it was off the plate by 3″ and sets the boundaries for the strike zone.  Next batter Kevin Youkilis — batting in Manny’s former slot — walked, too. Let’s see how tonight goes….

(For the sake of narrative satisfaction I should add that Bay popped out.)

At the very top of the 2nd — with the score at 1-0 courtesy of Damon’s HR off his former-countryman Wakefield — Sterling noted that Petitte’s 2-1 pitch was called a ball in a rather tight zone against Lowrie.  (By the way, neither Sterling nor Waldman saw Reynolds call the final strike against A-Rod at the bottom of the 1st.)  And now, for the second straight inning, here’s another 2-on, 2-out situation for Pettite, who had shut down the first 2 at-bats in the inning before letting 2 swinging bunts from the bottom of Boston’s line-up get on base and the first – Bailey – score on Ellsbury’s subsequent single.  Score:  1-1….



As the Yankees were going ahead 2-1 in the bottom of the 2nd, a quietly enchanting astronaut who had phoned Sterling from the Space Station was that rarest of persopnages, a perfect guest, so engaging, and speaking in thoughts that seemed too natural to be timed to fit between the pitches Sterling had to call, but they did.  I dislike having my game interrupted by guests who come on during games, and thankfully Sterling and Waldman welcome few.  But this gentleman, who threw out tonight’s first pitch, was a pleasure.



Note:  Top of the 4th (3-2 Boston):  As Girardi and Petitte confer on the mound, Sterling conjectures that they are discussing Petitte’s strike zone being squeezed by Reynolds.  Sure enough, next they invite Reynolds to the mound, where, as Sterling tells it, Girardi is taking care not to get thrown out for arguing balls and strikes, speaking loudly but facing no one in particular.  After the confab, Petitte strikes out the batter and speaks to the umpire on his way off the field.  Sterling was right on top of this from the 1st. 

Note:  Top of the 5th (3-2 Boston):  Sterling observes that 1st base umpire FIelding Culbreth missed Giambi’s tag-out (of Crisp?), putting-on an extra Boston runner.  Subsequently, Bailey wasn’t called for interfering with catcher Molina on the basepath, and Sterling asks if Waldman or Feinsand recalls which umpire called that very out against the Yankees at which park on their recent road trip.  Nada.  After reviewing a play at 3rd on video between innings, Sterling discovered that A-Rod’s tag beat another runner’s [Lowrie’s?] slide. 


So, what would the score be at the end the 5th if accurate calls were being made?  Not 6-2 Yanks, even discounting any squeezing of Petitte’s strike zone by Reynolds.


Top of the 6th (6-3 Boston):  Here we go again.  Molina thought Bruney’s last pitch to Pedroia was a strike, and Girardi comes out to talk to Reynolds again.  No reversal.  Waldman, mentioning a talk she’d once had with Mussina, speculates that the concern is that Reynolds is not being consistent on his calls on the same pitch. (Mussina had told Waldman that pitchers can get used to a unique strike zone as long as the umpire is consistent.)  Bruney walks 3 men in a row.  (7-3 Boston)


6 walks by Yankee pitching in 6 innings. 

The calling of Yankee pitches is very much an issue in this game, as are at least 2 safe calls, made at 1st and 3rd.  


Looks like we made it!. (a nod to Barry Manilow).

Atlanta @ Washington

Opening day is still playing in Washington DC at brand new Nationals Park, where Nick Johnson first doubled-in the very first run, then scored the second himself, “with a back door slide” home in the first inning, without a pause to think about IT — IT being the reason the rest of us were cringing as we listened,  the femur we heard him snap last year. 

First hit:  Christian Guzman

First run:  Nick Johnson doubled-in Christian Guzman

First HR  Chipper Jones (Atlanta)

First Walkoff HR  Ryan Zimmerman, bottom of the 9th! 

Notable  Tim Hudson (Atlanta) retired 19 batters in a row (after a wobbly 1st inning)


UPDATE: 1st CURLY W in Nationals Park

Nationals 3    Braves 2 

Charley Sloes called ’em:

 “Bang Zoom He’s done it again!  The Zman on opening night at Nationals Park in the bottom of the !”    

“We said it at the start folks.  Remember where you are folks,  so you remember where you were, when the Zman.ended opening night in Nationals Park history with his 4 walk off home run…in as dramatic a fashion as you could ask for….”


MLB.com:  box     recap DC ATL       audio     Gameday     preview    

More Umpire Trouble

Yesterday, June 23, both Yankee radio broadcasters spoke with uncharacteristic candor about the egregious errors made by umpires throughout this season.  The context?  To the credit of Jon Sterling and Suzyn Waldman — the respective play-by-play and color voices of WCBS radio — their anger (for it amounted to anger) was sparked by an umpire error that benefited the Yankees.