The Loop

It's High, It's Far, It's a Replay

Legendary Yankees announcer thinks replay of home run is live, is getting old

July 08, 2021

Normally, "To be fair..." is a phrase saved for the very end, when something or someone has already been tarred and feathered but you couch it with a "TBF" to be nice. Out of respect to legendary New York Yankees radio voice John Sterling, we are going to flip that phrase on its head, using it at the very top before he's inevitably roasted.

TO BE FAIR, Sterling, who has been calling Yankee games full time since 1989, is still doing play-by-play for away games inside of Yankee Stadium right now. It's utterly absurd, and he's not alone, either. Announcers all over MLB, both on radio and on TV, are still not traveling over COVID concerns, which is just translation for - networks don't want to pay for these guys to travel. We're not saying COVID is no longer a concern, but people are vaxxed up and getting back to their lives. Fans are in stadiums. Players and coaches are traveling. Why aren't the announcers?

As a result, calls are being screwed up left and right. Pertinent information that can only be seen or heard inside the stadium is not being conveyed to the viewers or listeners, and it can make for a choppy listen or watch. Making matters worse, some guys, like Paul O'Neill on Yankee broadcasts, are Zooming in, and talking over the other guys because of the Zoom delay.

Sterling, 83, is more prone to silly mistakes on the air, because he's eighty-frickin-three. Even before COVID, he often had some hilarious gaffes, like thinking routine fly outs to the outfield were home runs. If you've never almost driven off the road to a Sterling "IT IS HIGH!!! IT IS FAR!!! IT IS .... caught on the warning track," then you're not a real Yankee fan. 

On Wednesday night, with the Yankees in Seattle and Sterling back in the Bronx, he made one of his worst gaffes ever - thinking a replay of an Aaron Judge home run from earlier in the game was happening live, because he was calling the game off a monitor, which was showing the replay. Have a listen:

Since we already did To Be Fair, now we get to just laugh. This is peak John Sterling right here. Just making a colossal mistake and infuriating the listeners, who now believe Judge has cracked his second dinger of the game, and then being like "what?!?! It's not my fault!" He's kind of right, it isn't. Whoever still has him calling games from across the country is a bozo of the highest order. That person or people alone should take all the blame for Sterling treating replays like they are live. 

By the way, if you listen to the beginning of the clip again, you'll hear Sterling's longtime partner in crime Suzyn Waldman say "n-.." in the background, as if she was beginning to say NO JOHN NO! Too late. You can't stop Sterling, you can only hope to contain him.