The End Of An Era
Legendary Yankees announcer John Sterling bungles another call beyond belief, and now it's just getting sad
If you know the name John Sterling as a non-New York Yankees fan, it's for one of two reasons: 1. Because he's a legend, or 2. Because he has screwed up a call so badly that it's gone viral on social media.
Unfortunately, more and more baseball fans are learning who Sterling is for reason No. 2. Earlier this season, Sterling bungled a home-run call so badly that over 3 million people viewed the car crash of a call on Twitter. It was a fly out by Yankees outfielder Giancarlo Stanton that the 83-year-old Sterling thought left the park. In case you missed it, here it is in all its glory:
Brutal. On Monday night, less than a month later, Sterling bungled another call beyond belief, this one once again involving Stanton. Only this time it was not a Stanton fly out but a miraculous leaping catch by the right-fielder off the bat of Toronto Blue Jays third baseman Matt Chapman. Once again, Sterling thought this one left the park. His partner, Suzyn Waldman, corrected him, and it made for a hilariously awkward exchange:
Over the last two seasons, Sterling has had a series of these screwups, but he had a built-in excuse in 2020 and 2021 - he and Waldman were calling the road games remotely from Yankee Stadium due to COVID protocols. He has no such excuse this year, as far as we know. It's just that ... he's 83 years old, and it's obviously getting much harder for him to see whether or not these balls are sailing over the fence or staying inside the ball park. It's starting to get sad, because it signals that it's likely time for him to step away from the microphone.
Even Waldman, who, at 75, is only eight years younger than Sterling, has seemingly had enough. That "because he caught it" line spoke for literally everyone who watched the clip. But that's the really scary part. Sterling and Waldman are on the radio, meaning Sterling is screwing up these calls for people listening and not actually seeing what's happening, which is incredibly frustrating. Speaking from personal experience, I've damn near driven off the road after a botched Sterling home run call. If it keeps happening, he might not make it to the end of the season, which would be very unfortunate and legacy-tarnishing. Hopefully, it doesn't come to that, but the more these add up the harder it will be to keep him around.