Radio voices John Sterling and Suzan Waldman discuss calling Opening Night.
It goes without saying that MLB commentators aren’t going to have it easy this season. Look no further than how poorly the ESPN telecast has been received by fans in the early stages thus far.
Due to the global pandemic, the league isn’t permitting broadcasting teams to travel, meaning they have to call road games on a delay from a monitor without preferred camera angles and a full scope of the field of play.
Luckily for Yankees fans, radio voices John Sterling and Suzyn Waldman claim that they’re making a seamless adjustment to this temporary reality.
“It’s odd that no one’s there, no one’s in the ballpark,” Sterling told Brendan Kuty of NJ.com. “But there are things you have to get used to and this is one crazy year.”
Because of the aforementioned defects that come with calling a game from somewhere that isn’t inside a booth at the stadium, the 82-year-old admitted that he could feel himself taking an extra half-second to call an active play. For someone with as much experience as Sterling, this can’t be an easy transition.
Then, Waldman chimed in on the sheer discrepancy between calling Giancarlo Stanton’s 459-foot laser beam in the second inning off Washington Nationals starter Max Scherzer, to calling his RBI single to right field a few innings later.
“I knew it was over there somewhere,” said Waldman of Stanton’s base hit. “I could see the swing. But I couldn’t actually see the ball for a second on the ground.”
If there’s a silver lining to be had for the WFAN veterans, it’s that calling balls and strikes is fairly rudimentary as the live television feed is positioned right behind the mound. Other than that, these circumstances make their already difficult job even more of a challenge.
Still, Sterling and Waldman are two of the best is the business, so we fully believe that they will continue making strides at adapting on the fly as the regular season wears on.