While the moment was embarrassing, it begs the question: why are the team’s announcers still not flying with them across the country? Why is the radio partner of the literal Yankees too cheap to bring this custom back as vaccinations spread on American soil and the world reopens?
Suzyn Waldman admitted her embarrassment several weeks ago when she incorrectly diagnosed a foul tip play while the team was on the road in Buffalo, and now her partner has (well, predictably) fallen victim to having to use a monitor.
As the Yanks stomped in Seattle for the second straight night, the radio voice of the team was stuck watching a YES Network broadcast feed from all the way in New York (where it was well past 10 PM, mind you).
Does this excuse what happened next? Not fully, of course.
But now do you understand why Sterling called a replay of a Judge home run as if it were happening live?
Yankees announcer John Sterling called an Aaron Judge home run replay.
Perhaps I have more sympathy for Sterling than most (and judging from the internet, that’s certainly true). But man oh man, the guy is 83 years old. He’s still doing what he loves. It’s not as if he fantasized a Judge home run that never happened on the back of his eyelids. The television that this chintzy team is forcing him to broadcast off of showed him a home run, and it triggered a panic before he realized exactly what he’d been conned into.
Sterling’s the voice of many of our childhoods, and the monitor is not a valid excuse for the myriad high, fly balls he’s gone into “home run voice” for only for us to learn they were caught well before the wall or went foul.
In this instance, though? Totally get it, and once again, this spendthrift franchise is somewhat to blame.
If you prefer the Ryan Ruocco call of the big moment from the television broadcast, though, we wouldn’t blame you. It was electric.
Perhaps someday, Sterling and Waldman will be able to travel and do what they love again.
For now, though, you’re going to be stuck with gripes and occasional mistakes while they sit at home and spend the latest hours of the day in an empty Yankee Stadium.
We’re just lucky he didn’t start announcing a commercial. “And what’s this? Michael Kay is sitting in the middle of the field! They’re calling it…CENTERSTAGE?”