While the New York Yankees aren’t ready to name a new radio voice quite yet, nor are they prepared to teach the new guy to warble after wins, it’s clear from the way the 2022 schedule played out that John Sterling’s role is nearing a permanent change.
When the second half began, Sterling’s schedule gained a number of “Red X” marks over significant road trips. Forget treks to Tampa and Toronto; Sterling would be calling mostly home games instead, as well as making short trips to Fenway Park and Citi Field, replaced by a number of budding broadcasters during the other contests.
According to Sterling himself, this was a personal preference; while he still loves the Yankees and his job at the tender age of 84, he’s growing quite weary of traveling:
"“I’m really happy and I will do as many games as I want to,” Sterling told The Post. “I have to see the schedule.”"
Sterling seems like a lock to return in 2023 as long as he’s physically able, but according to a Wednesday scoop, WFAN has begun implementing a more permanent contingency plan as opposed to a series of slap-dash replacements (though the team’s Spanish broadcaster, Rickie Ricardo, was a phenomenal fill-in).
Per sources, Islanders play-by-play man Brendan Burke is likely to take over the full Yankees slate in the not-so-distant future, though this feels somewhat like when Conan O’Brien was initially given the keys to the Tonight Show.
Yankees’ John Sterling’s eventual replacement leaks
The 38-year-old Burke reportedly has not had contract talks with WFAN yet, and may call both Isles and Yankees games as his transition becomes fully realized.
The network also seems unsure of what lies ahead for Sterling; the Post story mentioned a potential emphasis on predominantly home games, but hinted the man himself may not be ready to make that transition official just yet, and might prefer to pick and choose his trips.
Regardless, the wheels are in motion for the next era of Yankees baseball on the radio. What may be most surprising of all is that the future is still keeping a spot warm for the radio broadcast, a relic of baseball’s past (and one that, thank goodness, seems unlikely to disappear just yet).