Friday, April 27, 2012

Yankeetorial : The Master once again faces his contract year

The chess board has been shaken again in the battle for the future of Yankee radio broadcasts, and from here, it seems only a matter of time before ESPN becomes our corporate broadcast voice. Every year, we inch further from the Bronx and closer to Connecticut, and one of these days, we'll be catching games on an FM band with Kevin Millar - he of the grand Pedro toast - and ex-Boston manager Bobby Valentine pretending to lament Grandy's slump.

Yankee games on FM. Can you imagine what Phil Rizzuto would have thought? Did Mel Allen ever own an FM radio? Of course, it's ridiculous to care - those ships sailed decades ago - but remember when you could drive from Buffalo to Providence and never miss a pitch, because tiny AM stations had you covered? Remember how the signals bled and strobed, and how you leaned forward to hear whether Martin was signaling for Goose?

FM will be crystal sharp in the cities. Good luck outside Batavia.

But this isn't about watts. It's about John and Suzyn, on whom tabloid critics take daily batting practice. Blown calls - what announcer doesn't have them - get breathlessly condemned by the Murdochian Greek chorus, who - amazingly, considering the newspaper's love of hometown slants - seem to believe every team in baseball deserves a shameless homer - except the Yankees.

I've said this before, so forgive me if it's stale: John and Suzyn may be an insufferable joke at times, but they still bring to the corporate Yankees a twinkle of pure fan innocence. They may be the last vestige of the Rizzuto, the Mel Allen, and the Fran Healys of this world. One day, they will be gone, replaced by corporate shills who also blow home run calls, but who in the name of impartiality celebrate victories over the Yankees - just as much as when we win.

Once gone, they will never come back. Listen carefully to the Joe Bucks and Bobby Valentines, my friends, because that's who will become the Voice of the Yankees. The sound will be crisp. So will the message. You can't predict baseball. But you can predict money.


Edward R. Murrow said...

you are telling it like it is. Sadly.

Algonquin J. Calhoun, Esq. said...

Speaking of announcers, Michael Kay made a total ass of himself over the kid who cried about not getting the ball thrown in the stands Wednesday night. First he said, basically, no big deal kid, much worse will happen to you. Then he made vile, ridiculing, and humiliating comments that besmirched the character of the couple who lawfully and without malice came into possession of the ball, for not giving it to the kid. [If they want to sue for slander, reply to this post.] Absolutely ridiculous waste of time that could have been used on stuff that matters, like the asinine Jesus trade.
Res ipsa loquitur.