Sunday, July 26, 2020

Don't touch that dial. More than ever, for a refreshing blast of normalcy, turn to John and Suzyn

On the radio, you see no empty bleachers. Nobody wears a mask. You hear the usual background soundtrack - the clapping, the chants, the walk-up music - and all is right within the Yankiverse - if not the universe overall.

Even in a blowout loss, hearing John Sterling and Suzyn Waldman call last night's game brought one of the great joys of the last six months. Last night, I caught six golden innings, and for that period of time, there was no COVID, no street protests, no economic devastation, no hurricane, nothing to fret over, aside from the thin Yankee bullpen. Today, I heartily suggest you turn off the TV and travel back in time with the most loyal and unifying voices in the Yankiverse, while we still have them. 

Some observations from last night:

1. There seems to be far fewer in-game promotions. At one point, I caught an entire half-inning without one ad - can you believe it: no, Geiko no New York Life, no Cellino & Barnes (R.I.P. and good riddance.) I cannot recall a half-inning in Yankee history without some mechanical reference to muffler repairs by the Tri-State Auto Dealers or gut bomb snacks from Little Debbie. The number of sponsors must be way down. Despite the financial implications, that's fine with me. Let's enjoy it, while it lasts.

2. John takes a dim view of the CGI fans promoted by the sports networks. He says - paraphrasing - he'll take the virtual fans seriously when they start buying hot dogs and hamburgers. Ever the realist.

3. In my six inning stint, I did not hear John use his signature chestnut: "You can't predict baseball, Suzyn." Not once. This, I believe, is the greatest quotation in history equating baseball with life. He didn't go there. 

However, in a late-inning rage rant, Suzyn defiantly stated that some outcomes are quite predictable: When Ben Heller throws a pitch right down the middle, she intoned, it's going to be hit out of the park every time. Every. Single. Time. 

I'm still shaking. Could this be her long-awaited response to The Master's theory? Could the 2020 baseball season bring forth an existential debate on the meaning of fate vs. free will? More on this, as the season progresses. 

4. John did note, late in the game, that this was only one loss, and that tomorrow, the teams would take the field in an entirely new game, and that the outcome will be different, because in baseball - unlike other sports - a different pitcher creates an entirely new game. Thank God. To have the Yankees blown out so easily, and to NOT be reminded that it's only one loss, and that there will be another game tomorrow - that would be frightening, indeed.

5. There was, of course, no WinWarble. But John's game-ending Loss Lament was especially thin and droopy. BallgameoverWashingtonwins. It was nearly a murmur. Hopefully, he won't face too many this year.


ranger_lp said...

Different view...a loss is really 3 losses in dog years. Every game is critical. You can't mail in a game this year.

On a different note...Giancarlo does look fitter...we can't kick him around anymore...until he gets injured of course.

Beauregard Jackson Pickett Burnside said...

This game drops Suzyn’s crying during broadcast stats to 2 and 3. Maybe we can get some blubbering out of her today.

I was hauling home an old car home last night got the enjoy this loss while driving. So my recommendation for a day game is not to turn on the TV, drop the volume and listen to John and Suzyn... but listen to John and Suzyn while doing something else entirely. It’s a day game... mow the lawn, tune a carburetor, sweep the patio, clean the gutters...

As for “That’s baseball Suzyn”, John hasn’t done it since he was mocked by David Ortiz. Suzyn tried all season last year to get him to say it. Never managed.

Anonymous said...

Yeah, I noticed that Stanton is much trimmer; makes it so much easier for him to get back up after kneeling for the National Anthem.

Anonymous said...

"John takes a dim view of the CGI fans promoted by the sports networks."

Yeah, I also think it's pretty stupid. I saw it in the early part of the Cubs-Brewers game. All of a sudden, like out of a horror movie, there are thousands of zombie fans in the seats. One instant, there's nothing and then ... boom. If you saw "The Monster Club", an anthology horror movie, in the last story, there is a scene like that with a horde of ghouls that appear out of nowhere. I don't need to see this kind of crap in a ball game.

@ ranger_lp Stanton does good so far. I'll have to stop calling him "the blind man". Is it just me or is his stance slightly less closed? In the past, sometimes he was turned completely around with his back to the pitcher. I always thought he'd hit right-handers a lot better if he just faced them so he could look at the ball with both eyes. Hence, the blind man terminology.

@ Beauregard J. I wish John would say "that's baseball" or "you can't predict baseball". These things are almost like old friends when you hear 'em. I miss John saying stuff like "in that mieux" or "that old palendrum of mine". Ah, the good old days.

The Hammer of God

Anonymous said...

I can't listen to John unless I have the TV on.

A few days ago I was watching, I think it was the game against the Phillies and their pitcher lost control of the ball. It bounced 3/4 of the way to the plate and then shot off left past the catcher.

Sterling goes, "That one is low, Ball two." and then started talking about something else and I thought "Wow this guy is really bad." and not in a funny way.

I know that it is heresy but if I had to rely exclusively on his description of the ball game it would be pretty much worthless. Try watching TV and listening sometime and you will see what I'm talking about. With him, telling us about the game is secondary.

I respect the man and his career but currently, he is not good.


Doug K.

Anonymous said...

Oh and one more thing, I do understand and appreciate Duque's point about the radio enabling us to forget about the empty stands, CGI fans etc. So yes, it's a good escape from the madness. I just wish John did a better job.

Doug K.

JM said...

Yesterday, before I gave up on Maple and the lack of pitching in general, I was watching the game on Fox and listening to the radio. While John and Suzyn complained about the fake fans, I didn't see them on TV. The seats were empty. All of 'em. Always.

How does that work? I'm not complaining, because I hate all the fake fan bullshit, but why didn't I get to see the monsters from CGI?

Doug, I hear you. But it's like when Brando got really fat and had to have lines written on his costar's forehead, and even then rambled incoherently with bizarre ad-libs. Well, actually, that's going too far, since I don't think John has reached that level yet, but you know what I mean.

Anonymous said...


Like Hammer said, the CGI fans would appear in the outfield seats and then vanish. It was weird.

I like the Brando analogy. I get it. John was great and now he's lesser. I like the man. I respect the career, I wish him well. But unlike with Brando, John is pretty much the entire movie. If he doesn't say it, we don't know it.

Brando as Jor-El standing in the middle of the Fortress of Solitude can mumble his lines and we're still able to follow the plot. John is the plot. :)

Oh, and in the shameless plug department... I wrote a parody song called the Hoss' Prison Blues (Folsom Prison Blues) about our fictional situation in Hoss' virtual baseball season. It's in the comments @

I kinda liked it. If you haven't seen it you should check it out. :)

Doug K.

Anonymous said...





JM said...

All I can say is, it's a good thing we didn't try to sign Corbin. I mean, what a waste of money that would've been.

Rufus T. Firefly said...

I like to think of the Master as giving us two games in one. The one I see on TV and the one he's calling. He's like that crazy uncle at thanksgiving -- entertaining in his own way and we'll miss him enormously when we no longer have him.

HOW-EVAH, still finding it difficult to get excited for the season. Despite two Sterling HR calls in the last five minutes.

As for the discussion yesterday that got a little testy -- lighten up Francis!

I doubt Mr. Duque and I would ever vote for the same candidates, but it's his show. He can say whatever fv<k he pleases, in whatever the way he wants, as far as I'm concerned. I certainly appreciate the work he has put into this place over the years (and the work of, to a lesser extent, the rest of you huckleberries -- you know who you are).

Here's hoping all of us geezers survive this year's apocalypse and can meet up again next year.

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