Thursday, July 8, 2021

John Sterling channels Yankee fans everywhere: "I'm sorry. It's on the monitor. What am I supposed to do?"

Once upon a time, back in the nineties, you could pace your living room or clutch your lucky bottle-opener, knowing it would ensure a critical base hit or called third strike. The Yankees delivered, the juju worked, and you could believe that you - a lowly, faceless nobody - actually mattered to the universe, even though you'd never dare share such ridiculous notions to another soul.

That's when I wrote THE JUJU RULES, a book about the madness that we all secretly harbor, in part because the alternative is so much worse. 

Unfortunately, our collective juju seemed to wither and die around 2009, when the Yankees began collapsing every post-season - stumbling to the point where we now expect them to fail. 

Hence, the overwhelming pessimism that surrounds the 2021 Yankees. You can feel it. You can sense it. Why would we expect this team to succeed where its carbon copy predecessors floundered and failed? The last two seasons ended with walk-off home runs and a terrifying gargoyle grin from Aroldis Chapman - a look that we've seen lately. 

And we are powerless to affect anything - as illustrated by a pants-pissing moment last night, which we can add to the 2021 collection. 

Last night, the chips came due over the Yankees' Rube Goldberg radio announcing setup, which has been in place since the Covid shutdown. Basically, John Sterling and Suzyn Waldman have been calling games from a TV monitor, like you or I would do from our living rooms. Thus, they have no extra feel for the game: They simply recreate the action. They pretend to be there.  

Last night, Sterling served up a cringeworthy boner that will thrill his critics and, quite likely, someday accompany him to the grave. He accidentally called an Aaron Judge home run from a video replay. 

It's torturous to hear. It goes this way...

JOHN: Now here's Judge. The breaking ball is HIT INTO LEFT. THAT BALL IS HIGH, IT IS FAR, IT... IS... GONE! (A few seconds of silence.) Unfortunately, it was a replay of the home run, but it was a good replay.

SUZYN: (Darkly) Hmm. 

JOHN: I'm sorry. It's on the monitor. What am I supposed to do?

SUZYN: (After a few seconds.) This is a great way to do a game, isn't it?

John: Yup.

Suzyn: Yup. 

I believe I speak for the Yankiverse in saying... Yup. 

So, let's add another clunker moment to the 2021 pile. The Yankees won last night because a) Seattle cannot seem to play a decent game against us, b) we got out to another first-inning lead and c) Aaron Boone chose not to go with Chapman, who is certainly not ready to close a one-run game. 

The All-Star break is nearly here, and no matter what happens today - game time 4: 15 p.m. - Houston lies in wait for the weekend. No team is more tuned into El Chapo's tribulations than the Astros. Chapman reacted furiously - and famously - after Houston was caught cheating. He all but accused Jose Altuve of stealing signs before the 2019 walk-off HR in the ALCS. At some point this weekend, Chapman will have to face those demons, square up, and no juju on this barren earth can help him. 

I got nothing.

I'm sorry, Yankees. It's on the monitor. What am I supposed to do?


Ken of Brooklyn said...

Since John and Suzyn are vaccinated, as are the teams, and most venues are a full capacity, I'm not sure why they aren't broadcasting live like they were before Covid? Are they worried about John's age? Are they just being cheap? They are probably just being cheap since the Age of Zoom means remote remote remote saves money for everything now,,,,

ranger_lp said...

@Ken...I'll field that one...they are saving money...

Michael Kay mentioned it last week on TMKS. YES and WFAN lost huge amounts of money last year because there were only 60 some odd games played. This translates to lost revenue for the other 100 games normally played from adverts.

Most, if not all, ballparks have opened up their broadcast booths to opposing teams. this is a cost saving measure. Kay went on to say that even though they had lost revenues last year, NO ONE lost a job at YES. Probably the same for WFAN and the "Yankees Radio Network". So the thinking here is that do you want your announcers to travel with the production crew (A number of people) and sack staff or....

Ken of Brooklyn said...

AHHHHHH, of course it's always about the money> Urrggg,,,, thanks Ranger!

HoraceClarke66 said...

Which, in terms of the Yankees' finances, is like winning the lottery then shorting the waitress on the tip.


But hey, pretend like you're saving jobs...

Anonymous said...

Not to mention they had to stay up until 4AM at the stadium to call the game and post game. If they were in Seattle they would get to bed at local time.

Doug K.

Stang said...

My father would have loved this. He used to get so annoyed with HR replays. He said that every time they show one again, they should have to put another run on the board.

JM said...

Mustang, my mom was the same way. She would get all excited, then realize that it was a replay and curse out the station for doing that. I miss her, especially when it comes to Yankees games.

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TheWinWarblist said...

I want to believe Dr Believe (see what I did there!? Did ya!?) can get El Chapo to drill that like prick Altuve to the head. And then while The Little Prick is rolling around in the dirt, El Chapo needs to give him a diving elbow drop to the crotch.

HoraceClarke66 said...

That replay fooled me, too!

Anonymous said...

Les Keiter didn't even have a monitor. Just teletype for re-creating games on the radio. Anyone remember?

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