Discussion: Would You Be Sad to See John Sterling and Suzyn Waldman Go?

Via Bob Raissman of the NY Daily News:

Is the curtain falling on Ma and Pa Pinstripe? Will next season be John Sterling and Suzyn Waldman‘s last in the Yankees radio booth?

Right now their future is up in the air. The Yankees contract with WCBS-AM, worth about $12 million per year, expires at the end of the 2011 season, so do Sterling and Waldman’s pacts. Sterling has been the radio voice of the Yankees since 1989. Waldman joined him in 2005.

There has yet to be any serious negotiations between the Yankees and WCBS. The job status of Ma and Pa cannot be resolved until a new radio-rights deal is cut. Industry moles say other outlets have chatted informally with Bombers brass. These potential suitors are looking to get a sense of which direction the club wants to go with its radio rights.


Where does this leave Sterling and Waldman? If WCBS retains Yankees rights the chances of them returning are much better than if a new outlet takes over. If that happens, all bets are off.

The Yankees regime, led by Hal Steinbrenner, will be more concerned with obtaining maximum dollars in a new radio deal than who the broadcasters are. Loyalty ain’t even a factor here. This would give a station the freedom to make that call. A call that will determine the future of Ma and Pa.

I was a little shocked to hear this news. Sterling started doing the radio shows for the Yankees in 1989 right around the time when I started my obsession with them. During those days without cable TV in my house, I spent a lot of time listening to Sterling when games weren’t broadcast on WPIX 11. So it’s safe to say that Sterling has been there for a large portion of my life.

However, when I read this news it wasn’t exactly sad. I hardly ever listen to the radio these days, but when I do it’s always because I have to instead of any desire to relive my more youthful days.

The reason is because Sterling’s act has become tiring. Between his tiring analysis, ‘you can’t predict baseball’, ‘thaaaa pitch’ and his ‘Thaaa-aaa-aaa Yankees Winnn’ warbles, the whole act has become cliche. Add in the pure annoyances of Waldman and listening to the game on the radio can be more painful at times than it’s worth.

On top of that the pair have become extremely too comfortable with their place. John Sterling was front and center in pictures when the Yankees met the president last year. Why? Suzyn Waldman has an autographed baseball in the Yankees Museum in the stadium? She has been seen wiping whipped cream off of player’s faces during walk-off celebrations? These people seem to have gone past radio announcers to thinking that they are Ma and Pa Yankee.

I welcome a change in the radio booth, but I wonder if I am may be off base here. What does anyone else think about the possibility of a change?

About Rob Abruzzese

Rob Abruzzese created Bronx Baseball Daily in 2008 just before graduating from Brooklyn College. He currently serves BBD as its editor and works as a reporter at the Brooklyn Daily Eagle. Follow Rob on Twitter @RobAbruzzese.
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11 Responses to Discussion: Would You Be Sad to See John Sterling and Suzyn Waldman Go?

  1. Jaremy says:

    I would also welcome a change in the booth. Though I have always loved Sterling's end-game call ("Thaaaa Yankees win!"), his incessent puns and plays on words ("Robby Cano, whaddya know!?" "You're on the Mark, Texiera") drive me absolutely nuts. I've never been a fan of Waldman's – something about her just grates on me, and I've never had the sense that she really knew what she was talking about.

    We'll see what ultimately happens, but maybe some fresh blood is good in the radio booth, as I've never really been thrilled with our current talent up there. Either way, money's the name of the game, so we'll see which radio station ponies up.

  2. Mike S. says:

    As someone who misses the professionalism that Messer and White gave, I wouldn't miss John or Suzyn at all.

  3. Delia says:

    I personally would miss John Sterling. I found his "Sterlingisms" funny and interesting. And I liked how he would bring dramatic affect to a baseball game whether someone hit a homerun or if there was a play that was made that was exciting. I was never a huge fan of Waldman, but have somewhat respect for her that I wouldn't want them to leave.

  4. Apollo22237 says:

    I know I am probably in the minority, but I like John Sterling. I can't say the same for Waldman, but what can you do. I enjoy Sterling and even though he can sometimes be pretty bad, I think he makes the games fun to listen to. I go to UCONN, so I don't get to see many Yankee games during the school year. I have no problem listening to Sterling for all of those games I can't see. I hope he is back.

  5. Matt says:

    Evn tough I no longer live in the tri-state area anymore I wouldn't mind seeing them go. When I was back this summer I caught their act in the car. It was fun reliving the old days with Sterling's voice, but I soon grew tired of Waldman's *I'm right* matter of fact analysis and Sterling's unabashed goofiness. I don't care if Jorge juiced one – we're down 6 runs.

    Memory serves me Sterling & Jay Johnstone were the team in '89. Those were bad teams but it was fun listening as a kid. It was fun to be there when they switched to Michael Kay and the Yankees got good. I would mark when Kay left and Charlie Steiner joined when Sterling became full of himself and the campiness became rampant.

  6. Patrick says:

    No. Sterling's a hack more concerned with his catchphrases. Waldman has a terrible voice and is one of the worst analysts in the booth.

    Start fresh, get some new guys who can carry the job for 50 years without becoming parodies of themselves (i.e. Vin Scully-esque)

  7. Mindkind says:

    I like Sterling. Waldman can go.

  8. Eric Communiello says:

    I really can't stand either of them, I hope they bring in new announcers.

    In my opinion, Sterling does a horrible job of actually calling the game. He never gives the listener updates on the score, count, men on base, etc. He's extremely pompous and thinks he's actually a big deal and a big part of the Yankees.

    Waldman brings absolutely nothing to the booth. All she does is worship the ground that Sterling walks on. She provides no baseball insight whatsoever.

    I realize that's all very harsh, but I really don't like their broadcast at all.

  9. Mike B. says:

    Need a younger fresher softer version. Maybe Kim Jones or Erin Andrews type. Wait, they would be much better to look at on say YES

  10. Ro says:

    I think a change in the booth is a long time coming. Waldman has a horrible voice for radio, and although Sterling's voice is great, his shtick is getting really old. What is worse is that I only listen to the radio broadcast when I have to, i.e., when I'm in my car, and more often than not I can listen for at least 15 minutes WITHOUT hearing a score! Sorry guys, I do not tune in to hear your chummy conversations and erroneous home run calls. I would welcome a more professional duo.

  11. A couple of people have mentioned the lack of updates now. That's probably the worst thing about these two. It drives me crazy when I'm sitting in the car listening for 10-15 minutes and I still don't know the score. Unbelievable.

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