John Sterling and Suzyn Waldman will return to the New York Yankees radio booth for the 2020 MLB season, calling games for their flagship station WFAN.
News that Sterling and Waldman would be together again on the radio for a 16th season was first reported by Neil Best of Newsday, who checked in with WFAN’s program director Mark Chernoff for confirmation.
Sterling has been featured on the Yankees radio broadcast since 1989, with Waldman joining the booth as an analyst in 2005. At the time, the Yankees were heard on sister station WCBS 880, since moving to WFAN prior to the 2014 season. Waldman, the first ever voice on WFAN, has filled a variety of roles on the station since joining their airwaves as a reporter, host and analyst in 1987.
Last season, Sterling’s ironman streak of calling 5,060 consecutive games for the Yankees came to an end, having to miss his first broadcast since 1989.
“I was a little run down near the All-Star break and the London trip didn’t do me any good, so I was persuaded by my program director Mark Chernoff to take some games off,” Sterling told BSM last year.
When asked if he plans to schedule games off during the 2020 season, the 81-year old Sterling definitively said no. “No, I’ll go and see how I feel that’s all.” While Sterling hopes to call every game of the 2020 season, that has not been confirmed by WFAN.
During Sterling’s time off in 2019, his role was filled mostly by 33-year old ESPN announcer Ryan Ruocco, with Brooklyn Nets radio voice Chris Carrino also calling a game.
Last year, when BSM asked Sterling how much longer he plans on working as the Yankees full-time radio play-by-play announcer, he didn’t believe retirement was near. “I have four kids in college so I have to work,” Sterling said with a chuckle.
“When that’s over, I’ll think about it, but I’ll take it year by year. I don’t want to go on-air if I can’t do it, but I honestly don’t know,” Sterling added. “I can’t imagine retiring, but I guess there will be a day when I just – even Vin Scully finally retired and he was 88 or 89, so I have some years left.”
Dan Bernstein: Media Reaction to MLB Winter Meetings Outrageous
“It doesn’t make any sense to me.“
The MLB Winter Meetings have come and gone, without the sport’s biggest fish — Shohei Ohtani — being caught by any one team. Several MLB writers shared their displeasure with the lack of movement by players at the meetings, which dumbfounded 670 The Score host Dan Bernstein.
During Bernstein & Holmes Thursday, Dan Bernstein shared his sentiment that the expectations from MLB national media members bordered on ridiculous.
”So many people had a problem with (the Winter Meetings). ‘Do something! Entertain us! Do something!’ and this whole group of seemingly unionized national reporters are echoing this ‘How dare that not do something!’ (sentiment),” Bernstein said. “Other sports have a salary cap. That’s the difference. And if you’re advocating for MLB to have a salary cap, you’re doing Rob Manfred’s work for him, and that doesn’t make any sense.”
After co-host Laurence Holmes mentioned that a player making a decision on their future home required due diligence and time, Dan Bernstein continued by claiming that the idea that Ohtani needed to pick a destination during the Winter Meetings to appease the national media showed a lack of empathy from reporters.
“It doesn’t make any sense to me. How dare Shohei Ohtani be careful and deliberate and exercise power when he’s the most powerful person in baseball right now,” said Bernstein. “He’s deciding his professional future. How dare he! What does he owe you?”
Boomer Esiason: Joe Benigno Was Just Doing His Job
“Good for Joe B. for letting everyone know who he is. That was his job. And I guess still is his job to some point.”
Former WFAN host Joe Benigno continues to make headlines after he revealed sensitive text messages he had with New York Jets head coach Robert Saleh. Despite the controversy, Boomer Esiason believes Benigno was simply doing what was necessary.
After Boomer & Gio played a clip of Saleh saying he “still likes Joe B.”, Esiason argued that Benigno was doing his job by revealing that Saleh “didn’t like” Jets quarterback Zach Wilson.
When fill-in update anchor Chris Lo Presti pointed out that Saleh wouldn’t call Benigno by name — referring to him as “Joe B.” — Esiason said “That’s cause everyone knows who he is”.
“Good for Joe B. for letting everyone know who he is,” Esiason said. “That was his job. And I guess still is his job to some point. But man, I would think that Rob Saleh was pretty floored by all of that, I’d imagine.”
Co-host Gregg Giannotti agreed, questioning if Jets owner Woody Johnson spoke to Saleh about ceasing texting with the former WFAN host.
After originally revealing the text messages, Benigno has shared he wishes he hadn’t mentioned the comments made by Saleh in private. He later clarified that he took the coach’s statements out of context and misinterpreted them.
Anthony Lima: People Will Watch NFL Games No Matter Who the Quarterbacks Are
“The ratings show that people are going to watch no matter who the quarterbacks are; no matter how bad the teams are.”
As the NFL begins week 14 with a Thursday Night Football matchup that pits a pair of backup quarterbacks against one another, 92.3 The Fan morning hosts Ken Carman and Anthony Lima agree it doesn’t matter who’s under center, fans will still be tuning in.
The Pittsburgh Steelers are slated to face the New England Patriots as Mitch Trubisky and Baily Zappe will start at quarterback for each team. During The Ken Carman Show with Anthony Lima Thursday, the hosts agreed they’ll still watch the broadcast.
“Do you think fans are bored by the league with this or are they more interested?,” Carman asked, referencing the Steelers-Patriots matchup.
“Well the ratings don’t show that,” Lima said. “The ratings show that people are going to watch no matter who the quarterbacks are; no matter how bad the teams are.”
Indeed for its Week 13 Thursday night game, Amazon Prime Video recorded an all-time high average of 15.26 million viewers, according to data from Nielsen Media Research. The matchup between the Seattle Seahawks and Dallas Cowboys marked the 11th consecutive week of year-over-year, double-digit viewership growth for the property, and helped engender a 29% increase from last year’s 11-week average viewership.
Carman offered an analogy pertaining to wrestling, conveying how many people are interested in the sport when they are younger. He enjoyed the sport in his youth but it then began to phase out until he went to middle school and became interested again. These phases, however, do not seem to apply when it comes to the game of football.
“We line up for years,” Carman said of football. “There’s people who haven’t missed Monday Night Football no matter what incarnation [it is] for 30+ years. Is it an enjoyable thing to sell all the quarterbacks down?”
Lima is cognizant of what has happened at the quarterback position this year and feels that it makes him want to watch a game less, affirming that the starters on Thursday night will need to earn his attention.
“I think I’ll give it a quarter,” Lima said. “I might even be a little late… [but] I’ll put it on and see where the game’s at.”
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