Wednesday, June 03, 2009

Rangers 4, Yankees 2

One of those games, but can I get in on something?

John Sterling, and I mean, Jesus.

I am one of I don't know, maybe hundreds of thousands of Yankee fans who listened to the last season of Yankee radio broadcasts, in 1988, before Sterling and whoever was his stooge took over.

Hank Greenwald and Tommy Hutton. Those names ring a bell with anyone under 35?

In 1988, I was a graduate student in Binghamton, New York, trying to make enough money to last the summer, and was lucky enough to land a position as a security guard at Binghamton General Hospital. Mostly, my job entailed looking in on yobs the police had brought in, those too drunk or too high to yet withstand psych evaluation, those who would have to sleep it off before their interview and assignment.

I was being paid five bucks an hour to watch people sleep and read as much as I could inhale. The work was so low-stress I was able to work double shifts and put away enough money to patrol New England on the weekends: just enough money for gas, coffee, sandwiches, and the occasional beer.

And what kept me going? Through upstate New York, Vermont, and even Massachusetts, what kep me going was Greenwald and Hutton; Greenwald, bringing the gravel; and Tommy, the honey. Not once did their account of the game stand at odds with the filmed account of the game. Not once did their self-aggradizement cloud what was happening.

I mean, these guys were the real deal.

But this was the era of Steinbrenner. The Boss. The guy who said "You're fired!" back when Donald Trump was some millionaire's son trying to make it real estate.

Greenwald and Hutton? Not pro-Yankee enough. So after superbly capturing a not-so-bad pennant race (1988, look it up), these guys were let go.

And in came, in 1989, John Sterling.

Who, in the first three weeks of the 1989 season, called two home runs that weren't.

"It is high . . . it is long . . . . it is gone! . . . No it isn't!"

Great announcers, the Vin Sculleys and Ernie Harwells of the profession, get a home run call wrong maybe once a decade. Simply okay announcers (think of the Caray boys), maybe once every four or five years, though this may be too harsh.

Sterling? Once a month, minimum. Minimum!

A bill and a half for the stadium, they can't afford an announcer who can call a damn game?

More: Jeez.

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