Is John Sterling That Bad?

Sean SerritellaCorrespondent IJune 5, 2009

NEW YORK - NOVEMBER 9: John Sterling attends Joe Torre's Safe at Home 5th Annual Gala on November 9, 2007 in New York City.  (Photo by Andrew H. Walker/Getty Images)

...or is Sterling pretty good?

I don’t listen to WFAN that much while the Yankee game is on, but according to this article by Bob Raissman of the New York Daily News, Sterling is the second coming of Ivan the Terrible or Milli Vanilli.

Every once in a while, I do put the radio on when Robinson Cano gets up at bat to hear the “Don’t you know” call and just to hear what he and Susan have to say about the game. It seems he’s more of a Phil Rizzuto type than a David Cone who analyzes every aspect of the game.

The article says that his calls became stranger and that he makes a lot of mistakes. I kind of like “strange,” and making mistakes shows his human side. To me, it shows that he’s a character, and the Yankees need character since they are in the biggest market in the world.

I definitely don’t want to hear someone announce the game like we’re listening to golf. I’d rather hear the Kentucky Derby call.

Raissman says, "Those who have trouble falling asleep watch the Yankees on Al Yankzeera. Those looking for some excitement, and enjoy having their skin crawl, listen to Sterling."

That would be me. I have trouble staying up for games not because it is boring, but because of medical reasons, but I digress. I usually watch the games on YES. I know some people might listen to the games and watch it on TV especially when Fox shows the Yankees with Tim McCarver.

Is Sterling this bad that a newspaper reporter had to devote a whole article to him? Maybe I’ll have to listen to the Yankees on the radio today and see if what Raissman says merits any feelings of inaptitude from Sterling.

Then Raissman says, "Then, on Wednesday night, Sterling was discussing Rangers pitcher Kris Benson and kept calling him 'Curt Benson.' When he finally realized his mistake, Sterling compounded it, saying: '….Curt Benson was the starting center on that Indiana (basketball) team that won the NCAA title for Bobby Knight.'

"Ooops. Kent Benson was the center on that 1975-76 Indiana team that won the title. Instead of just correcting his mistake, Sterling looked for an excuse and let his mind wander. That particular maneuver, once again, backfired."

I’m not sure that backfired. I’m sure listeners found it amusing. After all, it’s entertainment and if an announcer is making silly mistakes, it’s funny, not catastrophic like Raissman wants you to believe.

Then Raissman nitpicks when he writes about how Sterling didn’t try to figure out how many games Randy Johnson won with the Yankees after Sterling kept saying that Randy Johnson was going for 500 wins.

Personally, I’m not looking for the perfect announcer. I want someone who’s entertaining, but also has a good grasp of the facts. According to Raissman, Sterling has neither.

Maybe Raissman holds a grudge against Sterling? Maybe Sterling got a job that Raissman wants? There seems to be some jealousy involved, wouldn’t you say?

Maybe I’m wrong about this whole thing and Sterling really is a bad announcer.

Either way, I say give Sterling a break. He’s 61-years-old and born on my favorite holiday, the Fourth Of July.