Ernie Harwell passed away this week. Everyone remembered him for his class and his announcing ability.
Harwell was an announcer who was objective. He credited the opposing player if he hit well or pitched well.
Twins TV play-by-play announcer Dick Bremer mentioned a nice story about Harwell the other day. Harwell expressed his appreciation to Joe Mays for shutting out the Tigers.
Harwell had a great ability of painting the picture well in describing the game. He did it in short words.
Nowadays, it's unheard of.
Most announcers do a shtick where they conduct themselves as cartoon characters. No one does it better than the Yankees announcers on TV and radio.
New Yorkers love John Sterling. It's not for his play-by-play announcing. It's for his home run calls and when he says "Ballgame over! Yankees Win! DDDDDDDDDDDDAAAAAAAAAAA YAAAAAAAAAAAAANNNNNNNNNNNNNKEEEEEEEEEEEEEEESSSSS WIN!!!!!!!!!"
How sad is it? At one time, Sterling was great at his job. Before the Yankees became a great team, he focused on just talking about the game and the players in general. He and Michael Kay formed a good chemistry on the radio,.
It was all baseball. Not the fooling around that we see in announcers today.
Unfortunately, Sterling became popular for his catchphrases. Casual fans are drawn to that. Sterling decided to cater to causal fans.
It's an insult to diehard baseball fans. He is catering to stupid people by doing that.
Suzyn Waldman never ever talks about the other team. With her, it's Yankees good while everyone bad.
She has no idea about the game. Half the time, she talks about her personal life at games. No one cares about that stuff.
She gets way too emotional at games, too. One wonders if she is drunk at games.
The TV crew is no better. The YES Network does not do a baseball telecast. It's more of an infomercial.
Seriously, the network never talks about the opponents...ever. The network fails to show camera shots at the other team's dugout. They only do if the team is losing.
If the other teams win, YES makes it a point not to show the other team celebrating. They focus on the Yankees dugout.
That's a lack of professionalism.
Kay was promoted to do the TV gig when the YES Network was born in 2003. He has gotten worse, not better.
He makes it a point to deride the other team. He never does his homework on other teams.
Often times, he does not even pay attention to the game. He goofs around with the color analysts.
In other words, he has been lazy at his job.
It's sad to see Yankees games getting worse. Back in the day, the Yankees hired many quality announcers.
No one did it better than Mel Allen. Phil Mushnick raised a great point in the New York Post a few weeks ago. He talked about how Allen, Harwell, and Vin Scully would not be qualified to cover the Yankees under the Steinbrenner era.
He is right, too. Neither of the announcers would do what Sterling, Kay, and Waldman are currently doing. They have pride at their work.
They respect the game to act like the current Yankees announcers.
To be fair to the Yankees announcers, all the announcers are now like that. They love the sound of their voice. They want to be noticed on ESPN.
Sports are supposed to be about the athletes only. Not an announcer who has zero impact on the game whatsoever.
Want to know who started all this? None other than our own Sterling.
He inspired announcers to go overboard. In a way, he impacted the way announcers call sports today.
Something is wrong when all the great announcers are dead while current announcers are announcing when they have no business doing so.
Don't expect things change with YES or on the radio. Stupid people love it.
It turned out to be successful for Sterling, Kay, and Waldman for all the wrong reasons.