John Sterling Is Not As Clever As He Thinks

Friday, April 20, 2007

For all I know, Yankees broadcaster John Sterling is a perfectly nice man who reads to children, paints church pews in his spare time and helps little old ladies across the street. I still do not like him.

My reasoning is simple. Five words, ninety-three syllables: "Yankees win, tha-a-a-a-a-a-a-a-a-a-a-a-a Yankees win!" Just thinking about it makes me so angry...I refuse to post a YouTube video example of this atrocity. And if you've seen my work anywhere, you know I love me some embedded YouTube.

Thanks to SPORTSbyBROOKS, there is now another reason to either dislike Sterling or, at the very least, question his decision-making ability. When Alex Rodriguez hit a walk-off homerun to beat the Indians last night, Sterling referred to the blast as "an A-Bomb for A-Rod". I saw the highlight on ESPN after the game and heard the call, but immediately dove for the mute button for fear of the dreaded phrase you see above. It struck me as an odd choice of words, but nothing malicious.

Maybe so, but Brooks and Sporting News Radio host Dave Smith made an interesting point: what if the walk-off had come against Daisuke Matsuzaka, and Sterling had called it the same way? What type of backlash would we see? I like Brooks' analysis:

"Maybe it's just me, but knowing Sterling, I'm guessing he just thought the call was clever and didn't attach a potential ulterior meaning to it. And if Dice-K had been pitching, I wouldn't have been surprised if he'd let it slip out. The fact that he used it now (and people are now bringing up the Japanese connection) probably will save him from making the mistake in the future. "

Seriously, can't we all picture Sterling waking up at three in the morning, scrambling for a piece of paper and pencil, and chuckling at his own wittiness as he jots down this gem of a homerun call? I can.

Two points: one, this isn't the first time Sterling had busted out the "A-bomb for A-Rod" phrase (he actually seems to use it fairly commonly when Rodriguez goes deep), and two, I was more offended when he said, "Alex Rodriguez is having the greatest month of his or any other life," because it's not true. Either part. A little hyperbole goes a long, long way.


Posted by One More Dying Quail at 8:43 PM


Not gonna lie, I like the A-bomb call. But this is coming from a Yanks fan.

Marco said...
Apr 20, 2007, 9:46:00 PM  

gimme a friggin break, he uses the A-Bomb call for every ARod home run... are we that fucking politically correct?


Unknown said...
Apr 20, 2007, 10:36:00 PM  

imagine if his name were Frank Rodriguez, "an F-bomb for F-Rod!"

That would be hilarious!

TJX said...
Apr 20, 2007, 10:41:00 PM  

Gettin a little too PC here AA aren't we?

Anonymous said...
Apr 21, 2007, 12:07:00 AM  

Interesting that you comment on the fact that John Sterling's commentary on the A-bomb by A-Rod could potentially be interpreted as racism if Dice_K were the pitcher. Cowherd (Schrutebag) noted the same thing on his show well over a week ago when A-Rod hit his walk-off grand slam. Is a blog plagiarizing an ESPN radio host.....NAH!!!!

Anonymous said...
Apr 21, 2007, 4:55:00 AM  

Sterling sucks. No one does home run calls like Bob Uecker, radio announcer for the Brewers for years. Also the only good thing about the Brewers for years.

Anonymous said...
Apr 21, 2007, 4:57:00 AM  

i think this call is fine, but he might not wanna use it against a japanase pitcher.

Anonymous said...
Apr 21, 2007, 8:57:00 AM  

i think he should use it if a rod hits a homer off of dice K

he's been doing it for the last 2 years, why stop now?

i still miss "the bam tino," personally

Sam said...
Apr 21, 2007, 9:48:00 AM  

I agree with the rest of the commenters. Let's ease up a little. Personally, I actually thot it was clever and i hate the Yanks and A-Fraud. It was a walk-off homer, the man got a little excited... no reason to get offended by this or the fact that he said he's having the greatest month of his or anyone's career. It was one of those "in the moment when your team just scored 6 runs all with 2 outs in the bottom of the ninth 2nd walk off homer in weeks" calls - don't think we should take "greatest" literally there. Honestly, if anyone's call of the home run should be criticized it should be the Indians announcer who sounded a little too excited when A-Fraud hit his A-Bomb against the team he is supposed to be rooting for.

Riggs said...
Apr 21, 2007, 12:20:00 PM  

Doc- There's one reason why I wouldn't have gotten this from Cowherd. He sucks...I don't listen to his show.

And while it's a little PC the story was brought up for discussion. If someone is going to get fired for saying an insensitive thing like "nappy head ho"....this is along the same lines.

It warrants mentioning.

Apr 21, 2007, 12:25:00 PM  

How are we "gettin a little too PC here"? The U.S. dropped two A-Bombs on Japan. Granted, it was more than sixty years ago, but isn't it valid to at least ask if using that terminology to call a homerun offensive if a Japanese pitcher is on the mound?

Note that I didn't suggest a fine, suspension, firing, or any type of punishment at all (if anything, he should have to stop the whole "Yankees win" thing - that would be nice). I was just passing along something that Brooks and Dave Smith (and apparently Colin Cowherd) noted and I agreed that it was a valid thought.

AO, you make a good point about saying things while you're caught up in the heat of the moment. In that moment, however, he managed to utilize two calls that he ALWAYS uses (the A-Bomb and Yankees Win).

Given another week, I might be willing to amend my statement and deem this the greatest individual month ever. Seeing a guy go deep twice against your team's number one starter has a way of changing your perspective on such things.

Apr 21, 2007, 12:40:00 PM  

One more thing to add to OMDQ's point......What would happen if this were the World Baseball Classic and a Japanese Announcer said, "And the Japanese are dropping bombs on the U.S. like it's Pearl Harbor!"???

Would you be upset? Of course you would. You have to look at the other side of things occasionally.

Apr 21, 2007, 12:55:00 PM  

by the way in history i am prosecuting (in a mock trial) truman for dropping the aboms. any tips for things i should bring up.

Anonymous said...
Apr 21, 2007, 1:46:00 PM  

Doctor who - look up Plagarism in the dictionary, you obvioulsy don't know what it means.

And I know people that know Sterling. He is a complete gasbag. He and Suzyn Waldman make up the WORST broadcast team in baseball.

Another thing - Sammy Sosa once hit 20 HRs in a month. Arod is barely halfway there. Sterling should relax before calling this "the greatest month in the history of the world" or whatever

WCT said...
Apr 21, 2007, 1:54:00 PM  

I can't take it.. the political correctness is getting ridiculous now. Just... ugh.

Unknown said...
Apr 21, 2007, 2:18:00 PM  

Eric, if it makes you feel better, I don't hate the call because I find it offensive...I hate the call because it sucks. So does "Damonic" and "the Giambino", for that matter.

I will give him credit for trying to spice up his broadcasts, however. At least it seems like Sterling cares about making things interesting for his listeners. Lots of guys just don't give a damn.

But I'm a Red Sox fan, so take anything I say about the Yankees or their employees with a grain of salt.

Apr 21, 2007, 2:32:00 PM  

I don't like Sterling just because he's an annoying little twit, and like you AA, I cringe whenever I hear those same five words.

Anonymous said...
Apr 21, 2007, 4:39:00 PM  

He's had that call for a few years now. Now we see it as being a problem?

Anonymous said...
Apr 21, 2007, 5:22:00 PM  

AA... you said:

What would happen if this were the World Baseball Classic and a Japanese Announcer said, "And the Japanese are dropping bombs on the U.S. like it's Pearl Harbor!"???

Would I be upset if they said that... well, yes... but that's not what happened here. It wasn't like Sterling said, "A-Rod just dropped a A-Bomb on Dice K just like we did on Hiroshima."

I think when you look for controversy - you're gonna find it... and everyone (including Brooks, and apparently Shrutebag) seem to be really digging here. Honestly, I can't even believe we're having the conversation. Just my opinion.

Riggs said...
Apr 21, 2007, 5:55:00 PM  

Just for the record - I do hate all Yankee announcers... I think they're brutal. But I don't find "A-Bomb from A-Rod" offensive.

Riggs said...
Apr 21, 2007, 5:57:00 PM  

Are you serious? A-Bomb is now going to get the PC police on announcers? Are you kidding me? And this is coming from a Red Sox fan.

Whats next? Let me guess, you guys want Peter Gammons fired because he also said during a telecast that he likes his coffee "black".

Anonymous said...
Apr 21, 2007, 6:20:00 PM  

Maybe the litte nippers shouldn't have bombed Pearl Harbor and they wouldn't have so much to be offended by. Oh or killed millions of Chinese and Koreans.

Anonymous said...
Apr 21, 2007, 6:27:00 PM  

Dear Wasting Time -- I'd take you seriously, but I don't know what "obvioulsy" or "Plagarism" are.

Anonymous said...
Apr 21, 2007, 7:54:00 PM  

This is ridiculous. It's a home run call and if you get offended by it don't listen to it.

Brett said...
Apr 21, 2007, 9:49:00 PM  

Everyone just needs to wipe up their vaginas and play nice.

Unknown said...
Apr 22, 2007, 12:32:00 AM  

The "A" stands for April. Go Sox.

GW said...
Apr 22, 2007, 2:07:00 AM  

SHUT UP - that is retarded!!!

Anonymous said...
Apr 22, 2007, 9:10:00 AM  

And people wonder why Sterling was dropped from the Braves' announcing group almost two decades ago...

Anonymous said...
Apr 22, 2007, 7:11:00 PM  

He has been using this call since 2004, and I am sure he's used it when some other Japanese pitcher was on the mound.

I do not think Sterling is a genius. I roll my eyes often during broadcasts. But he's like your slightly dotty blowhard uncle you always get a kick out of.

Anonymous said...
May 8, 2007, 11:10:00 PM  

Having acquired a taste for Sterling's humor, I rate him highest of all announcers after the Giants' old guy Hank Greenwald.

Anonymous said...
May 28, 2007, 3:26:00 PM  

Sterling is a buffoon. How many calls has he blown - like home runs that actually weren't - because he's more concerned about how his home run call is going to sound.

As an avid listener of WFAN and an avid Mets fan, I get sick when they have to play the same Sterling home run calls over and over and over again. If he could come up with something other than "it is high, it is far, it is gone" once in a while, he might be a little less boring.

Anonymous said...
Aug 6, 2007, 5:04:00 PM  

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