In his column on Saturday, the Daily News' Bob Raissman brought up a very interesting point about the future of John Sterling and Suzyn "Goodness Gracious" Waldman when the Yankees' radio contract with WCBS-AM ends after the 2011 season. You can say what you want about the Jeter contract talks, the potential Cliff Lee signing, and the catcher battle for 2011, but this might very well be the most divisive Yankee storyline going right now.
The opinions on John and Big Suze usually fall on either the "they are dimwitted blowhards and unapologetic Yankee homers who make the game borderline un-listenable" side or the "they are entertaining and fun to listen to because of their story telling and Sterling's over-the-top calls of plays" side with not much in between. Because of this, Sterling and Waldman not coming back as the team's radio announcing team in 2012 would be met with cries of joy and thunderous applause from many and also cries of sorrow and disappointment from may more.
Personally, I would like to see Sterling and Suzyn come back. I know they are at times painful to listen to because of their constant ability to get wrapped up in drama and story telling and reminiscing about the past, and because Sterling's eyesight has deteriorated to the point that every fly ball could be a home run or a pop up to short in his book, but their style has become part of Yankee tradition. Sterling's home run calls are among the most widely-known in baseball and arguably sports. And Suzyn, homerism and crying during Joe Torre interviews aside, can actually bring a few useful bits of info from her pre- and postgame reports from time to time. After all these years, it would be strange to hear another voice doing the play-by-play for the Yankees and when you think about it, who else is there out there who could do a good enough job that isn't already employed?
I think it's a safe bet that WCBS and the Yankees will come to an agreement on a new deal. ESPN will get into the mix since adding the Yankees to their broadcast lineup would certainly help their listener numbers, but with their weak signal issue in the greater NY area, that will be their downfall. If the Yanks are back on CBS in 2012, I think it's only right that Sterling and Waldman be brought back. They're as synonymous with this generation of Yankee baseball as the Bleacher Creatures, big contracts, pies in the face, and championships. They may not be everybody's cup of tea, but they deserve the right to go out on their own terms.
Besides, would you really want to miss out on shit like this?
I mean, come on. No replacement announcer is going to have a game-winning call better than that.