Dan Barry, author of Bottom of the 33rd: Hope, Redemption, and Baseball’s Longest Game, published this hilarious riff in today’s NY Times on perhaps one of the most annoying baseball broadcasters in history, IMHO.
Speaking of annoying, I’m hoping, no praying, that Chris Berman does not do the All Star Game Home Run Derby this year. How many times can you listen to “backbackback? as the ball leaves the park?
And just a slight exaggeration:
(There are a few more videos that follow the Berman call, and they’re pretty amusing, too.)
Just an aside: I know Waldman and Berman are Jewish, but I was trying to ascertain Sterling’s info. It’s wild that there’s so much “controversy” about it. Several Internet sources cite his birth name as “Harry Moscowitz,” but that seems odd when you look at his Wikipedia page which claims he was born John Sloss, son of Carl Sloss, an advertising executive who was evidently a big enough deal that he merited this obituary in the New York Times in 1991, which mentions Sterling). Chutzpahmag.com published this piece on “25 of the best sports sportscasting legends” and Sterling is not on the list. Of course, that could just be an editorial (non)comment.
Anyway, the Barry piece is reprinted below for your amusement and convenience.
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SUZYN WALDMAN And today’s salute to America was brought to you by Goldman Sachs, the world’s leading financial services firm. Goldman Sachs: Is this a great country or what?
And now, the voice of the New York Yankees, here’s Jawn Sterling.
JOHN STERLING Thank you, Suzyn. And tonight’s first thank you is brought to you by Spitzer for City Comptroller. Eliot Spitzer: No need to thank me!
It’s a lovely night here at Fenway Park, and leading off for the Yankees is the center fielder, Brett Gardner, hitting .272 with 7 home runs and 31 runs batted in. He has speed and power. Here’s Lackey’s first pitch and — a fastball, drilled foul down the first-base line. Boy, he hit that on the nose, Suzyn.
S.W. Yes, he di —
J.S. On the nose. And if you’re thinking of rhinoplasty, Suzyn, call the Cosmetic Surgery Center of New Jersey, Route 17, Paramus, right next to Dick’s Sporting Goods. Remember: The Cosmetic Surgery Center of New Jersey knows noses.
S.W. I don’t need —
J.S. Thuuuh pitch. And Gardner hits a fly ball deep to right-center field, Victorino back, back — home run! A Yardy! For Gardy!
S.W. Brett certainly got all of tha —
J.S. A Yardy! For Gardy! And the Yankees take a 1-0 lead.
Now Robbie Cano, the second baseman, settles into the batter’s box. A .294 batting average, with 20 home runs and 59 runs batted in. Robbie’s been struggling a little at the plate, but Suzyn, I ask you: how do you predict baseball?
S.W. You can’t really, it’s —
J.S. Exactly. You can throw the numbers out the window.
J.S. Thuuuh pitch. High and outside, a hanging curve that never broke. That hanging curve brought to you by the State of Texas. We don’t hang ’em anymore, but we do the next best thing. Texas.
S.W. Actually, Jawn, I think that was a changeup that —
J.S. And Cano rockets one to right field. It is high, it is far, it is — gone! Home run! Robbie Cano, doncha know! It’s a back to back! And a belly to belly!
S.W. You know, Jawn, I’ve always wondered what that phrase means.
J.S. Back to back and belly to belly, and Gonnerman’s Deli in Manhasset has your belly lox, your Novi lox, any kind of lox. If something smells fishy — it’s Gonnerman’s.
S.W. Is that really their slogan?
J.S. Here’s Mark Teixeira, the veteran first baseman. Lackey wastes no time, wanting those two home runs well behind him in this first inning.
Thuuuh pitch. A long fly ball, well hit to center field, Ellsbury back, back — another home run! Three in a row! Back to back to back and belly to belly to belly! How about that! A text message from Teixeira!
S.W. Wait a second. Teixeira’s on the disabled list. OH NO! I’m having that dream again.
J.S. You’re on the mark, Teixeira!
S.W. Oh gawd. Get me out of here! Please, somebody, wake me up!
J.S. (singing) “Wake me up before you go-go.” That musical interlude sponsored by George Michael. Yeah. I’m still around. George Michael.
S.W. Oh no.
J.S. Oh yes! Sir Lancelot rides to the rescue! C’est lui! C’est lui!
S.W. Jawn, please stop. Lance Berkman’s not even on the team anymore.
J.S. Vernon Wells, the left fielder, takes a fastball, low and outside, Ball 1. Batting just .237, but with 10 home runs and 35 ribbies.
Thuuuh pitch. Down in the dirt, Ball 2.
Lackey steps off the mound to settle himself. Goes into his windup. And — Ball 3. That Ball 3 sponsored by the Double Entendres Gentlemen’s Club, Hempstead Turnpike, Uniondale. That’s what she said! Double Entendres.
S.W. What’s the double entendre to Ball 3?
J.S. Really, Suzyn? Really?
S.W. This is only a dream. This is only a dream. This is —
J.S. Thuuuh pitch. Wells lofts one down the left-field line, a skyscraper, high enough to clear the Green Monster.
S.W. Go foul.
J.S. If it’s fair it’s gone, it’s —
S.W. Go foul. Go foul!
J.S. Stay fair! And it does! The Yankees now have a 4-0 lead.
S.W. I’m begging you, Jawn. Stop. Please stop.
J.S. The Bronx is Vernon!
S.W. We’re in Boston.
J.S. Wells rings the bell!
S.W. Shut. Up. Please. Just. Shut. Up.
J.S. My next breath is sponsored by the Spellman Brothers Funeral Home, Hylan Boulevard, Staten Island. When your next breath is your last, we’re here for you. Spellman Brothers.
S.W. I hate you.
J.S. Now the Yankees’ center fielder, Curtis Granderson, settles into the batter’s box.
S.W. Granderson? He’s been out for months. This isn’t even the right lineup!
J.S. Exactly, Suzyn. How do you predict baseball? Lackey deals, and Granderson sends a bullet down the right-field line. If it stays fair it’s gone. It’s a home run! Five dingers in a row!
J.S. Oh Curtis! You’re something sort of grandish!
S.W. ARE YOU KIDDING ME?
J.S. (singing) The Grandyman can, oh the Grandyman can …
S.W. THE GRANDYMAN? SOMETHING SORT OF GRANDISH? IS ANYONE IN THE FRONT OFFICE LISTENING TO THIS? IS THIS MIKE EVEN ON? AM I BEING PUNKED? HELLO? HELLO?
(The sound of a scuffle in the broadcasting booth.)
S.W. GET YOUR HANDS OFF ME! I’M NOT THE CRAZY ONE! IT’S HIM! DON’T YOU EVEN LISTEN? WHERE ARE YOU TAKING ME? WAKE ME UP! PLEASE, SOMEBODY. WAKE ME UP!
J.S. How do you predict baseball, Suzyn. Suzyn? She was here a minute ago. Anyway, you can throw the numbers out the window. A nuke from Youk! The Pronks Bomber! An A-Bomb! From A-Rod!
And the Yankees win. THUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUU — (a pause as J.S. takes a sip of water) — UUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUH Yankees win!
Speaking of annoying, I’m hoping, no praying, that Chris Berman does not do the All Star Game Home Run Derby this year. How many times can you listen to “backbackback? as the ball leaves the park?Tags: Chris Berman, John Sterling, Suzyn Waldman