TNT had the brilliant idea to put Ernie Johnson, it's in studio basketball host, to be the main play by play announcer during it's coverage of the playoffs and, lucky me, he gets to work the Yankees-Twins series with John Smoltz and Ron Darling. Now, on paper, it's an upgrade from last seasons announce team of Chip Carey and Ron Darling. Darling was not the issue. He's quickly surpassing Tim McCarver as the best color guy in the game. I enjoy listening to him and will on occasion, watch the Mets so I can listen to him, even if I have to deal with the ramblings of Keith Hernandez. Chip Carey, on the other hand, was nauseating. I intentionally went to bars to watch the games, just so I couldn't hear him speak. when I heard that TNT fired him, I was beyond pleased. Then I heard Ernie Johnson speak. Now I'm wishing I was deaf. The home run call of Teixeira sounded like he was either not paying attention or just didnt care. I'm not asking for John Sterling over the top home run calls, but jeeze, it came at an important part of the game, at least make it seem like it. I wanted to reserve judgement on Johnson for another game, but it got me thinking about the Yankee Broadcasters.
If you watch, or listen to a Yankees game on either YES Network or the Yankees Radio Network, you will probably know that Yankee broadcasters are not really considered top notch. I miss the days of Bill White, Phil Rizzuto and Frank Messer when Yankee games were enjoyable to listen to. Bobby Murcer was a good one too, God rest his soul. The some of the announcers the Yankees have arent easy to listen to. If I owned the Yankees, heres who I would have doing the games:
You can't go wrong with having Bob Costas as the lead announcer. He doing basball games for MLB Network now and is doing a great job. I always enoyed his announcing from when he was calling NBC Games of the Week. He's a Yankees fan since his childhood and it makes perfect sense for him to call the Yankees. He's the only one I would give a blank check to and work around his schedule, even if it means him calling only Yankee home games
If Costas turns me down then Kenny Albert would be my next choice, followed by Gary Thorne.
Yes, I will admit, it took me a while to warm up to Ken Singleton, he of monotone voice. But once I got past that, I realized he's a terrific color man and knows the game very well. He's also good for a fill in as play by play guy when needed.
Another who is one of the games better color men, Al Leiter is one I always enjoy listening to. I enjoy how he explains the game from a pitcher's view and often shows the views how a pitch is thrown. He is the perfect third man for my TV Booth
Michael Kay is currently the Yankees main TV guy. My problem is I feel he's a radio man, trying to be a TV announcer and it just doesn't work for me. I liked Kay when he was calling the Yankee Games on the Radio and that's where I'd stick him, but as the main guy, not John Sterling's sidekick.
Paul O'Neill is getting better as an analyist as each season goes on. I like his knowledge, humor and the chemistry that he and Kay have together. That's why I would stick O'Neill in the booth and hope that he continues to grow as a broadcaster.
I would keep the studio with Bob Lorenz (just keep him away from calling a game. Those of you who watched him fill in on games in Toronto and Seattle this past season know what I'm talking about) and Kim Jones/Jack Curry as roving reporter. I would love to hire Rachel Nichols to replace Nancy Newman as Lorenz's fill in and move John Flathery as in studio anylist.
I would let go of John Sterling and Susan Waldman. Frankly, I have had enough of the cheesey home run calls and missed calls. Waldman would be a hard decision, only because she has been with the team for so long and is a NYC staple, being she was on WFAN and worked Knicks games on MSG. Maybe I can give her an interview sgement for pre and post games on the radio. If not, then I would let her go as well. Originally, I also had Flathery going out the door as well, but watching him as in studio analyist, I think that would be the way to go with him.
I think this lineup works. It's not perfect, but I think it's a serious upgrade over what we currently are subjected to every year. And if it doesn't work, I'll be in cemetary's looking to bring Mel Allen back from the dead.