john sterling yankees
Courier News photo

Come on, folks.

It’s a baseball game on the radio. Not brain surgery.

John Sterling botched a call during the Yankees‘ 6-4 loss to the Blue Jays on Wednesday night. And based on the reaction, he’s more responsible for the loss than Gerrit Cole’s latest dud of a start.

The details: Pinch hitter Giancarlo Stanton hit a towering eighth-inning shot that, off the crack of the bat, appeared destined for the left field stands and a tie game. The YES Network camera thought it might fly out of Yankee Stadium itself based on its angle. And then the ball landed harmlessly into Raimel Tapia’s glove about halfway up the warning track.

Swung on there it goes, deep left center, that ball is high, it is far, it is gone … but caught. At the wall, caught by Tapia. Boy, I thought that was gone.


I was listening to the radio at the time. And you know what? I laughed and moved on. And that’s what the rest of the world should do. I survived thinking Stanton hit a home run for a split second before being informed that he didn’t, and you can too.

John Sterling is a national treasure. He belongs in the Hall of Fame. And the ritualistic pile-on every time he gets a call wrong is getting to be a little much. Again, he is calling a baseball game on the radio. It’s never going to be perfect because baseball is never perfect.

Sterling is entertaining and passionate and, at the age of 83, still has amazing pipes. What more do you really want?

To all the Twitter tough guys demanding his retirement: Do you really think your existence would be that much better if some haircut in a polo shirt from Syracuse was calling the games? So he gets some stuff wrong and he and Suzyn Waldman can be a bit (OK, a lot) homerish at times. Whatever. Stop whining and go do something valuable with your time.

James Kratch is the managing editor of ESNY. He previously worked as a Rutgers and Giants (and Mike Francesa) beat reporter for NJ Advance Media.