john sterling yankees
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The voice of the Yankees is going to ease up a bit during the second half of the season.

John Sterling is only going to call select road games the rest of the way, according to The Post’s Andrew Marchand. He will be behind the microphone for WFAN at all home games and for divisional games in Baltimore and Boston. He will also work the Yankees’ pair of Subway Series against the Mets at Citi Field. But Sterling, who turns 84 in July, is expected to miss “25-30” games in an effort to manage his schedule.

“It is just to recharge my batteries,” Sterling told The Post. “I’ve been doing road games with teams for 52 years. I love this game, but I hate being on the road.”

So who fills in? Marchand reports:

The Yankees and WFAN have identified candidates, including YES/ESPN’s Ryan Ruocco, Yankees’ digital reporter and Jomboy host Justin Shackil, Yankees Spanish language play-by-player Rickie Ricardo and they have thrown around the idea of radio analyst Suzyn Waldman maybe moving over to call a game or two, according to sources. The Waldman on play-by-play scenario, while possible, seemed as if it was the least likely. 

Shackil will likely end up with the bulk of the games due to Ruocco’s other duties, according to Marchand. Sterling is expected to call all home and road games during the postseason, so this will only be a regular season thing. And Sterling is in Minneapolis for the Yankees’ series at the Twins this week, so who knows when he will begin taking days.

Will it stink not having Sterling in the booth? Yes. The guy belongs in the Hall of Fame, despite what Phil Mushnick and some trolls on the internet say. And he’s one of the last things about the Yankees that makes them feel like the Yankees in many ways. Sure, he botches some calls. Deal with it. It’s baseball on the radio. It’s good to know this is not a health issue, and frankly we can’t blame him for wanting off some of the road swings.

It can’t be coincidence Sterling wants to stick to train rides. And given the Yankees play seven of their final 10 games on the road, it’s not a bad idea for him to get plenty of downtime right before what could be a long postseason. And WFAN will get some low-stakes on-the-job training for potential successors down the road. Win-win.

James Kratch can be reached at


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.