New York is unlike any other baseball city. It is the largest and most diverse population center in the country. There are more than 8 million people in New York city alone from which the Yankees have to draw only 45,000 or so a day. Without meaning any offense, unlike cities like Pittsburgh, Cleveland, Milwaukee, Kansas City, and others, New York is a cosmopolitan place with a great diversity of people and interests from all over the world, baseball is only one small part of New York. That the cries of a few hundred thousand devoted fans is drowned out in the millions of voices in New York is the only possible excuse I can come up with for why Suzyn Waldman is still on the Yankees radio broadcast team. As far as I can tell, (and have done extensive research on the topic) there is a near unanimous opinion among Yankee fans that Waldman is a disaster. I’m sure she is a very nice woman and I mean nothing against her personally but, as fans of the 27 time World Champion, richest and most competitive franchise in the sport, we deserve better.
In speaking about this piece with a friend of mine recently, we isolated the three things Suzyn Waldman brings to a radio broadcast.
1. She repeats exactly what broadcast-mate and play-by-play caller John Sterling said, except in a less intelligent way. For instance:
Sterling: “And the pitch…. there goes Brett Gardner from first, and the throw is late, safe at second, a stolen base for Gardner.”
Waldman: “That’s right John. Brett’s hand got to the second base bag before the tag from the shortstop so he’s safe at second.”
2. She addresses players by their first name just to try to convince the listener that she knows these people and to remind everyone that they allow her into the clubhouse from time to time. For instance:
Waldman: “John, I was talking to Alex by his locker before the game today and he was telling me that he’s been working on driving the ball the other way better.”
Thanks Suzyn, for that valuable insight. Especially since Curtis Granderson is batting and that has nothing to do with anything. And while we’re on the subject, why are you calling him Alex? Do you mean Alex Rodriguez, the Yankee third basemen? If so, why don’t you say that? Why don’t you say A-Rod, Rodriguez, or even Alex Rodriguez if you really have to get his first name in there? I find that so infuriating. Who are you to call every damn player by their first name?
3. She pretends she knows what she’s talking about. For instance:
Waldman: “Derek suffered a Grade 1 strain in his calf during the game yesterday. No word from Joe yet about how long he’ll be out but we all know how much a calf strain hurts and how it can affect you when you’re trying to get down the line.” WE do? Really? Jeter probably does. So does any former player in the booth, any announcer who played college baseball or baseball growing up and any baseball player listening. But Suzyn Waldman doesn’t. She never played baseball! Maybe my example isn’t up to proving my point. She doesn’t only do this with injuries that perhaps she may have somehow suffered. She does it with intricate baseball stuff that she can’t possibly have first hand experience on.
I’m going to stop and make a point here. None of this has anything to do with the fact that she is a woman. I have no problem with a woman broadcaster. I applaud Suzyn for getting her position in the radio booth. She just happens to be really really bad at it. Male announcers don’t make themselves sound like idiots the way Waldman does. You never hear Vin Scully or Michael Kay or Thom Brennamen or even her broadcast partner John Sterling discuss the difficulties of hitting a curveball the way Waldman does. It’s absolutely infuriating. She’s making it up. She has no idea what she’s talking about. How has no one called her on this?
Another thing, she’s got a terrible radio voice. I know that’s not her fault but it’s not a minor detail. It’s sort of a big deal, she’s got a grating voice that’s really hard to listen to.
Another thing, she’s from Boston. She speaks with a Boston accent. I know that’s nit picky but she’s from the wrong side of the Yankee – Red Sox rivalry. That should be noted.
Waldman was voted the Worst Commentator in New York in a Newsday poll. She’s been made fun of on ESPN, Howard Stern, Opie and Anthony and many, many others. So clearly I’m not the only one who doesn’t like her. I just think that if we, as New Yorkers and Yankee fans are expected to shell out $55 dollars for upper deck seats we deserve better. We have funded a new stadium, filled it every night, purchased millions of dollars of merchandise, made the players stars and the owners celebrities. We have given the Yankees one of the largest and most devoted fan bases in the game. A fan base that has allowed them to pursue an incredible level of sucess and enjoy unprecedented financial security. The fans are the lifeblood of the franchise and we deserve better than Suzyn Waldman. We deserve to like our broadcasters. We shouldn’t have to feel like we have to suffer through them to watch or listen to our team.
The bottom line is that Suzyn Waldman is a terrible broadcaster who makes listening to the Yankees on the radio significantly less enjoyable. She needs to go. I feel bad that I’m calling for a woman to lose her job but she’s very very very bad at her job and honestly, the needs of the many outweigh the needs of the few. And the many need Suzyn Waldman to go.
The goal of this post is to start a movement. I want to drum up enough support to force WCBS and the New York Yankees to make a change. I want to stop the suffering and get rid of this scourge. I will continue to post on this subject. I will push the issue. But I cannot achieve success alone. I need your help. Demonstrate your support, make comments, tell people, spread the word, do whatever you can to publicize the movement. Alone we are weak, together we can achieve our goals. In this case, the goal is to get rid of Suzyn Waldman.