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Tag: bill pennington

Ol’ Silver Throat

Bill Pennington profiled John Sterling in the Times the other day:

Sterling came to the Yankees’ radio booth in 1989 and did every game, although his 100 percent work attendance streak began in 1981 in Atlanta.

“I have not missed a game I was supposed to work,” he said. “I am blessed with a good immune system.”

Michael Kay, the Yankees television announcer and Sterling’s radio partner from 1992 to 2001, said: “I do 125 games a season, and that feels like a lot. I don’t know how he has done 162 games a year for 23 years.”

In his time with the Yankees, Sterling has had five broadcasting partners. He has worked with Suzyn Waldman since 2005.

A typical day for Sterling starts late because he stays up late. Besides having an affection for TV soap operas, he is a voracious reader of mystery novels and celebrity biographies. He tries to swim every day for at least a half-hour. On the road, it is a familiar sight at the Ritz-Carltons and other fashionable hotels where the Yankees stay to see a soggy Sterling striding through the ornate lobby in a terry-cloth robe, goggles perched on his head on his way back from the hotel pool.

The piece is well-worth your time.

[Photo Credit: Beatrice de Gea for the New York Times]

Wait, Can We Have a Do-Over?

Frustrating loss for the Yanks yesterday. 4-3. They got out of bases loaded jams in the sixth and in the ninth and had the tying run on base a few times, but came up short. Nick Swisher hit a long home right that bounced off the facade of the upper deck in right but the game can be summed up in the final at bat. Robinson Cano was up with Jeter at third. The count was 1-1 when Cano raised his arm to the home plate ump for time. He was too late and time was not granted. The pitch came and Cano, unsettled, swung. It happened too fast; he didn’t mean to swing. But he did and hit an easy ground ball to short for the final out.

Speaking of futility, check out this fine profile of Kei Igaway by Bill Pennington in the Times: 

The five-year saga is a story of a giant mistake of a contract and an overmatched pitcher, a huge organization digging in and a quiet, somewhat mysterious Japanese pitcher with a sense of honor and a durable love of the game. The Yankees made it pretty clear Igawa would never pitch again in the Bronx, but they were determined that he pitch somewhere for his $4-million-a-year salary. They tried to return him to Japan, too. Igawa refused to go, standing fast to his childhood dream of pitching in the American big leagues.

And so, the stalemate — remarkable, if almost entirely un-remarked upon — continues.

The Yankees let him gobble up innings before small crowds in distant outposts as a cavalcade of younger prospects push past him on their way to Yankee Stadium. Igawa never complains, and in a tribute to either willpower or lower level longevity, he has set farm system pitching records. And with just a few months left on his contract, he still dreams of the major leagues, if no longer as a Yankee.

About two weeks ago, on a rare day off, Igawa celebrated his 32nd birthday alone at his Manhattan apartment. He did not consider attending a Yankees game in the Bronx, nor did he tune them in on his television.

“I don’t watch their games anymore,” Igawa said. “I never follow them.”

Excellent piece.

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"This ain't football. We do this every day."
--Earl Weaver