The way the 2022 calendar unfolded made it obvious that John Sterling’s function is close to being a permanent change, even though the New York Yankees aren’t yet ready to name a new radio voice or train the new person to warble after wins.
Sterling’s calendar earned a few “Red X” marks for lengthy road trips once the second half got underway.
Instead of making long travels to Tampa and Toronto, Sterling would be calling most of the home games and making quick excursions to Fenway Park and Citi Field. Several upcoming broadcasters would take over for Sterling for the other games.
At the young age of 84, Sterling still loves the Yankees and his profession, but he’s getting pretty tired of travelling, so this was a personal preference, he said.
As long as he is physically able, Sterling appears to be a lock to return in 2023, but according to a Wednesday scoop, WFAN has started implementing a more long-term backup plan rather than a series of last-minute replacements (though the team’s Spanish broadcaster, Rickie Ricardo, was a fantastic stand-in).
Brendan Burke, the Islanders play-by-play announcer, is expected to take over the entire Yankees schedule soon, according to insiders, though this feels a bit like when Conan O’Brien was first given control of the Tonight Show.
The ultimate successor for John Sterling of the Yankees leaks Burke, who is 38 years old, may call both Isles and Yankees games once his transfer is fully accomplished.
He has not yet engaged in contract negotiations with WFAN, according to reports.
The network doesn’t seem to know what Sterling’s future holds either; the Post report implied that there might be more emphasis on home games, but Sterling himself might not be ready to make that change official just yet and would instead choose to pick and choose his trips.
Regardless, plans are well underway for the radio era of Yankees baseball.
The radio broadcast, a vestige of baseball’s past, is nonetheless holding onto a role in the future, which may be the biggest surprise of all (and one that, thank goodness, seems unlikely to disappear just yet).