The playoffs are the time when each moment is heightened and mistakes are magnified. Unfortunately for Yankees radio play-by-play announcer John Sterling, that notion applies to broadcasters as well.
In the top of the first inning of Tuesday's American League wild-card game between the Yankees and Red Sox, Yankees slugger Giancarlo Stanton crushed a ball to left field that seemed destined to clear the Green Monster. Stanton seemed sure he had gotten all of it, as did Sterling on the radio call. As it turns out, both were mistaken.
Instead of giving the Yankees an early 1–0 lead, Stanton settled for a long, hard-hit single. Where Stanton was disappointed with the outcome, the longtime broadcaster was completely baffled. He wasn't the only one, though, as the camera angle and perceived exit velocity certainly had the makings of a home run swing.
This was not the first time Sterling's call of a Stanton blast drew attention and raised eyebrows. In Stanton's first-ever game in pinstripes, the 2017 National League MVP homered in his first at-bat. Sterling—who's known for personalizing home run calls of Yankees past and present, including Alex Rodriguez, Gary Sánchez and Robinson Canó—took the opportunity to try out a signature call for Stanton, which was just a little bit confusing.
When you've been calling games for as long as Sterling has, you're bound to have a misstep or two here or there. Cheer up, John—at least your night wasn't as bad as Gerrit Cole's.
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