Is the curtain falling on Ma and Pa Pinstripe? Will next season be John Sterling and Suzyn Waldman's last in the Yankees radio booth?I have never really had a problem with Sterling and Waldman. Sure, Sterling screws up about 10% of his calls and the two talk about Broadways shows far too often, but still, I don't mind them at all.
Right now their future is up in the air. The Yankees contract with WCBS-AM, worth about $12 million per year, expires at the end of the 2011 season, so do Sterling and Waldman's pacts. Sterling has been the radio voice of the Yankees since 1989. Waldman joined him in 2005.
There has yet to be any serious negotiations between the Yankees and WCBS. The job status of Ma and Pa cannot be resolved until a new radio-rights deal is cut. Industry moles say other outlets have chatted informally with Bombers brass. These potential suitors are looking to get a sense of which direction the club wants to go with its radio rights.
Outside of WCBS, which probably wants to keep the Yankees, it's highly likely ESPN will - if it hasn't already - stick its beak into the mix. For ESPN-1050, the process of trying to chip away at WFAN, longtime Mets rights holder, has not been easy.
Adding Yankees radiocasts to the mix of Jets, Knicks and Rangers would help change the equation - drastically. But how much would ESPN be willing to pay for the radio rights to Yankees baseball? And would pinstripe honchos be satisfied having their games go out over ESPN-1050's weak signal? That situation could be corrected if ESPN ever purchases another station with stronger reach.
There also has been talk about the Yankees buying a radio station. With the radio biz in the toilet, and in the current lousy economic climate, that is not likely to happen.
As for 1050, and its weak signal, the Yankees should do what they can to avoid that situation.
What do you guys think? Are you hoping the curtain closes on "Ma and Pa Pinstripe"?