The YES Network has many announcers covering games this year (as they did last season): Jim Kaat, Bobby Murcer, Michael Kay, Ken Singleton, David Justice and Paul O’Neill. And, they mix and match them in numerous combinations to cover various series, home-stands, road-trips, etc.
Personally, having grown up with Phil Rizzuto, Bill White and Frank Messer covering the Yankees on TV, I’m in favor of having the same three-man booth, game-after-game, doing every game.
And, I think three men in the current YES stable might be the prefect combo to match the days of Scooter, White and Messer.
If it were up to me, I would go with Ken Singleton, Jim Kaat and Paul O’Neill for every game. Singleton is like Messer – a gentleman with great class who is full of grace. Kaat can play the role of Bill White, a semi-curmudgeon who knows his baseball and who is not afraid to be frank and candid. And, O’Neill can be this generation’s Rizzuto – substituting his “Holy Smokes!” for “Holy Cow!” and talking about food and his wife during the dull games. Plus, I think he has no issue with being a homer.
Granted, Kenny, Kitty, and Paul are all ex-players and it’s always nice to have a “pro” play-by-play (PBP) man in the booth. But, Singleton and Kaat have been around long enough to handle PBP.
When you have the same guys, game-in and game-out, it builds something between them and the audience. Much like how the characters on a hit TV show come together and then become something that you have an interest in tuning into, on a regular basis. It’s a homey feeling, in a way.
What to do with Kay, Murcer, and Justice, you might ask? Murcer and Justice can handle the pre- and post-game analysis in the studio. They’ve done it at times and are very good at it. Kay can go back to radio and work with Sterling and allow us to be spared hearing Suzyn Waldman’s nails on a blackboard voice. Michael might not like this. But, Kay has to remember that Michael Kay without the Yankees is no one and he should be happy to do whatever the Yankees ask him to do.
Suzyn Waldman can go back to doing the locker room interviews for YES and Kim Jones can be sent back to whatever hole they found her in when YES made the mistake of hiring her.
Then again, no one at YES is asking me. I wish they would.