Via Bob Raissman -
The MLB Network is looking to open the new Yankee Stadium in style, unleashing a formidable trio of voices who have never shared the same broadcast booth.
When the Bombers crack the regular-season seal on the new joint, April 16 against Cleveland, Bob (Rapping Roberto) Costas will handle the play-by-play, joined by analysts Harold Reynolds and Jim Kaat.
The surprise here is Kitty’s return to the Bronx. The other surprise is that Kaat wanted to return to the Yankees Entertainment & Sports Network booth, but YES suits put the kibosh on it.
Kaat “retired” from broadcasting following the 2006 campaign after 12 consecutive seasons (13 overall) behind a Yankees’ TV microphone. In July of 2008, his wife, Mary Ann, died after suffering complications from bladder cancer.
In an interview last November, Kaat expressed displeasure with the state of the game. Watching a game as a “civilian” revealed warts he didn’t see as a broadcaster.
The fact that he’s headed back to broadcasting likely means Kaat became tired of being just a “viewer.” Kaat’s first return engagement was with MLB International during its coverage of the World Baseball Classic. Spies say Kaat is also likely to work more games for MLB Network and pop up in the studio on select occasions.
Acquiring Kaat, even on a part-time basis, is a coup for MLBN suits. Already recognized as one of the top analysts in the game, a rejuvenated Kaat, during the WBC, had plenty to say.
Although he is back in the mix, Kaat won’t be returning to YES’ Yankees booth. MLB sources said Kaat reached out to YES suits, offering his services on a limited basis at a reasonable price.
Sources said Kaat, who was not looking for major dough or a monster schedule, was told YES had no room for him because of budgetary constraints and scheduling.
Budgetary constraints? Sounds like a whitewash job to me. Sure, its an economic downturn. But, there’s no way to squeeze Kitty in? Really?