Loving Sterling and Waldman

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From the Wall Street Journal: How I learned to stop worrying and love John Sterling and Suzyn Waldman:

… for sheer radio listening pleasure for the casual fan, I don’t think anybody beats the Sterling-Waldman duo. Their style is conversational rather than testosterone-crazed; it’s almost overheard, as if you were eavesdropping on their tête-à-tête from the next table at Sardi’s. And they know their stuff …

I don’t listen to many Yankees radio broadcasts. I listen to some — MLB.tv gives you the option and I often find that listening to a game is easier to do while writing than watching a game is — but not a ton.  I’ll say that Sterling and Waldman are not as bad as many make them out to be simply because no one could be as bad as Sterling and Waldman are made out to be. But they’re not my first choice. Probably not in my first 20 choices, because they constantly make you aware that you’re listening to Sterling and Waldman. They at least have the “not boring” part down, and that’s something.

Radio is a tough balance that way. How not to be boring without being distracting.  Not many do it well. The fact that even Sterling and Waldman have their fans is probably evidence that no one has totally figured it out yet, even 90 years after they started broadcasting baseball games.

Well, Harwell figured it out. And Scully. But not too many.

(thanks to Yankeesfanlen for the heads up)

Diamondbacks return Rule 5 pick Tyler Jones to Yankees

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Diamondbacks’ right-hander Tyler Jones is headed back to the Yankees, the teams announced on Friday. The Diamondbacks had previously selected Jones in the Rule 5 draft last December, but elected to leave the 27-year-old off of their 40-man roster heading into the 2017 season. Rule 5 draft rules stipulate that when a player is not kept on the receiving team’s roster, the player must be offered back to his original team.

Jones signed a minor league contract with the Yankees prior to the 2016 season. He pitched to an impressive 2.17 ERA, 2.2 BB/9 and 13.2 SO/9 over 45 2/3 innings with Double-A Trenton, but was unable to make the leap to Triple-A or beyond during his stay with the organization.

Jones’ outlook with the Diamondbacks appeared slightly more promising. GM Mike Hazen described the righty as a power arm with a “good fastball and power curveball” after selecting him in the Rule 5 draft, and early reports indicated that Jones would be in the mix for a bullpen spot. A rough spring performance — underscored by his lack of experience at the Triple-A and major league levels — undid most of that confidence, however, and the Diamondbacks weren’t willing to keep him on the active roster throughout the entire 2017 season in order to acquire his control rights.

Jones is set to open the season with Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre, per a report from the Yankees.

Derek Norris signing with the Rays

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Yahoo Sports’ Tim Brown reports that Derek Norris is signing with the Tampa Bay Rays.

Norris was released by the Nationals nine days ago, made redundant by the Nats’ signing of Matt Wieters and by everyone sliding down a notch on the depth chart below him. Norris hit only .186/.255/.328 with 14 home runs and a .528 OPS for the Padres in 2016.

Still, there always seems to be a place for a backup catcher. For Norris that place is Tampa Bay.