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)
Jim Salisbury of CSN Philly reports that the Phillies are close to signing free agent reliever Joaquin Benoit. An announcement is expected before the winter meetings end on Thursday.
Benoit, 39, has quietly been among the better relievers in baseball over the past seven years. This past season with the Mariners and Blue Jays, the right-hander put up an aggregate 2.81 ERA with a 52/24 K/BB ratio in 48 innings. That included a 0.38 ERA in 23 2/3 innings after the Jays acquired him from the Mariners.
Benoit suffered a torn calf muscle during a benches-clearing brawl with the Yankees near the end of the regular season. He’s expected to be healthy for spring training.
The Phillies have now added three relievers this offseason with Benoit, Pat Neshek, and David Rollins.
ESPN’s Pedro Gomez provides a previously unreported detail of the new collective bargaining agreement, agreed to by the owners and the players’ union last week. Players’ meal money for road games is being reduced from $105 to $30 per day. Teams are providing pre- and post-game meals in the visitors’ clubhouse to offset some of the decrease in meal money.
Gomez quotes an unnamed player who said, “I doubt many guys know about the money going down, nor would they have agreed to it.” All of the players Gomez contacted said they were unaware of and unhappy about the change.
Clubhouse attendants are certainly unhappy about this change, too. As Gomez notes, the attendants previously provided food for visiting teams which earned them tips from the players.
EDIT: It’s worth clarifying that chefs are required in clubhouses now as part of the new CBA, so it’s not a complete loss for the players.