Last night the Twins edged the Yankees 6-5 in the Bronx. The game ended on a fly out by Mark Teixeira that left Yankees play by play man John Sterling completely baffled as to exactly what had just happened. Thanks to twitter user Mattyms for uploading the final call and sending it along to Jimmy Traina allowing us all to savor some sweet, sweet Yankee/Sterling schadenfreude.
The dejected way Sterling says “foul ball” and then the confused “whats?” in the background make this clip a classic in my opinion. He really did run the gamut of emotions in this short clip.
Sterling is notorious for his cornball announcing style and does have a history of botching calls when he is in the booth. Still, I was willing to cut him some slack thinking that maybe the play happened in the absolute corner of the field and that possibly the Yankees announcing booth is located in a wonky location obstructing him from seeing that part of the field clearly. Then, I looked up and found video of the play (start 1:45 in).
That ball wasn’t even close to being foul! It was on the edge of the warning track but it basically was about as routine of a fly out that you will ever see. The only thing not routine about the play was the unflappable Clete Thomas dodging a cup from the stands. With the distance of the rightfield fence at Yankee Stadium being similar to that of a little league field it really is hard to believe that Sterling somehow missed the play so badly. It’s hard to make sense of what Sterling was looking at but I think my mistake was trying to understand what exacly is going through his head in the first place.