As chronicled in this space time and time again, the New York Post’s Phil Mushnick aka The Conscience Of All Sports Media, has some favorite dead horses to flog (Spike Lee, Vince MacMahon, ballgames that start/end late, overpriced sneakers, injustices against white people, etc.). Were he to make beating up on John Sterling a daily feature, however, I’d probably make an effort to read at least half of those columns. Though the Yankees’ weekend sweep of the Twins was hardly lacking drama, Mushnick accuses Sterling and the Lady Goodness Gracious of inventing no small share of their own, writing of the former, “every game played by the Yankees is a doubleheader — the game that’s played and the game Sterling calls.”
In the eighth inning Saturday, Sterling called a game-tying home run by Hideki Matsui — Sterling gave it his, “It is high … !” routine, culminating with, “It is gone!” But the ball, as Sterling several seconds later acknowledged, didn’t even reach the wall on the fly; it bounced over it.
And radio-reliant Yankees fans again were led to believe that a Yankees batter had performed the ultimate — had hit a home run — when he hadn’t.
In the fourth inning of Saturday’s game, Sterling and Suzyn Waldman fabricated a story. Johnny Damon lost sight of a pop fly as he approached the stands along the left-field line. Damon missed the ball, plain and simple as that.
But on the Yankees’ radio network, Sterling claimed the ball fell from Damon’s glove. Nonsense. Then Waldman added, “He had to fight a fan with a glove.” But there was no fan with a glove, no fan hindrance at all.
Later, Sterling would repeat that “fan with the glove interference story” as fact, as the eyewitness testimony of the Voice of the Yankees. But it never happened, nothing even close.