It is standard operating procedure for an entire baseball stadium to rise to its feet and start counting the runs prematurely when a member of the home team hits any fly ball more than 250 feet. Paying customers are notoriously bad at judging speed and distance, with most refusing to ever learn that you should be watching the outfielder, not the ball. New York Yankees broadcasting legend John Sterling is much better than a replacement pinstripe enthusiast, but even he has his missteps.
None funnier than last night, when Giancarlo Stanton stepped to the plate in the bottom of the eighth down two with two on and blasted a ball deep into the night.
"Swung on, there it goes! Deep left-center. That ball is high! It is far! It is gone! ...... But caught."
For those scoring at home, "gone but caught" goes down as a F-7.
Sterling is beloved and the last thing any sports blogger wants to do is anger irrational Yankees fans, yet it's worth wondering aloud how the hell something like this happens. You're at the game. Facing the outfield. The ball falls a good 8 feet shy of the wall and finds safe harbor in the left fielder's glove. The crowd doesn't explode. So what, exactly, are you calling if not the pre-planned theater bit in your head?
There's something to be said about not letting facts get in the way of a good story.
A cursory look into The Big Lead archives shows Sterling has been botching dingers since the site began. His masterpiece came last year, during the Wild Card Game.
The Yankees are a notoriously cash-poor franchise so they're obviously stuck with Sterling. But part of baseball is loving the homer announcer's blemishes, so perhaps this is all part of the charm.