April 23, 2014

Travis Hafner bombs and so does John Sterling

I personally wish Travis Hafner the best. I was obviously disappointed in how his Tribe career worked out, but I think he was too. I think he always wanted to do well for himself and for the team. With that, I wish him nothing but the best even as he now plays for the New York Yankees.

However “the best” are not words I’d use to describe John Sterling’s shticky homerun calls that he incessantly shoe-horns into broadcasts whenever a Yankee hits a home run. Hear how he called Travis Hafner’s first bomb as a member of the Yankees.

“Ha ha Hafner” was the best he could do? Ew. Thank goodness the Tribe has Tom Hamilton.

[Related: WFNY Podcast – 2013-04-03 – TD talking Tribe after 2-0 start]

  • DonDelcoOBR

    Nope, this isn’t simply Cleveland homerism… Tom Hamilton is the best in the business… BY FAR. Wow that was bad, John Sterling.

  • Andrew

    Hafner looks skinny in pinstripes

  • Vindictive_Pat

    Ha-Hafner Homer? Awful. Pronkx Bomber isn’t bad. The Hammer is obviously the best in the biz, though.

  • Vindictive_Pat

    Many of us have said it, but man Hafner is going to love hitting in NY. His long fly balls at the Jake are home runs at Yankee Stadium.

  • mgbode

    I think he has shed the “Pronk” nickname. Not sure if he thinks it’s cursed or just simply bored with it. But, Yankee fans don’t seem to know it and I haven’t seen it used in reference to him in articles from NYY either.

  • MB923

    Are you sure he’s saying “Ha Ha Hafner”. It sounds like he says “A Hafner homer”.

  • Vindictive_Pat

    No, I was echoing Sterling… in the clip he calls Hafner a “Pronkx Bomber”. But are you saying that you think Sterling is going to stop doing that because Hafner doesn’t like that nickname anymore?

  • mgbode

    ah, didn’t listen to the clip. on the TV broadcasts, in print, and talking with NYY fans I haven’t seen “Pronk” anymore. I was thinking maybe Hafner was stepping away from it. Just speculation from me, nothing more.

  • Vindictive_Pat

    Gotcha… no harm, no foul.

  • mgbode

    as someone who listens to alot of radio and TV for other teams, he is right up there. I like him the best, but there are others who are good too (and their fans likely consider them the best).

    my favorite TV guys (so Tommy Boy not listed). Also, not listing Scully as he’s on a mountain all unto himself. He only does the Dodger home games now, but it’s amazing that he’s in his 80′s now and doesn’t seem to miss anything.

    Gary Thorne (O`s) – simply the best TV play-by-play guy in the business outside of Scully.
    Rick Horton (Cards)
    *Bill Brown (Astros)
    Bob Carpenter (Nats)
    Matt Underwood (Tribe) – yes, he’s among the better play-by-play guys too.

    *Greg Swindell drops in sometimes and he is amazing as a color analyst. He lives in Austin and had a weekly segment on the AM station here for a few years as well. He is just knowledgeable as they come about baseball and can break down what is working (or not) so simply that it makes you feel a bit foolish for not seeing it.

  • Garry_Owen

    Yeah. That’s what it sounded like to me. “Pronx Bomber” is horrible, however.

  • http://twitter.com/JCUStreaks10 Kevin Huyghe

    It sounds like he’s calling a home run in a bingo hall in a retirement home. Awful.

  • Jay

    That’s what I thought. How could fans be any kinds of excited listening to that nonsense?

  • theherd10

    And the “Pronk” thing needed to stay in Cleveland. That was a Cleveland thing.

  • MrCleaveland

    I don’t get all the criticism. It sounds like a perfectly fine call to me. We’ve heard way way way way way worse from this guy (you don’t want to be in earshot when The Grandy Man “Yanks” one).

    Hafner really does look like he’s lost about 30 lbs.

  • Ritz

    As a displaced Tribe fan who now lives in the NY area, I end up listening to Yankee broadcasts somewhat often when driving around – Sterling is very good, one of the best. Now I also happen to think Hammy is great and one of the best as well. And I barely noticed the Ha-Hafner part (although it is pretty odd) – in fact I still can’t even tell that’s what he said. The ‘Pronx Bomber’ is pretty cool, but that’s just me.

    As for this part of the article:
    “Ha ha Hafner” was the best he could do? Ew.”

    No, that’s not the best he could do (Pronx Bomber) and that’s not what he said (it was not “ha ha Hafner”).

  • Ritz

    Listened to it again – Not even sure it was Ha-Hafner homer, may “a Hafner homer?”

    Either way this article is just dripping with homerism and has an inaccurate quote. Not a big deal, just not really good practice either.

  • The_Real_Shamrock

    You had me at Hamilton then had me goo-goo eyed over Scully I was still swooning at Thorne but I snapped out of the trance when you typed Underwood. Ugh, no thank you. The only thing good about Underwood is Manning. Matt has gotten better but he doesn’t belong anywhere near the likes of Hamilton, Thorne and especially Scully.

  • The_Real_Shamrock

    They can have ‘em both.

  • @TheDeePagel

    Oh man, I cannot stand Ricky Horton….in fact the entire Cardinals broadcast crew is way sub par – especially their drunk driving maniac Dan McLaughlin.

  • http://www.waitingfornextyear.com Craig Lyndall

    Sterling commits a mortal sin in that he’s making it about himself rather than the game. Tom Hamilton calls the action and frequently when the crowd is losing it makes way to let them tell the tale. I can remember Pronk’s Maybe I’m just a homer, but I don’t think so.

    Listen to Hamilton call Hafner’s walk-off grand slam. He makes the call and then lets the crowd have about 15 seconds of time. You know why? because Hamilton isn’t making it about himself and his garbage nickname gimmick. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=S-18Aox33XE

  • Ritz

    That’s an awesome call by Hamilton – and I agree, Sterling is over the top at times.

    But I would also argue that posting a video, misquoting the video, then basing the criticism on the misquote, then not correcting it is poor journalistic practice.

  • mgbode

    he’s definitely below those other guys by quite a bit, but he’s within the next tier of masses. there’s a reason I listed him last :)

  • mgbode

    hey, to each their own. i enjoy the pace of his call. it flows well.

  • http://www.waitingfornextyear.com Craig Lyndall

    I hope you don’t read this as anger at you. I really have a disdain for Sterling’s home run calls.

    Anyway, I didn’t misquote. I did the best I could. You even took two stabs at it above yourself without a conclusive opinion. My criticism stands and I’ll also stand behind the journalistic practice of attempting to honestly translate his garbage. Even if I am somehow wrong, the fact that it is silly drivel remains regardless. It isn’t like I came to a conclusion that he was saying something racist. I said it sounded dumb. No matter how many dumb syllables he put in, it’s still dumb. :-)

    BTW, can you tell I can’t stand Sterling? The Giambino! Grandy-Man can… An A-Bomb from A-Rod! Yuck yuck yuck.

    Have a nice weekend!

  • saggy

    You must give him credit for his other home run call, though. It was a Vernon Wells shot later in the same game: “The Bronx is Vernon!”

  • saggy

    and the guys on WFAN actually dissected the home run call and they said it was “A Hafner home run.” FWIW

  • saggy

    One guy on WFAN knew the nickname and explained it to everyone else in the studio. They had heard it before but forgot about it. I don’t know if it will stick here or not. I always hated it.

  • Ritz

    You are quite entitled to your opinion of Sterling and his style, and it’s just fine to criticize it – but I know if I was going to write an article and stand by it, especially one that criticizes an individual for something they said, I would want my quote of that person to be accurate. But hey, that’s just me. I know it’s something pretty minor, but in my view its an issue of journalistic integrity – but maybe that is me taking this blog as something more serious and professional than it is intended to be.

  • Ritz

    I agree – if we could just get Hamilton and Manning together in the same booth, that would make for a great broadcast team.

  • matt underwood

    you think that was bad… you’ve heard “souvenir city” by underwood right?

  • http://twitter.com/screevo Stephen Martin

    Lighten up, Francis. Misquote or not, it’s an awful home-run call.

  • Hypno_Toad

    He was saying boo-urns.

  • Jim

    Why hasn’t anyone mentioned Hawk from the White Sox? Oh thats right, because he’s the worst.

  • architrance

    As another displaced Tribe fan in Yankee country, I also find myself listening to the awfulness of John Sterling all too often. He just ruins the game for me. He is so distracting and off-tune with what’s going on. Just tuhrrrible. I subscribe to MLB At Bat just to let Hammy remind me 162 times a year how great beisbol can be on the radio.

    If were discussing this radio team, we would be amiss to not bring up the shear misery induced on the radio listening audience by Sterling’s incomparable color commentator Suzyn Waldman and her on air crying: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IMzQCI9ZeTo

    But really, I think the moral of the story here is that past his prime Travis Hafner is hitting cleanup for the Yankees (until the inevitable injury). I CAN’T WAIT for Opening Day to get here. I’d love to watch the Tribe put together a successful campaign this year as the Yankees just implode!