Sterling or Scully Returns…plus Gary Cohen thoughts

Welcome to a new season and another year of Sterling Or Scully.

Sterling or Scully is a system by which Home Run Calls are judged.  There are only two grades – a Scully is a good honest home run call.  A Sterling is a home run call filled with catch phrases such as “It is high, it is far, it is gone” or the very very similar “To the track, to the wall, it’s outta here.”  In either case, those are bad HR calls as they do nothing except smush in a catchphrase.

There is no partial scoring.  It’s Sterling or it’s Scully.  Usually, but not always, the focus will be on Gary Cohen as he is the TV voice of the New York Mets, and my buddy Sporty pulls the clips for me.  Thanks Sporty!

Let’s begin…

Gary gets off to a great start.

Very nice Gare. No catch phrases. Good description about way up on the berm. The ball is obviously gone off the bat. A lesser announcer would have worked in a catch phrase. Sometimes fewer words are better, as the great Vin Scully teaches us.

Verdict: Scully

This one is almost bad. You can hear that Gary wants to work the catchphrase in, and even works in a partial. But the ball was moving too quickly and he wasn’t able to. Therefore under the rules of scoring…

Verdict: Scully

A good start for Gary Cohen.  So far he is a Net Positive on the broadcasts even if he was the specific reason I didn’t tune in today.  As “negative” as I am, I feel like Gary brings a negative energy to the broadcast the last few years.  He doesn’t sound like he’s having a good time.  Around 12:55 today I thought about putting the game on and then I imagined Gary in my head-voice and I didn’t feel encouraged.

It’s hard to put a finger on it, but let’s compare to Howie.  Howie sounds like he’s having a good time.  Howie is happy to be at a baseball game.  Gary – and Keith – sound like they are at work.  This is what we do, can we go home yet? I don’t think I have heard much joy in Gary’s voice in years except for the occasional Big Time Call on a Vulgar Pete moment – like last year’s Yankee home run (the only good moment Pete had in 2020.)

As the season moves forward I want you to pay attention to some things.

The Gary/Ron booth.   When Keith isn’t there watch the booth’s energy fall off a cliff.   It’s like when George hangs out with Elaine.  It just doesn’t work.  Of the various combinations it’s clearly the least best.

Anyone/Keith/Ron.   Well maybe not Gary Apple, but honestly most nights you could stick me in the booth with Keith and Ron, especially if Keith is loose, and it would be fine.  “Ground ball Alonso, he steps on first, one away.”  Stop talking, let Keith tell a story. The trick is to stay out of the way.  Drop Wayne in there and the both is fine and arguably better.

The Ignoring Of Gelbs.   More often than not, GKR completely ignore whatever it was Gelbs just talked about for five minutes.

Gary mis-reading balls.  This started creeping in like two seasons ago.  Now that I pointed it out you will hear Gary go into Home Run Mode for a fly ball.  This has nothing to do with calling games off the monitor last summer, I am talking about in-game in-person.

Trackwalling.  This is the dis-engaged Gary.  Someone hits a fly ball and he goes into John Sterling mode – to the track, to the wall, it’s outta here.   I know you guys love Gary and all but to the track, to the wall, it’s outta here is in essence “it is high, it is far, it is gone.”   Were the ball actually to the track it’s an OK but not great call – but Gary will use these on balls hit five miles.

Pay attention to all these things as you watch.   Right now you’re like – wow that Mets Police guy is so negative he hates everything – but come back in six months and – as usual – you will be like wow Mets Police was right.  I know we’re supposed to worship at the altar of GKR, but it’s been 15 years now and even Tim McCarver’s run got old after a while.  Free your mind.  Think about things.  Just because something worked in 2006 doesn’t mean it works in 2021.

Listen and be a free thinker.  To the track, to the wall, it’s outta here.  It is high, it is far, it is gone.

You won’t be able to unhear it now.