Ken Singleton expected to retire from Yankees’ YES booth — for real this time

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YES president of programming and production John Filippelli has been three-for-three in talking Ken Singleton out of retirement, but Filippelli sounded like this will be it. 

Singleton, a YES original, will only do a handful of series this year. The plan is to give Singleton, 73, the proper sendoff by having him call the Yankees’ final series against Tampa in Ocdtober.

This time, it really, truly sounds like this will be the final season for Singleton, a gentleman of the game.

“If I’m not successful in talking him out of it,” Filippelli said with a chuckle.

Tale of Two seasons? 

Opening Day is always about hope. For baseball on TV in 2021, this is no different.

When Filippelli projects this season on the screen, there is some optimism that by the All-Star game things will look even better.

“It will be a tale of two seasons,” Filippelli said of his hope.

On YES and SNY, the season will start a lot like last season due to the pandemic. Broadcasters will not travel to road games to begin the season, but at some point that may change. It could be a slow build.

“We will basically duplicate what we did last year,” said Curt Gowdy Jr., SNY’s executive producer.

As vaccinations take hold and the impact of COVID-19 potential lessens, then broadcasters could hit the road for at least some games. By next Opening Day, it is possible that Yankees and Mets announcers will be on the road full-time.

A little improvement at the beginning of the year is that the sideline reporters, Steve Gelbs and Meredith Marakovits, will be allowed to be in the camera wells beyond the home dugouts.

The way broadcasts are done has changed. Pre-pandemic, YES and SNY and all networks produced their own broadcasts, home and away. 

Now, if the Yankees are in say, Baltimore, YES takes the Orioles feed. They have one of their own cameras for all games, but basically it is what is known as the “world feed” that is supposed to be neutral.

“Some teams do it better than others,” Filippelli said.

For bigger games, both YES and SNY plan to add an extra camera for two on the road, making it possible to cover such things as both dugouts on their own accord.

More Reck on SNY

The TV rosters will mostly remain the same with YES’ main studio consisting of Bob Lorenz, Jack Curry and John Flaherty. Flaherty will do some games, too. Michael Kay, Paul O’Neill and David Cone will be the Yankees main TV booth, while Ryan Ruocco will be on play-by-play when Kay is out. 

For the Mets, Gary Apple and Todd Zeile will be the main studio team with Anthony Recker receiving increased time. While Terry Collins and Omar Minaya could be on for appearance here or here, the plan is not for much right now. Gary Cohen, Keith Herandez and Ron Darling will be in the booth.

Radio Row

John Sterling, 82, and Suzyn Waldman, 74, are still going strong. Though they will not travel to start the season, there is hope that perhaps at some point they will be on the road. They will begin, both home and away, from Yankee Stadium.

At one point, WFAN, home of the Yankees, toyed with the idea of giving Sterling some relief and have him miss a series here or there. But, now, that is not the plan. Sterling wants to be there every day — and the FAN will not step in his way. 

On WCBS, Howie Rose, a youngster at 67, will be in the booth in what has turned into a legendary New York broadcasting career. He will be joined by Wayne Randazzo, as they emanate from Citi Field for both home and away games. 

If Randazzo, 36, lasts as long in the booth as Sterling, Randazzo will work until at least 2067.

In 2062, he could open the season with, “This is Wayne Randazzo on WCBS’ Tik Tok Channel. Welcome to the 100th year of Mets baseball.” 

National games

Alex Rodriguez is back on ESPN’s broadcast with Matt Vasgersian. They will begin in studio. If the climate improves, ESPN may do some games at the events. Meanwhile, FS1 will just take the local feeds for its games, but when Fox has it, the network will produce the games. The announcers will mostly be remote. TBS doesn’t begin its Sunday slate until June and will decide its approach closer to its first game.

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