Here are my comments about the YES Network‘s Yankees rotating announcing team:
Michael Kay (Enneagram Type 5): When he was with John Sterling on the radio years ago, they made the best tag team radio combo I have ever heard: Sterling appealed to your emotions, while Kay used stats to support his claims of the Yankees being the best. I’ll always have positive memories of Kay and Sterling together. However, Kay is currently a monster, and there are times I’d rather hear Tim McCarver call a Yankees game- at least I know what Tim’s problem is (perfectionism).
Kay is a hired hitman on YES. He simply doesn’t understand what it is to be an athlete. His “New York is #1, and destined to win” attitude is condescending. He happens to ask the most ridiculous questions to the real former athletes that have to take his lead. He tries to think outside of the box by asking very basic and simple questions that he thinks everyone takes for granted (like Bill James), but his questions are so simple that it’s like listening to a 5-year old girl ask questions at her first ballgame.
Kay comes off as a frustrated fanboy when he’s with an ex-Yankees player in the booth, but winds up asserting that his opinion is correct. Every single one of his partners accepts it, doesn’t get angry, and doesn’t put him in his place.
Kay can be antagonistic and start to rant about something very inconsequential (minor roster moves, schedule, coach at the mound) – usually about a perceived unfairness against the Yankees. He sounds like ECW icon Paul E. Dangerously when he does that, bad NY accent and all.
Kay also brings up topics that I KNOW have been planted by Steinbrenner loyalists. He promotes whatever the company line is at the time, and he’s shown how two-faced he is by backstabbing Joe Torre during the winter.
He’s generally negative, way too opinionated, combative, and has awful catchphrases. His style is to ask questions and grill his broadcasting partners, in a hope that
1) His idea can be proven right by browbeating them with his “logic” and
2) The coaches, manager, players, or front office actually apply his idea.
He is the only man on the YES rotating team who is “evil”. He’s not married either, and has never been married. Pretty unusual for a “celebrity”, huh?
Ken Singleton (Enneagram Type 9): Ken is mild-mannered, classy, and offers the hitter’s perspective. He’s a healthy guy. He is very complimentary to all players, and likes the Yankees and Orioles. Although he’s not at the level of excellence of Joe Morgan in terms of sheer entertainment value, Ken is above average. He is the master of cliché, however, and tends to talk a lot. His voice is great, but is a bit monotonous., i.e. sometimes boring/background noise.
John Flaherty (Enneagram Type 5- not official): Former BAD backup catcher who has discovered life after the game. He really was a poor hitter, and loves to discuss how difficult it is for players to grind in and out every day. He’ll discuss how complicated and hard it is to hit, to field, to call a game, etc. He is very detailed, and genuinely enjoys his job. He doesn’t rip anyone, and makes good observations every once in a while. He truly wasn’t born with hitting talent, so he offers a nice perspective on how hard it is to make it in the majors. He’s a “nice guy”, but has a very ordinary and boring on-air personality. He hardly stands up to Michael Kay, and take a lot of abuse from him. But being a poor hitting backup catcher has made him humble, so he really doesn’t have an ego to get offended anymore.
Paul O’Neil (Enneagram Type 3): Classy, politically correct, yet totally honest, professional, loves the pinstripes and never says a bad word about anyone. He’s Clark Kent with an serious edge- wholesome yet has a burning fire. He explains the game clearly, and takes his job very seriously, although he’d rather spend time with his family (he has a reduced workload than Kay, Singleton, and Flaherty- the usual crew). He will talk back to Michael Kay if Kay gets out of line.
Al Leiter (Enneagram Type 6): Al brings a very technical approach to the pitching perspective. He also drop names, tidbits, and inside stories from his Mets, Marlins, Yankees, and Blue Jays days, so he is well versed in recent history. Leiter is very enthusiastic and intense, and has a tendency to speak very fast when trying to prove a point. He is very opinionated, but more so about how to pitch and play the game, than about ripping individual players. I do find him interesting and entertaining- I like him better than most. That being said, he has all of the standard Type 6 traits: he’s a huge apologist, juggles contradictory statements, is way too detailed about how to throw a pitch, likes to come off as moral and ethical, doesn’t realize he’s telling confidential stories (he accidentally ripped a Mets backup catcher, while lecturing about something), comes off as a politician, and never takes responsibility for having too much influence in the clubhouse when he was with the Mets. You get the good and bad traits of a Type 6 with Al. Whereas Yankees radio icon John Sterling is also a 6, Sterling knows exactly what he’s doing, like radio legend Phil Hendrie, so it’s funny. Al takes himself a bit too seriously.
David Cone (Enneagram Type 7): I haven’t heard him call a game this year, but I have watched his interviews and pre-game shows on yesnetwork.com, and he comes off as intelligent, wise, and enthusiastic, albeit a little too technical when it comes to pitching mechanics. Coney was my favorite pitcher when I was a kid, and his dream was to become a journalist, so he should be very happy to be working for YES Network.
Bobby Murcer (Enneagram Type 4): Bobby has been suffering from cancer, and it’s unlikely he will broadcast lot. He was 100% old school, and will call tonight’s game. Yankees legend.
Kimberley Jones is the on-field blonde chick, which has become cliché. She likes to flirt and gives tough questions that are fed to her. She’s very persistent, and very hard to take seriously.
To me, Kay, Singleton, and Flaherty are generally boring, but they can carry a good game.
A three-man booth may be a bit too much anyway. I do like O’Neil, Leiter, and would like to see more of Cone. Kay is in 90%+ of the games, and only won’t call games in which he does not want to travel to- like the Kansas City series. When he is away, Singleton or Flaherty become the lead. Any game without Kay is great, although a straight teamup of Singleton + Flaherty can make one fall asleep if the on-field action is slow
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