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Yankees, Mets Debut New Voices in Spring Training

Waiting for Aaron Rodgers to emerge from the darkness and watching the NBA All-Star Weekend descend further into the abyss are sure signs of February.

But thankfully, so is “pitchers and catchers reporting.” Spring training is here. Games start this weekend. Plenty of story lines for the local teams, but for that, you should follow the work of Jersey Sporting News's Martin Kester on the Mets and Jonna M. Perlinger 
on the New York Yankees.

In this sports media column, the focus is on the broadcast booth where changes on the crews that cover both teams will impact your viewing and listening experience.

Starting with Yankees television – Only on YES – except when it’s on ESPN or Amazon Prime or Apple TV+ or Peacock, Michael Kay begins his 22nd year as the Yankees’ TV voice and his 32nd year as a Yankee broadcaster. The rotating group of analysts will once again include David Cone, John Flaherty, as well as Paul O’Neill, who is back in person after broadcasting games from his home during the pandemic due to his vaccination status. Meredith Markovits returns as the Clubhouse Reporter with in-game features.

Cameron Maybin and Carlos Beltrán, who were both Yankees game analysts in 2022 for YES, will not return for 2023. Maybin was hired to be part of the Detroit Tigers' broadcast team and Beltrán took a position with the Mets front office. You may remember Beltrán, who played seven seasons with the Mets, and was hired as their manager on Nov. 1, 2019 before being forced to step down in January 2020 after he was implicated in the Astros sign stealing scandal.

Yankee Hall of Famer Derek Jeter made news during the Super Bowl Pre-Game Show when he was introduced as Fox’s newest baseball analyst, reuniting with former teammate and frenemy Alex Rodriguez.

The Yankees' radio booth remains the same for the 19th year with John Sterling, who will 85 years old on July 4th, handling play-by-play and Suzyn Waldman, a pioneer in the broadcast industry as the first woman to be a full-time analyst for a MLB team. Justin Shackil, as reported exclusively by the New York Post’s Andrew Marchand,  will be hired by Yankees flagship radio station WFAN (660 AM, 101.9 FM) to be Sterling’s backup.

It was reported that he may broadcast as many as 25 games in 2023, as Sterling reduces his travel schedule to road games. Shackil will also be the Yankees reporter for WFAN, replacing Sweeny Murti, who parted ways with the FAN over the winter after working at the station since 1993. Murti announced this week via Twitter that he will be joining Major League Baseball in a unique multimedia role.

On the Mets side of things, the SNY crew remains intact, but it was not without its own offseason drama. Gary Cohen, Ron Darling and Keith Hernandez return for their 18th year as a broadcast team and are widely recognized as one of the best local crews in all of sports. It wasn’t until last week that Hernandez reached an agreement with SNY on a new contract, and for a while, the two sides were reported to be far apart. The 18 years for GKR in the booth surpasses the Mets original broadcast trio, Lindsey Nelson, Bob Murphy and Ralph Kiner, who were on the microphones together for 17 years from 1962-1978. Steve Gelbs returns as the Mets in-game reporter.

Howie Rose, an omnipotent voice in New York sports radio since the 1980s, returns as the Mets radio voice full-time in 2023 on WCBS (880 AM). Rose opened up about his battle with bladder cancer in a story by the Post’s Marchand on Feb. 1.

Wayne Randazzo left the Mets booth to go west and join the Los Angeles Angels broadcast team, so the Mets filled that opening with soon-to-be 30-year-old Keith Raad. Raad was broadcasting the Mets Single A affiliate Brooklyn Cyclones games for the past five seasons. Also joining the Mets is Pat McCarthy, who was the voice of the AAA Lehigh Valley Iron Pigs and a backup on Phillies games. McCarthy will host the pre-game and post-game shows as well as fill in for Howie Rose on select road trips. McCarthy is the son of Phillies and NFL broadcaster Tom McCarthy.

If you are reading this, you clicked on something, and if you can do that you probably know how to find Apple TV, Amazon Prime, and Peacock on your television or device. But for others, it’s not as easy. Both the Mets and Yankees will again play streaming-only games in 2023, which has been a source of aggravation for some fans as well as some sports media types.

As was the case last year, select Mets and Yankees games will be available only on Apple TV+ on Friday nights. Thanks again to Marchand in another exclusive we know which games during the first half of the season: 4/21: Toronto Blue Jays/Yankees; 5/26: San Diego Padres/Yankees; 6/23: Mets/Philadelphia Phillies; 7/14: Los Angeles Dodgers/Mets.

Comcast/NBC streaming service Peacock will once again broadcast games exclusively on Sunday mornings/early afternoons. That schedule includes the Yankees at the Cincinnati Reds on May 21 at 11:35 am and the Dodgers at the Mets on August 27 at 12:05 pm. It is unknown at this time whether the Yankees will once again move a portion of their schedule to Amazon Prime.

The Mets' spring training TV schedule on SNY starts Saturday at 6:10 pm vs. the Miami Marlins and Sunday at 1:10 pm vs. the Washington Nationals. The Yankees' Grapefruit League TV schedule on YES starts Sunday vs. Atlanta at 1 pm, but that game will only be available on the YES app due to a broadcast scheduling conflict with the Brooklyn Nets, also a YES tenant, and their game in Atlanta vs. the Hawks. Monday’s Yankees game vs. Detroit will also air on YES beginning at 6:30 pm.