Did Anyone Else Prefer Ryan Ruocco Last Year?
As we all might remember last year Michael Kay missed a month of calling games after having throat surgery to fix a vocal cord. During that time Ryan Ruocco filled in and it pains me to say it, but I think I like him better than Kay now. I grew up with Michael Kay being the guy in the booth for the Yanks and I think he has done a great job. His signature home run call of "See ya" still energizes me even though I have heard it 500,000 times. However, something about Ruocco last year was refreshing. He has a younger voice and I think he is just a little bit louder in general. You can go back into old Yankee clips and it happens with every announcer. After about 10-20 years of calling games, their voices wear down a little and deepen. Ruocco still has that young air going through his lungs.
Kay still gets excited on calls as announcers should, but I do not think I realized how seldom he does compared to Ruocco which I think is one of the reasons I like him. You need your announcer to keep you in the games as a viewer. Sometimes a good announcer can make a bad game enjoyable. Take Tony Romo for example, people love watching his games just because of how good of a job he does as an analyst. Let's be honest here, baseball is a long game, and throughout a 162 games season, it can get boring. Not every game is going to be a one-run nail bitter, and especially with how much firepower the Yanks have right now, about 1/3 of their wins are blowouts.
I think what really gave me some faith in Ruocco as being a possible successor to Kay was the Twins vs. Yankees game last summer. Hicks made a catch in the bottom of the 10th to seal the 14-12 W for the Yanks. Ruocco's call was so genuine. You can practically hear he voice crack as he is screaming at the top of his lugs, "HE MADE THE CATCH...OH MY GOODNESS!!!" This was the thing with many of Ruocco's calls that being that he is genuinely excited. I am not saying Kay no longer cares, but who can blame a guy when you call1000's of games and tens of thousands of home runs. The bottom line is it is hard to have that same tone in your voice. If you want to listen to his call I attached a link at the bottom of the blog, skip to minute seven to hear it.
Ruocco is an up and comer in the broadcasting world. Not only does he work for YES calling baseball but he also calls Nets basketball and NBA/WNBA on ESPN. To be honest his basketball calls are even better than his baseball. Ruocco also stars in one of the most popular baseball podcasts "R2C2" with CC Sabathia. If you have not checked it out, it is definitely worth the listen. The point is Ruocco is new and doing a lot more than baseball which makes him a very well rounded announcer for his younger age of 33 years old.
Listen, at this point, it is Michael Kay's job to give up and if he continues to announce games I will not complain. However, as a real Yankee fan a think a little change would not hurt. If the Yankees ever do decide to go that route they have the perfect replacement waiting there. Keep doing what you are doing Ryan! (The second YouTube link is a compilation of some of Ruocco's best calls so far if you want to check him out.)
- The Commish
https://youtu.be/sbAfKZQSQhg (Hicks call)
https://youtu.be/3yuplIrHUDQ (best calls)