Coney Versus Tino

According to various reports, including today’s blog post on “It Is High,” David Cone is having issues with the YES Network and may not be back to provide commentary in the booth this year. I am not happy. I loved Coney as a player and I grew to love him as a broadcaster. He was smart, funny, unpredictable, occasionally goofy, extremely prepared and way more interesting to listen to than Ken Singleton and John Flaherty, both of whom are sweet and knowledgeable but have the effect of Ambien.
Supposedly, Coney’s replacement would be Tino Martinez. Now don’t anyone get all huffy about what I’m going to say. Tino is a Yankee god and always will be, but have you heard him in the booth? I remember when he had a brief stint on ESPN or FOX (can’t remember which). He had the personality of this.
wood.jpgJust to compare and contrast the styles of the two former players, here they are being interviewed at Joe Torre’s Safe at Home Foundation dinner in ’08. Granted, Coney’s clip is longer, but maybe that’s because he didn’t spout cliches.
Here’s Coney (notice John Sterling in the background)….
Versus Tino….
If I were a YES executive, I’d be looking for an ex-Yankee who can share his own experiences but knows when to shut up and whose personality meshes well with Michael Kay (good luck with that). In short, I’d hire….
Question Mark In Head1.jpg
Any ideas? Shelley Duncan’s out, since he just signed with the Indians. Congratulations, Shelley! Try not to break anybody’s arm!


  1. southernbelle

    Jane: I don’t want Coney to leave! He’s great! I love when he goes of on these tangents about pitchers you’ve never heard of. I’ve learned a lot from Cone. I love Tino, but David Cone is just better.
    Jane, if the Yankees are looking for a replacement, I NOMINATE YOU! Haha think about it, you’d be great! Or if you don’t want to, I’ll go for you! THAT IS MY DREAM!!!

  2. mattpeas

    Jane, i doubt you ever played it but back a few years ago-early 2000’s there was a card game called “Showdown” it was pretty much the pokemon card game for those who liked baseball. Anyway I remember playing it back then and always used David Cone. He was the best pitcher in the cards. Always got hitters out.

  3. Jane Heller

    I thought of Bernie, NYColeman, but he’s too soft spoken and would never get a word in with Kay. I thought of Mussina too, because he’s smart and analytical, but he’s not big on laughs. Hopefully, they’ll come to an agreement with Coney.

    I love Coney’s tangents, Virginia! He always goes back in history and brings up players I didn’t know about. I’d love to have a crack at his job, but the truth is I couldn’t tell a slider from a….Well, yes I could, but I’d be woefully under-qualified. Why don’t you send in your resume????

    I remember “Showdown,” Matt. I didn’t play it, but I can easily imagine using Cone. He was such a multi-dimensional pitcher. He seemed to invent arm angles as he went along.

  4. scofid

    Hopefully, the YES Network will find a way to keep Coney on the team. I liked Tino Martinez as a player, but like everyone else, I agree he is not really suited for work behind the mike. I can’t really think of another ex-Yankee that I’d like to see as a potential replacement. If he didn’t currently have a job and wasn’t a manager-in-waiting, Don Mattingly would be a great fit. But of course, he’ll soon be managing the Dodgers when Joe Torre decides to ride off into the sunset. So, the best option to replace David Cone is Coney himself! 🙂



    David Cone does a nice job (despite saying “you know” too often) and it would be a shame if he doesn’t come back. Tino is adorable and seems like a really nice guy, but just doesn’t have what it takes to be an announcer. I find John Flarhety and Michael Kay’s insult fest a little hard to take at times.
    I know some people don’t like Paul O’Neill, but I love his announcing. He has a good sense of humor, is enthusiastic, and has a lot of interesting insights. If only Michael Kay wasn’t fawning all over him the entire broadcast . . .

    My favorite announcing team of all time was Bill White and Phil Rizzuto. The Scooter was so emotional and rather silly. Bill White was just superb: knowledgeable, not overly talkative, and assumed the audience had a brain and some baseball background.


  6. thefreak

    oh great ………. I can just hear Michael Kay (who needs to go) say for 80 something games say “I’m Michael Kay along with Ken Singleton and CONSTANTINO Martinez…..”

    If Kay has to stay, so be it. Flash belongs in the studion doing pre and post game. Love listening to Al Leiter, Paul O’Neil…… I miss Bobby Murcer

    Hmm, someone who can commentate and shut up when need be? Well that leaves Mr October out. lol And Goose Gossage complains too much. Maybe Guidry would be nice. How about Graig Nettles.

    Come to think of it, I know the PERFECT person to fill that slot…………….. ME!

    Shelley to the Indians. :~(


  7. cheshirecat9

    He’s not an ex-Yankee, but I would love to have Surf Dog in the booth. I bet that would be three hours of entertainment.

    I did not hear Shelly had signed with the Indians. Good for him. I wish him the best except for when we play the Indians.


    Ugh, I don’t want Coney to leave!!! He’s my favorite.

    I’m not sure who else YES should hire. Mike Mussina is amazing but I know he retired to be with his family in PA so I don’t foresee him taking a broadcasting gig this season.

    Ooh, I know who would be really funny in the booth! Johnny Damon! Can we make him retire and do play by play? He always has something to say.

  9. Jane Heller

    I agree, Paul. For such a nice, easygoing guy in interviews, he seemed to freeze up when called on to give analysis. It’s just not his strong suit, but maybe he’ll grow into the job.

    Mattingly will be managing the Dodgers, Scott. I see that happening too down the road. And while I love and adore him, I don’t see him in the booth getting all dressed up in a suit. It’s more of a down-on-the-field guy.

    Michael Kay’s fawning over Paulie is too much to take, Melissa! It drives me nuts. I like Paulie but in small doses. I think the number of games he broadcasts are just perfect. If Coney does go, I’d like to see another pitcher step in. The question is which one? (I miss Scooter. Murcer too.)

    Oh, you’re right, Mike. Kay will go, “Constantino” every six seconds. Guidry has a cool accent but I can’t always understand him. But Nettles is an interesting idea. He’s smart and kind of fiery. I bet Sparkly Lyle would be fun, but he manages a team in NJ. Why don’t you send in your resume?

    Cone was amazing, Jeff. When you think about what he accomplished as a pitcher, it boggles the mind. Rumors are he might go to the Players Association, since he was always big as a union rep.

    Surf Dog! Why didn’t I think of that, cheshirecat!!! I’m not sure that he’d be willing to give up his hot dog cart in the California sunshine to travel with the Yanks, and you know how he shouts words three times to get his point across, but three hours with him would never be dull and Michael Kay would be silenced! LOL. Nice news for Shelley. I hope he gets a good shot to play everyday.

    I thought of Mussina too, pinkyswore, but you’re right about him wanting to be with his family instead of traveling. Plus, I don’t think he and Michael Kay get along. Damon would be fantastic. How can we get him to retire? I know. The Yankees should pay him to come back and play and then say: “Surprise! We don’t need you in left field. We need you in the booth!”


    Well…sounds like it will be tuff to lose Cone-head, but likely inevitable if $$-saving is involved. I’d vote for JANE #1 to get the She-Fan’s perspective (and all those free games!!), and Surf Dog #2 (why not a true Homer?)…and then, since I’m really talking out of my hat (since we don’t get YES)…hey, you want character? How ’bout the Boomer himself…ol’ David Wells?!? Hey, he could sit in the bleachers with a dog & a beer, get the True Fan’s perspective, and give us a REALLY unique insight!! Either that, or put him in the booth with Jane AND Surf Dog…the Dream Team!!!

  11. Yankees Reality Check

    Man, what a bummer. I love Cone! He knows what he’s talking about and he doesn’t go overboard with the “I would have done this…” crap (I’m looking at you, Jim Palmer). Plus, without Cone, no epic drinking stories about him and Boomer Wells. I second the idea of Craig Nettles or Mussina. Or, of course, the She-Fan!

  12. ooaooa

    My party lights are Yankee pennants.
    Coney is one of our favorites. I got to talk with him for a while two yers ago when he was honored at the Conn. Sports Foundation dinner. He is a real regular guy. As bad as some may think Tino might be, just imagine if we have to “enjoy” Suyzan Waldman with Michael Kay! Yuck!!!!


    The more I think about this, the more dangerous it becomes…y’know, as an Old-Time Yankee Fan, I remember the day when the broadcast booth was populated at the same time by Mel Allen (yes, children, THAT Mel Allen of much-later TWIB fame…”How ’bout that!!”); Red (Mr. Dull) Barber, who clearly missed his Brooklyn days; a YOUNG Scooter Rizzuto; and a REALLY young Joe Garagiola! Not bad, eh??
    But picture this…let Michael Kay do the play-by-play…have Boomer weigh in (literally) with the ex-player & boisterous fan insights…complemented (and well-fed) by the Surf Dog…with fabulous new insight and commentary (and you could be as off-the-wall as you want with a BIG S-F Cam, maybe run by Michael?)…Our Fabulous She-Fan! I’m telling ya…in the words of Viktor Fronk-un-steen…IT…COULD…WORK!!

  14. Jane Heller

    I don’t know if it’s a money thing, Dave. It might be, as YES tends to “scrimp,” but I also heard Coney is interested in joining the Player’s Association. He’s a union guy and would make a terrific executive for them. Me in the booth? I don’t know enough. Instead of identifying the correct pitch or call, I’d be screaming into the mic the way I scream at the TV at home. Not a good thing. But maybe Surf Dog and I should have our own fan show on YouTube. Now that would be fun.

    Thanks for the vote of confidence, dampiney, but I think most fans would rather have expert analysis not the opinions of other fans. Don’t you?

    Ugh, Jim Palmer drones on and on, YRC. He’s the epitome of an ex-player who doesn’t understand the concept of Too Much Information. There really are times when all I want from a broadcast is silence!

    I don’t anticipate Suzyn making the move over to YES, John. 🙂 They seem to want a former player in that spot. I guess I could live with Tino, but he’d have to get a whole lot better than what I’ve seen from him so far.

    Dave, I remember the days when professional announcers like Mel Allen, NOT professional ball players, called the games. Howard Cosell’s big gripe about the sports business was how trained pros were being pushed out of broadcasting by ex-jocks and he was right. That said, I love the experience and anecdotes the former players bring to the table. Boomer would be great. I vote for him.

  15. Jane Heller

    You’re back, ladyjane! I hope you had a terrific time on your vacation. I love Leiter too, which is why I think Coney should be replaced by another pitcher. Yes, Boomer. He’d never put us to sleep. He’d have lively tales to share from his own playing days. But most importantly, he knows the game and wouldn’t sugar coat his comments. Would he get along with Kay? Who knows.

  16. ladyjane303

    First of all – HAPPY NEW YEAR!!! I missed you guys, but I was able to check in occasionally – especially if it was a big news day (bye, bye Melky!). Now for the question at hand – Of course, I’d like Coney to stay around. But if it doesn’t work out, I would want more air time for Al Leiter – I think he’s great. I was also going to suggest Boomer, but you beat me to it.


    Wow – I will miss Coney if he does leave. Being in the union would make problems for YES. I am in the Al Leiter camp. I enjoy his commentary and he can hold his own with M-Kay. What is Willie Randolph doing these days? He could give both player and manager prospectives – and Yankee fans love him. He could stick it to the Mets, too!
    On another note – the Bosox keep getting new players (Beltre) and we seem to be spinning our wheels! Are we truly happy with our lineup?

  18. Jane Heller

    Someone on Facebook suggested Willie Randolph, Kathleen, and I thought it was a great idea. He could give both perspectives, as you said, and has a cute sense of humor. Yes, the Red Sox do seem to be stockpiling players. I just mentioned that in tonight’s post. But they had more holes to fill than we did. We’re pretty set except for the left field spot, but it’s looking more and more like Gardner will be starting the season there. One area that needs attention is the bench: we need some real fire power.

  19. SHEENA

    I would get huffy but I might agree with you. He may be great to look at but he is a little dry in the on air etc field. I don’t really care though. lol


    Tino Martinez was a solid baseball player, but he is an absolutely horrible announcer! His voice is not made for on-air broadcasting. I’ve read some posters on the web who maintain that he has a speech impediment. That might be so (he does seem almost to stutter with that awkward speech rhythm, and he definitely swallows his words). In any case, he obviously cannot, for some reason, speak English clearly. He has a stuttering, word-swallowing manner of enunciating that is, at best, very annoying. He simply doesn’t belong behind a microphone, and I’m rather surprised that he doesn’t have enough sense or self-respect to realize as much (apparently no one at YES has the nerve to tell him that his voice is not qualified for Yankee broadcasting). Personally, I won’t listen to YES broadcasts that he is involved in. I seem to recall his remarking that he doesn’t want to be “mediocre.” Well, I have to say that he doesn’t even approach that level. He is laughable. A caricature, really– the ex-athlete who thinks he can do something for which he has not the least bit of talent. I hope someone will tell him that he is way out of his league.


    I’m using GR’s account to weigh in on this (she is a friend of mine). I have heard Tino Martinez several times, and I actually suspect that his speech problems are neurologically related. I don’t want to pile on, but I agree that to put someone with obvious speech problems in a position that presumably requires a “good voice” is downright dumb.

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