Yankees, Red Sox announcers will trade places

NEW YORK – John Sterling is, briefly, going to Boston.

On Tuesday afternoon, the Red Sox and Yankees will make a trade – swapping radio announcers during the fourth inning of their three-game series opener at Yankee Stadium.

“It’s just a cute idea," said Sterling, who joins Tim Neverett on Boston’s WEEI while Joe Castiglione moves into the WFAN Yankees’ booth with Suzyn Waldman.

“I don’t think anyone should take it too seriously," Sterling said. “The world is not going to change, but it’s a fun thing and I’m looking forward to it."

And on this rare occasion between Red Sox Nation and Yankees Universe, would the Radio Voice of the Yankees deliver a signature home run call for a Red Sox?

“If I can think of something on the spur of the moment," Sterling said. “I’m certainly not going to prepare anything. But if they hit a home run, I’ll do my best."

On the opposite side, don’t expect Castiglione to deliver an “It is High, it is Far, it is Gone!" call for any Yankee, although he might give out a “Can You Believe it?!" – his phrase as the Red Sox won the 2004 World Series.

“They know where our sympathies lie," Castiglione said.

Could he muster any more excitement for a Yankee homer in the fourth than one by Boston?

“I don’t know," Castiglione said with a laugh. “I can’t fake it."

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Truth be told, Castiglione grew up in New Haven, Connecticut, hoping to follow his broadcast idol Mel Allen and call the Yankees play-by-play. Two or three times a year, he’d travel by train to the old Stadium.

“I’m a good learner from my mistakes," Castiglione said.

He’s been a Red Sox announcer for 35 seasons, calling every moment of heartbreak and history since 1983.

During Tuesday’s fourth inning, “I’ll probably play it down the middle. It should be a lot of fun," said Castiglione, the father of television anchor Duke Castiglione, who recently left New York for Boston.

As you might imagine, it's been a friendly broadcast association between Yankees and Red Sox for some time.

A few seasons ago, the native New Englander Waldman and Castiglione exchanged booths for an inning. Sterling also recalls switching booths during a Subway Series game with Mets broadcaster Howie Rose.

And in the early 1990s, CBS Radio conducted a weekly “hometown inning" on its national broadcast, giving the local home announcer an inning.

“I did it and the Yankees were really bad then," Sterling said. “And every time I went over, it was 1-2-3. Two pop outs and a groundout. I did nothing."

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