By Paul M.Â BanksÂ
As the only person to work for both Chicago baseball teams as both a player and as a broadcaster, current White Sox radio color analyst Steve Stone is a foremost authority on Chicago baseball. On September 13th, it was announced that Stone, a Ford C. Frick award nominee, will take over for Darrin Jackson as White Sox TV color analyst, signing a contract that will run through 2014.
Stone or â€œStonyâ€ as he is nicknamed, has also done television broadcasts for ESPN and TBS. Stony, also 670 The Scoreâ€™s lead Baseball Analyst, is well known and loved for his baseball predictions, the high rate at which his predictions comes true, and the multitude of products that he has endorsed over the years. As a player, Stony won a Cy Young and The Sporting News Pitcher of the Year award in 1980. That year he led the league in wins (25-7 for the Baltimore Orioles) and won-lost percentage (.781), and was 2nd in games started (37), 7th in ERA (3.23), strikeouts (149), hits allowed/9 IP (8.04), and hit batsmen (6), and 9th in innings (250.7). At one point, he had won 14 games in a row. He also pitched 3 perfect innings in the All-Star Game.
He is regarded to be one of the best Jewish-American pitchers in major league history, 3rd career-wise in wins (107) and strikeouts (1,065), behind Ken Holtzman and Sandy Koufax.I had an exclusive with Stony on Saturday night before the Sox-Indians game. Hereâ€™s what he had to say about the White Sox playoff chances:
â€œTheyâ€™ve always had the ability to win this division, but weâ€™ve seen at times theyâ€™ve also had the ability to snatch defeat from the jaws of victory, the bullpen hasnâ€™t been getting the job done, itâ€™s been an inconsistent offense, they just came off a bad road trip at 3-7, but this has always been a good team, not a great team.â€Â Â Â Â Â Â
On how Chicagoâ€™s baseball summer of 2008 ranks all-time. I asked him to compare and contrast it with other seasons (like 1977) when both teams were in contention late into the yearâ€¦
â€œI was player in the late 70s and as a player you tend to become myopic towards the team you play for. As a member of the South Side Hitmen in â€™77 and â€™78 I didnâ€™t pay a lot of attention to what the Cubs were doing, because I was a White Sox player. When I played for the Cubs in â€™74-76, I didnâ€™t pay a great deal of attention to what the Sox were doing because I was a Cubs player. I know it would be a unique experience to have both teams in the postseason. They certainly are not making it any easier on this side of town. On the other side of town they have already clinched and are doing whatever they can to see the Mets in the first round.â€
On the differences between doing a radio broadcast versus doing a television broadcast of a gameâ€¦
SS: There is more of a difference for the play-by-play man, because I believe that radio is a play-by-play manâ€™s medium and I think television is an analystâ€™s medium. You normally don have to use as many words on television as you do on radio, you donâ€™t have to near as descriptive on television because you have a picture there to describe what it is youâ€™re talking about.
I think the work is the same. I approach the research that I do and that Iâ€™ve continued to do since I started working on television each and every year, to prepare each day as if the game were to go 16 innings. If not you can always use it tomorrow.