The (Not Steph) Curry Factor
By Gary Sussman
All right Yankeeophiles, I know it’s tough to focus with all the Bombin’ in the Bronx (Here Comes the Judge…is he Maas, Spencer, Kingman, Hondo…can he be this good???…but I digress) and let’s go back to 2010. Let these names ruminate as you ponder Pinstripe greatness.
And Jack Curry
All free agents. All signed for the 2010 season. All wore pinstripes (except only one has a matching tie and is perfectly coiffed for air).
But only one of the five has had Yankee staying power.
Jersey City’s Jack Curry was at the top of the sports food chain, national baseball columnist for the New York Times a perch he ascended to after putting in his time as a Yankee beat writer for the Times. And now, after more than two decades, he was going to leave that coveted position for a job with the YES Network. And from afar, I thought this was a brilliant get by the head of YES, the man they refer to as Flip, John Filippelli. Get arguably one of the top baseball voices in NYC to join your team as opposed to reporting on your team. But what about Jack, what about his journalistic fiber, did he have any trepidation at all in making a move to what would seem to be a less accommodating environment?
“Not at all. It came at a good point in my life. I was very familiar with the people at YES, due in part to my appearances on the ‘Hot Stove’ shows, there was a bit of transition taking place at the paper, and I looked at it very simply that I was trading in one dream job for another. My instructions were very clear. Take all of my journalistic instincts, all my reporting skills and instead of putting them in the paper, put them on the air. And it’s been a great relationship.”
So there was no danger of becoming Scooter, even though putting him with Lorenz would have been quite a show (btw, surprised that Fruit Roll Ups does not sponsor the in-game hits… those sleeves only come down after the final out). But unlike the Scoots, not only will Jack praise, but he will also slice and dice. Clearly and concisely, without malice or bravado. Just like another Jersey native stated about being unprepared.
“What use is an unloaded gun.”
Exactly, Tony. The Curry Factor is the reporting, the homework, the facts. That’s right. It’s not personal, it’s just business.
” I report like I did at the Times. So I have no problem asking Girardi a tough question as long as I have the facts to back up my statements. You can’t stop reporting.”
So give us a report on Gleybar Torres, who most have heard about, read about, but never seen. Who does he remind you of?
“Everything impresses me about him. He has his own skill set, trusts his hands, has a very good maturity about him.” But remember, Jack did not work for the Post or the News. You will get no sensational headlines. He needs to see more. Collect more data, more stats. And then he will venture forward.
And what about him, where does he see his future? Not all have been able to transition from print to broadcast, but Flip knows talent, and he knew what he had in Jack. Does he see a larger role, maybe transitioning to the booth to work alongside his fellow Fordham alum, Michael Kay (btw, although I am partial to the Orange, home of Bird, Marv and Glickman (went all Tribe on that one) the Rams have a stranglehold on the NY sports mics-Kay, Breen, Papa, Carrino). The answer…very pragmatic, very concise…and yes…very Judge-like.
” I love all the people I work with, we have a great chemistry. I am thankful anytime I have been given the opportunity to work in the booth, but I am very happy with my role at the network.”
Spoken like a true Yankee.
Jack’s top NJ athletes that he saw in person….Bobby Hurley, Willie Banks and “I have to give some love to Hudson Catholic,” Spanarkel and O’Koren.
If Thor wore shorts and sneaks for a living, my main man Timmy Walsh would have put him in a bear hug and shoved him into that MRI tube.
Considering the early exit for the Clippers, GM L Frank may petition the state for a new 27-hour day.
photos: E.H. Wallop/YES Network.