Watchdog

Neil Best leaves no stone unturned in the world of sports media.

No one played on ESPN Sunday nights more than Derek Jeter

Yankees Derek Jeter #newsdaysports #yankees #brooklynnets #nyyankees #nyc

(Credit: Instagram user longislandsown)

Derek Jeter will appear for the 71st and final time on ESPN’s “Sunday Night Baseball’’ this weekend – more than any other player and 13 ahead of second-place . . . Alex Rodriguez!

Alas, the Yankees’ opponent is the Orioles. It would have been more historically appropriate for his final appearance to be against the Red Sox, the Yankees' most common Sunday night matchup for many years.

Jeter...

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TV networks still like Yankees

American League All-Star Derek Jeter of the Yankees

(Credit: Getty Images / Rob Carr)

The Yankees have been ratings catnip for national TV networks for decades and this season is no exception – with Derek Jeter’s farewell tour as a bonus.

How will that play out over the weeks and months to come?

ESPN has used three of its maximum six Sunday night slots on the Yankees, with Aug. 3 against the Red Sox on the schedule and two yet-to-be-announced games likely to follow by...

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Yankees ratings on YES rebound from 2013

Yankees play-by-play man Michael Kay calls Hartsdale home.

(Credit: Getty Images)

The 2010s have seen a steady decline in Yankees ratings on YES, bottoming out last season after a 31-percent drop in viewership during the Bombers’ playoff-free campaign.

But thus far in 2014, things are looking up, with an average of 283,000 viewers per game tuning into YES, a rise of 24 percent compared to the All-Star break last season.

Still, that is a far cry from, say, 2007, when...

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Book recalls Yankees' lost decade of 1980s

Greg Prato's book "Just Out of Reach: The

Now that the basketball and hockey playoffs are over and I am staring at a summer work schedule with more time off than Henrik Lundqvist or Mike Francesa, it is time to catch up on some long-neglected reading.

First up: Greg Prato's "Just Out of Reach: The 1980s New York Yankees," an oral history that features some of the zany stories and characters from a rare championship-free decade for...

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O's Angel aces Jeter call

Derek Jeter throws during batting practice before a

(Credit: Getty Images / Al Bello)

Remember Monday when John Sterling, Michael Kay and Derek Jeter himself all wrongly anticipated a ball he hit deep to leftfield at Yankee Stadium would land over the wall?

It prompted Newsday copy editor Craig Bustin to ask the sort of question good copy editors ask: Did the Orioles’ announcers get it right?

So I listened to Joe Angel, the O’s radio play-by-play voice and long-ago partner...

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Jeter's No. 2 is No. 1 in jersey sales since Feb. 12

Derek Jeter waves to the crowd during a

(Credit: AP / Pat Sullivan)

Apparently word has spread that Derek Jeter soon will send his No. 2 shirts to the drycleaner for long-term storage.

Since Jeter said Feb. 12 this will be his final season, his replica jersey tops the bestseller list on MLB.com. Old No. 2 also ranks No. 3 overall since the end of the 2013 World Series – and is the only player in the top four who did not play in that World Series.

The...

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Yankees, Mets radio experiences change and familiarity

Sportscaster John Sterling attends the Joe Torre Safe

(Credit: Getty)

Sure, there has been a seismic change in local baseball radio with the Yankees moving from WCBS to WFAN and the Mets from WFAN (after 27 years) to WOR.

But the announcers remain the same – John Sterling and Suzyn Waldman on the Yankees, Howie Rose and Josh Lewin on the Mets.

For how long, though? Sterling, Waldman and Lewin all are believed to have one-year deals, so 2015 could be another...

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Strange new world: Yankees on WFAN

New York Yankees announcer John Sterling is calling

(Credit: Marc Lemoine / Crown Media United States, LLC)

If you are younger than 35, you likely don't remember life before WFAN, and therefore life before that station carried Mets games.

Thursday, all that changed when the Yankees made their debut as the station's home team, with the Mets having relocated slightly up the dial at WOR.

The station did not make a big deal about the Pirates-Yankees game and the milestone that came with it, perhaps...

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'Bronx Bombers' bombs; 'Rocky' up next

Margo Seibert and Andy Karl during rehearsal of

(Credit: Matthew Murphy)

Producers Fran Kirmser and Tony Ponturo now are batting .333 on sports-themed Broadway shows, having enjoyed modest success with “Lombardi” then seeing “Magic/Bird’’ and now “Bronx Bombers’’ close after about a month.

The Yankees-centric play opened Feb. 6 and will be no more after next Sunday’s performance.

While that’s a better lifetime average than some of the show’s characters, including...

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Jeter bombshell colors 'Bronx Bombers'

In 2000, Jeter became the first player to

(Credit: Newsday/Audrey C. Tiernan)

Who knew when I saw “Bronx Bombers’’ Tuesday that Derek Jeter (played by Christopher Jackson) was less than 24 hours from officially becoming a legend-in-waiting to join his fellow historical characters in the play?

So starting Wednesday the sight of Jeter in the company of actors playing Babe Ruth, Lou Gehrig, Joe DiMaggio, Mickey Mantle and the rest of the old gang on Broadway surely had...

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