Clockwise from left, Brendan Burke, Justin Shackil, Emmanuel Berbari

Clockwise from left, Brendan Burke, Justin Shackil, Emmanuel Berbari

Fans in the New York metropolitan area are blessed with talented, long-serving, distinctive radio play-by-play announcers all over the sports map.

The likes of Howie Rose, Bob Papa, Bob Wischusen, Chris Carrino, Kenny Albert, Chris King and Matt Loughlin have become fixtures for the franchises they cover.

But which of those men would take over newspaper back pages and find himself trending No. 1 nationally on “X” — as John Sterling did this week — if he retired from that job today?

Likely only one: Rose. Why? That’s baseball, Suzyn.

Speaking of which, Suzyn Waldman herself also would generate huge media and fan attention if she ever decides to call it quits in the Yankees radio booth.

There is no sport that matters on radio as much as baseball, and there is no town in which it matters more than here.

That is why Sterling’s retirement, which the Yankees announced on Monday, was such a big deal, in addition to Sterling’s own unique, attention-attracting brand.

And it is why the decision by Audacy, WFAN’s parent company, and the Yankees on how to replace Sterling will be watched closely throughout the industry.

It appears that for now, all involved are taking things slowly. Sterling has not even had his official retirement celebration in the Bronx. That comes on Saturday.

Justin Shackil and Emmanuel Berbari were to handle most road games even when Sterling was on the job, and now will have their workload increased

Others figure to make fill-in appearances this summer. There are a lot of Sterling games to fill on the schedule.

It’s fun just thinking about the implications of Berbari getting the permanent job. The Harborfields High School alum is 24, meaning if he were to retire when he is Sterling’s age, he will be honored at Yankee Stadium in . . . 2085!

Imagine the flying car traffic mess!

The most seamless, no-brainer, fan-friendly hiring would be Islanders announcer Brendan Burke, who grew up around the Yankees when his father, Don, was a sportswriter covering the team and who got positive reviews as a fill-in in 2022.

Burke, 39, already is established on local and national hockey television, and MSG Networks presumably would like to have him in perpetuity.

But his contract with MSG expires after this season, which could mean a summer of big decisions for him if Audacy and the Yankees come calling.

The fact that Burke is in the conversation at all for Sterling’s seat illustrates the point we were making earlier.

The notion of a rising TV star ditching all that for radio, which traditionally pays less and offers less visibility, could only happen for a job like Sterling’s.

It’s the Yankees, arguably the strongest American-made sports brand on Earth, a brand that Sterling — for all his quirks and detractors — only made stronger.

Whether it is Shackil, Berbari, Burke or someone else, Audacy and the Yankees will have no trouble finding a talented taker from a continent full of aspirants.

(Yankees announcers work for Audacy, but the team gets plenty of input.)

There are limits. It is difficult to imagine, say, Ryan Ruocco going that route, given his array of attractive national and local TV jobs.

But for many in broadcasting, this would be a career-defining plum of a gig.

There used to be a theory in the business that if Sterling went, Waldman would have to go with him. But that no longer makes any sense.

Waldman, who has quirks and detractors of her own, is good at her job and is indelibly linked to the franchise.

So give her a say in Sterling’s replacement and give her some play-by-play reps. (Waldman has known Burke for his entire life. Just sayin.’)

It should be quite the radio industry circus, which is just the way the rest of us like it, and one that only could happen in baseball.

And, as Sterling often has reminded us, you can’t predict baseball, Suzyn.


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