Phil Mushnick, writer for the New York Post, was the first person I ever heard bash John Sterling with regularity, way back when Sterling was teamed with Michael "no name... of course" Kay.
Back then, I actually thought Sterling was good and didn;t get what Mushnick's problem was. Sure, at the end of Gooden's no-no in 1996, Sterling did go into his signature, "THAAAAA ...." instead of telling the story of the game (no-hitter), but I didn;t think much of it at the time. Sterling can make a game more exciting with his descriptions. The problem is, his descriptions are almost always wrong (when he even describes anything.) How many home runs are actually hit, "High and far?" Many are line drives. You would never know that with Sterling.
But I will give Sterling his right to his call. What I can;t stand is when something will happen on the field and he stops describing it. He just goes quiet. At a really important moment. I mean, this IS radio. I really CAN'T see what is happening. After this happening a few times, I think I realized that there is just something wrong with Sterling. Mushnick always thought he was just self serving. No, I think he's just incompetent. When you look at it that way, you almost feel bad for Sterling. I'm sure he was good once (and Mushnick assures us that Sterling is a good play-by-player for basketball).
I was watching a tribute to Steinbrenner on ESPN 30-30 (or whatever) the other day. Sterling was on there and got all weepy, ala Steinbrenner. One wonders...