the job seems a natural for him. As a player and de facto team spokesman, Cone's candor and essential even-handedness was something all sensible fans appreciated. He had an intuitive grasp of the "game" between media and athlete—he understood what each of those parties needed to practice their professions—and was gifted in satisfying all parties without resorting to the constant stream of cliches we expect from both sides of that equation. Cone was also the Yankees player rep, and so should give fans a more nuanced picture of the relations between union and ownership, and what they've begot. Don't expect a firebrand. Just a bit of honesty. Welcome back.
His voice is thin and his face a bit sallow. He both sounds and looks like someone's kid brother. But the Yanks have never had a more perceptive analyst. The intelligence he demonstrated on the mound has translated directly to the air. Listening to him deconstruct a pitcher's delivery or a batter's weakness has been fascinating; his eye for the telling detail is spot-on, and he's never been self-serving about his own accomplishments, though he's given ample opportunity in that regard. He's shown himself well aware and open-minded about sabermetric thinking. So, yes, he's got analytical skills. But what sets him apart from other broadcasters is his engaging, quirky, oddly charismatic personality. Over the first month of the season, he's exhibited the same presence on-air that Yankee fans remember from his days playing with the club: honest but positive, authoritative but slyly humorous.