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AL East broadcast legends gather in NY

Castiglione, Waldman, Sterling host Hot Stove simulcast
MLB.com

RIVERDALE, N.Y. -- Less than five miles from Yankee Stadium sits the RiverSpring Health facility, its walls lined with Yanks memorabilia and rooms filled with passionate fans.

On the Tuesday before pitchers and catchers report to Spring Training, three legendary broadcasters sat in front of a packed library for a live Hot Stove broadcast. Suzyn Waldman, John Sterling and Joe Castiglione, whose friendship spans more than 30 years, spent nearly two hours sharing stories of the past and looking ahead to another competitive year in the American League East.

RIVERDALE, N.Y. -- Less than five miles from Yankee Stadium sits the RiverSpring Health facility, its walls lined with Yanks memorabilia and rooms filled with passionate fans.

On the Tuesday before pitchers and catchers report to Spring Training, three legendary broadcasters sat in front of a packed library for a live Hot Stove broadcast. Suzyn Waldman, John Sterling and Joe Castiglione, whose friendship spans more than 30 years, spent nearly two hours sharing stories of the past and looking ahead to another competitive year in the American League East.

"I knew Joe before I was even in this business," Waldman said. "It's at least 35 years we've known each other."

Sterling's story was similar. He heard Castiglione's voice on the radio before the two met in person.

"I listened to him," said Sterling. "I kid him about it all the time. He was working in Cleveland and I was working for this network called Enterprise in 1981, and I remember driving home, the baseball strike was on and Joe was doing a talk show in Cleveland, and I listened to him."

Video: John Sterling discusses Aaron Judge on Hot Stove

Castiglione is as big of a fan of Waldman and Sterling as anybody.

"I really love Suzyn's passion, and she's so into it and loves the game," Castiglione said. "John is unique with his calls and the great pipes that he has, and he's a great friend, too, so it's just so much fun to be around him."

This is the fourth year WEEI and WFAN combined broadcast forces to simulcast a live Hot Stove show in Riverdale. Among the show's call-in guests were Yankees manager Aaron Boone and pitcher Adam Ottavino, who shared their thoughts on the upcoming season.

"I think we've made a lot of smart moves," Boone shared. "I think we've bolstered a lot of areas of our club, that when we go to Spring Training next week, we're very excited about who we have and the opportunity we have at a really special season."

After growing up a Yankees fan, Ottavino, who signed a free-agent deal with New York this offseason, is still getting used to his new team.

"I'm very excited. It's a little surreal at the moment, but about to be very real heading down to Tampa in a couple days," Ottavino said. "I was at the Stadium the last two days. I thought that was a good idea to go over there and get a little more comfortable, but just an exciting time for me and my family."

Castiglione said he looks forward to this live show every year, and the residents at Riverdale echoed his sentiments.

"I think it's wonderful," Riverdale resident Gilbert Marcus said. "We get a big turnout here for them, and it's very healthy, especially for the home, especially people that enjoy sports, and that's been my whole life, really."

Video: Sterling, Castiglione swap booths for Stanton's slam

The Red Sox ran away with the AL East in 2018, going on to win the World Series in just five games against the Dodgers. Both teams' broadcasters spent Tuesday night sifting through offseason moves -- or a lack of, in Boston's case -- but at the end of the night, Waldman, Sterling and Castiglione all agreed on one thing.

"We're like family," Waldman said.

Castiglione added, "We're all in this together."

Dani Wexelman is a reporter for MLB.com.

Boston Red Sox, New York Yankees