WDEL Blog: WDEL Sports

Phillies broadcasters don't measure up

While I am glad baseball season is here, it brings with it one drawback...the Phillies TV announcers.

We in the Delaware Valley were spoiled for many years with Harry Kalas...but when he passed away in 2009, the Phillies missed the boat big-time by elevating Tom McCarthy to be the TV play-by-play man.

If you have listened to McCarthy and Chris Wheeler for any length of time, you probably have heard many of the things I've heard....most of the inadequacies falling on McCarthy. (Wheeler merely just annoys me with his seeming "I know everything about baseball" attitude).

Here are McCarthy's major shortcomings...number one on the list, he can't pronounce Phillies. That's right, he can't pronounce the name of the team he covers. An inability to say the letter "L" in the middle of a word, it comes out, every time, as Phiwwies. Are you kidding me...you hire a guy who can't pronounce the team name?

In that same vein, he can't pronounce the word available, which is problematic since there are numerous times he's required to say "tickets are still available". It comes out "avaiwable."

On top of that, his goofy on-camera questions posed for Gary Matthews get annoying...just do the play-by-play (which, by the way, he isn't all that bad at if he sticks to the pbp).

My question for the Phillies front office is...how do you continue to employ someone who can't pronounce the team name? Or do you not hear that? Or do you not want to admit you made a mistake?

I can understand why Wheeler is still around. While he adds little to the broadcast, he is a long-time Phillies employee and loyalty is important. But the Phillies missed the boat on the play-by-play man. The year after the Phillies win the World Series and Harry passes away, you would think they could have plucked a big-time, quality play-by-play man to succeed Kalas...but they went cheap and it shows.

The good news is the Phillies radio team of Scott Frantzke and Larry Anderson are very good...let's hope the Phillies brass doesn't realize how much better they are than McCarthy, Wheeler and Sarge...we can always turn the sound down on the TV and watch with the WDEL on...or even with no sound...just act like you're at the ballpark.

Posted at 9:07am on April 3, 2013 by Big Don Voltz

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Comments on this post:

Mike from Delaware
Fri, Apr 5, 2013 9:48pm
The great thing about listening to the Phillies or the Eagles on the radio is you can do something else while enjoying the game. With TV, you have to sit there and watch it. I realize I'm in the minority, but its just hard to sit there that long and watch. So for me, Radio is king for hearing my favorite sports teams, so WDEL gets my ear for the Phils and the Eagles.

Sat, Apr 6, 2013 10:02am
I have never liked Wheels since I learned he fought long and hard to have Whitey thrown off the team, with himself as the replacement. As for the radio team, they often think they are on radio. I have listened for up to 20 minutes before ever hearing the score. No folks, the score is not on a screen in front of me while I am driving at high speed on I-495. Both broadcast teams are very inadequate.

Thu, Apr 18, 2013 6:53am
What these guys never learned from Harry (and the other greats like Vin Scully, Jack Buck and Red Barber) is that on TV you do not need to talk all the time - the game, the pictures and the crowd tells much of the story. Tom McCarthy is competent but talks too much, I'm in the "Wheels is ok" camp because he does know the game and speaks intelligently about situations, but again talks too much (how many times can you say 'no doubles defense' in the late innings? And Sarge - good lord, Captain Obvious adds nothing to the game. You're right Scott, let's hope they never take Scott and L.A. off the radio side.

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