Moratoria – Phillies Nation
Odds And Ends


There aren’t very many things I don’t feel comfortable talking about. There’s the saying about how you don’t talk about politics, religion, or money–I’m devoting my professional life to the study of politics, and I love talking about religion because it’s an easy way to wind people up. Money, I don’t talk about much, but that’s probably related to my having so little. That might change later.

About a third of what comes out of my mouth is either sexual innuendo or scatological humor. I fart at the dinner table and talk about it openly. You get the idea. Really, there are only two things that I think are off the table for discussion: first, my social life from ages 11 to 16. I don’t want to talk about that for the same reason Mark McGwire doesn’t want to talk about the past–it was a dark phase that I regret and would rather pretend didn’t happen.

The other off-limits topic of conversation has to do with the time, my junior year of college, when I went to a party in Columbia, SC, on Friday and woke up 18 hours later in a barn in Tennessee with my pants on backwards, my torso covered in blue and green paint and a goat tied to my left arm. I don’t know what happened, and I’m fairly comfortable keeping it that way.

But today, I feel like adding some things to that list. Here are six Phillies-related topics or phrases that I could really go the rest of my life without ever hearing again.

1) “That home run hasn’t landed yet….” This one we get a lot as Phillies fans, both because of Matt Stairs’ massive dinger in the 2008 NLCS and because Brad Lidge’s flakiness has largely been attributed to a similar moon shot he surrendered to Albert Pujols in the 2005 NLCS. It was funny the first time, but after 18 months, it was like we were playing word association. If I say “Matt Stairs,” you say “That home run hasn’t landed yet.” It happened just about every time the 2008 NLCS comes up, which, for Phillies fans, is about 2 or 3 times a day, and justifiably so.

Someone said it, and then a we all started repeating it, and then national commentators started saying it, not realizing that Sal in the Northeast says it when he calls 610 and 6-year-old Dabney Horowitz from Cherry Hill says it when he brings in his Phillies cap for kindergarten show-and-tell. The almost Pavlovian fixation with the phrase “that home run hasn’t landed yet” needs to end before someone (read: me) snaps and goes all Brett Myers on some poor, unsuspecting schmuck who thinks it’s still clever.

I watched that game, and that home run was certainly a prodigious one. But I distinctly remember the ball traveling in a ballistic arc. I guarantee you that that home run has, in fact, landed by now.

2) Most of what Chris Wheeler says.

I was running this post by the other writers yesterday, and our founder/CEO/Praetor/Dictator-for-Life Brian Michael sent me this. (Careful when you click on it, it’s red background/white text, and after reading it for about 6 or 7 minutes, I was convinced that I had done irreparable damage to my retinas).

It’s a Chris Wheeler glossary, and it got me thinking. One night in my college newsroom, I opened up soundboards for Borat, Arnold Schwarzenegger, and Captain Picard, and decided that I was only going to communicate through those clips all night. The crazy part is that I didn’t realize how lame that was until just now.

I’m not a Wheels hater by any stretch of the imagination, but could you replace Chris Wheeler with a bunch of recordings of this he’s said in the past without anyone noticing except T-Mac? I say you could.

3) Griping About the Cliff Lee Trade

I wanted him to stay too. Visions of a top-three of Halladay, Lee, and a pissed-off Cole Hamels danced in my head too. But if I’ve said it once, I’ve said it a thousand times–you’d regret not getting something for him later, when it’s 2012 and the core of this team is either old or gone. Maybe you think pushing it all in now and saying, “the hell with competing past 2011” is worth it. Maybe you think getting a bad first-rounder and a sandwich pick would have beaten getting Aumont, Gilles, and Ramirez. That’s fine.

But please stop lining up to jump off the Walt Whitman Bridge when Aumont has a bad outing. Please stop whining every time Ramirez takes the mound for the Phillies or Lee takes the mound for the Mariners. I get it. You’re mad. You think it’s a bad trade. But Roy Halladay’s in town, and the team is, at worst, just as good as in 2009. So calm down. Take deep breaths. Smoke a J. Eat some chocolate cake. But this constant anger (and I realize that we’re Philadelphia sports fans) is only going to end in a stroke. We won’t be able to accurately evaluate this trade until about 2013 anyway, so let’s not spend the next 3 years crapping our pants.

4) “Professional Hitter”

This one comes courtesy of my friend, Special Agent X. He’s a government operative, so I’m a little wary of divulging his real name. The only reason I know it is because he and I have been friends since high school. At least, I think I know his real name.

At any rate, he’s developed this little tic whenever an announcer or a pundit calls Ryan Howard a “professional hitter.” Not because he, and others like him, are not paid to hit, but because of the perception that a “professional hitter” is a particular type of hitter. You see, anyone who is paid to play baseball, from Howard to Tagg Bozied, is a professional hitter, American League pitchers excepted. Let’s ditch this one for “slugger,” or “masher,” or something more appropriately descriptive. I know it’s true, but there’s gotta be a better way to say it.

5) Referring to players by first, middle, and last name

“Clifton Phifer Lee.” “Colbert Michael Hamels.” Of course, this gets its genesis with Harry Kalas (God rest his soul)’s famous “Michael Jack Schmidt.” But since then, it’s been bastardized and used on just about anyone for emphasis. Not just Cliff Lee, but Clifton Phifer Lee. Whoa. In that case….

It’s tired. Let’s leave the 3-name thing to people like Franklin Delano Roosevelt and Anthony Michael Hall.

Now, for the one that’s been bugging me for the longest. Those of you who don’t like long posts may want to take a pee break and come back to this one later. We could be here a while.

6) Linking Players’ Home States to Their Personalities

If I had a dollar for every time I had heard an athlete called “not a Philly kind of guy,” I’d be writing this entry from a well-appointed flat in Paris. Or maybe I wouldn’t, because I’d have so much money that I’d spend most of my waking hours extricating beautiful women from my Lamborghini.

There is a sort of hard-nosed, self-effacing athlete that we Philadelphians take to. Brain Dawkins comes immediately to mind. Bobby Clarke. Cliff Lee. But you know what, everyone likes that kind of athlete. And some of the most popular superstars ever in this city were definitely not that type. Mike Schmidt and Steve Carlton were hard-working and immensely talented, but both could be surly. Allen Iverson owned this town, but as soon as the Sixers disintegrated and he stopped winning MVP awards, he was “not a Philly kind of guy.” Ditto Eric Lindros. Donovan McNabb takes crap for smiling too much during close games. He’s the greatest quarterback this city’s ever seen, and arguably the greatest offensive player in Eagle history. Let’s denigrate him for smiling too much. What a farce.

You know what the “Philly type of guy” is? A guy who plays well, keeps out of trouble, and, ideally, helps the team win games. I’d wager that that’s what denizens of any city want out of their athletes.

So let’s move on to the aforementioned Cole Hamels. He was a “Philly type of guy” when he was mowing down hitters in the 2008 playoffs, but the instant he slipped up and started getting frustrated, the populace turned on him like a pack of jackals. Now “he’s a flaky kid from San Diego” or “You know Cole, he’s not a Philly type of guy–he’s too Southern California.”

I’m confused as to what Cole Hamels’ hometown has to do with his attitude. Being from California isn’t the reason that Brad Lidge and Jimmy Rollins struggled last year, nor is it the reason that Chase Utley has been so consistently excellent. Shane Victorino’s not a fun-loving, energetic dude because he’s from Hawaii–I think he’d be exactly the same if he were from Michigan.

But being from San Diego makes you a head case, evidently. So that means that we wouldn’t want San Diego native Ted Williams on our team–too flaky. (Though, in all fairness, Teddy Ballgame’s head is in a case at the moment)

The simple fact of the matter is that linking a person’s personality to his geographic origin is lazy thinking and, worse, usually not germane to the discussion.

Let’s never speak of these things again. Total WAR VII goes up tomorrow.



  1. Don M

    March 9, 2010 at 4:54 pm

    I agree with some.. and don’t agree with others..

    1. The Matt Stairs homerun.. was not only HUGE in the situation, the game, the series, etc . . . it was a FREAKING MOONSHOT. . . That is the most NO DOUBT ABOUT IT HOMERUN that I can remember in Phillies history. So while that phrase “It hasn’t landed yet…” is old, jaded, etc.. If anyone was to say that about any HomeRun.. THAT is the one. It was like the HomeRun Derby, but in one of the games in Phillies history.

    2. .. I thank God for Chris Wheeler.. he’s passionate.. he knows his stuff, stories, stats, trades, etc. He’s a dork . . . but no more than any other baseball announcer. Im glad he’s with the Phillies, and I hope he’s here forever (and Yes, I know that I’m def in the minority on this one)

    3. AMEN…

    4. I think of “Professional Hitter” as an honory title . . . a guy that battles.. and guys like Ichiro, and Polanco come to mind. The goal of a hitter isn’t to hit a HR … it’s to do something/anything productive for your offense.. Some guys are great all-around players.. while some guys truely are PROFESSIONAL HITTERS

    5. AMEN, AGAIN…

    6. … you kinda had me going here.. but then you got on a McNabb kick. The greatest QB EVER.. for a franchise that’s never won the Super Bowl (aka, World’s Tallest Midget)..

    People just get mad that Hamels is seemingly so laid-back… and doesn’t show his emotions like Brett Myers.. or the entire 1993 Phillies team.

    But, I will take talent over “Philly type of guy” every single time..

    It does have something to do with where you come from though because a kid from New York is generally more agressive.. a kid from Texas is a COWBOY, Gun-sligner, etc . . .and the California guys are generally pretty laid back ..

    stereotypes exist for a reason.. and in Hamels’ case he fits the SO CAL surfer image perfectly.

  2. Amanda Orr

    March 9, 2010 at 5:04 pm

    Nice article, although I do like the full name gig. Gotta have the name for it though, like a Michael Jack or Clifton Phifer. It has to flow.

  3. The Dipsy

    March 9, 2010 at 5:05 pm

    Ted Williams WAS flaky. Even Boston hated him. He spit at people, fought with the media, bragged endlessly and dogged it in the outfield. He wasn’t a Boston kinda guy. New York would have loved him. Hey, as much as it may be wrong, a lot of cities DO have their own personality types and, by extension, their own brand of player. Philly, Boston, and Chicago (blue collar) love hard nosed players. New York (Broadway) likes showmanship mixed in with their players. L.A. (laid back, to say the least) likes players that act like they don’t give a hang, yhus mirroring the fan base themselves. If Kirk Gibson hit that homer for Philly he they would have changed the name of the town to Gibsonadelphia…or…er… something like that. Soooooooooo………players can be indentified by the team they play for, or they can be miscast in a particular town. Examples of miscast players: Schmidt in Philly; Dave Stanley in Boston; ARod in Texas; Richie Allen in Philly; Roger Maris with NYY and there’s more. Its true, Michael.

    One more thing. I am a reknowned Chris Wheeler hater. Aside from being a lap dog company man, he has a terrible voice, a snide Mr. Know It All commentating style, and a penchant for analyzing the finest baseball points into dust. While I don’t know much about him personally, I know that at various times, Harry Kalas and Larry Anderson wouldn’t work with him. Sarge belittled him every chance he got when they worked together to the point where “Wheels” stomped up and down and got Sarge demoted. The fact that people just can’t get along with Wheeler, along with the Phils unwillingness to just let him go, are the reasons why our broadcasts feature 14 different broadcasters. “T-Mac” is the only one that doesn’t seem to mind him. Scott F., Sarge, and LA should be doing the games and “Wheels” should be sent down to Lehigh Valley.

    The Dipsy

  4. Don M

    March 9, 2010 at 5:21 pm

    SARGE should learn the English language

    LA is too goofy.. not professional enough, he’s a homer, etc.. and that’s why we love him..

    Franzke should be the future..

    Tmac’s voice bothers me more than Wheels does..

    and I just like the fact that Wheels remembers vivid details of Phillies history.. and not like stats he would’ve had ahead of time.. anytime a crazy situation happens, he’s able to tell you the last people, when a similar play happened, etc. .

  5. The Dipsy

    March 9, 2010 at 5:27 pm

    Don, love ya babe, but I don’t care about the last time something happened. I would guess that he probably has some intern shoving that info in front of his face. I would like crisp, concise color commentary mixed with a sense of humor. The words “Chris Wheeler” and “color” should never appear in the same sentence. He’s terrible. Back in the day, he used to do play by play with Richie doing color. That was not nearly as bad. I would love to see Sarge and Wheels work three innings together and see how long it takes for Sarge to make Wheels cry.

    The Dipsy

  6. TJ

    March 9, 2010 at 5:30 pm

    Got a Cherry Hill shout out, woo! haha

  7. Clem Clines

    March 9, 2010 at 5:32 pm

    I am glad we have a diverse personality range in our broadcast booths. I really still miss both the team of Harry and Whitey and miss them individually. However, I am a Phillies fan for over a half century and am starting to appreciate what we have today. If I start reliving the days of By Saam and Bill Campbell, then I might die. Not because they were bad announcers, but because the teams were so futile. As long as we win, then I will tolerate Chris Wheeler, who is by far the biggest asshole in the booth. But I will give him this: he does know his stuff pretty well. As long as we win. Every group needs a villain and Wheeler is good at this role.

  8. Badfinger

    March 9, 2010 at 6:00 pm

    I wish Chris Wheeler’s knowledge of baseball could progress into the 20th century with the rest of us. I’d probably settle for the early 1990s, though.

    I actually feel that life in Hawaii was part of the reason Shane Victorino is an energetic, fun-loving guy. Nurture AND nature, you know that kind of thing. How can you not be happy when you live where everyone wants to visit and are basically the most successful baseball player your state’s ever had?

  9. Chuck

    March 9, 2010 at 6:12 pm

    Since it seems like we’re flowing here with #2…Chris Wheeler….I’m on record for saying that I like the guy. Is he the greatest announcer ever? No. But he’s a very good analyst. He brings things up that, honestly, I wouldn’t have even though of unless he brought them up. And that only enhances my experience as a viewer.

    Scott Franske, in my opinion, is the best PLAY-BY-PLAY man this city has ever seen (sorry, I loved Harry….Franske’s better) And the combo with L.A. is awesome.

    T-Mac is ok, I guess. No harm. No foul.

    Sarge is a boob.

  10. The Dipsy

    March 9, 2010 at 6:31 pm

    Oh no you didn’t. Take it back, Chuck. I mean it. Fun is fun but opining that Franske is a better analyst than Kalas is nothing short of sacrilege. Unreal. So, to sum up, your position is that Wheeler is a good analyst and Franske is the best analyst the Phils have ever had? Whoa. Pass the dutchie, my friend. The only way that Chris Wheeler could ever enhance MY experience as a viewer is to spontaneously combust on camera.

    The Dipsy

  11. Don M

    March 9, 2010 at 7:06 pm

    The Dramatic,

    what is it that you, personally, don’t like about Wheeler?

    As far as I can tell.. there is a feud between Harry and Wheels.. from all the way back when games used to be broadcast on PRISM

    yea, that long ago..

    Sarge is the dumbest announcer in sports..

  12. The Dipsy

    March 9, 2010 at 7:28 pm

    Don. Read a couple of posts up. Name me one analyst currently broadcasting in ANY sport that never played that sport. I doubt that Wheels ever made it to American Legion ball. Does that take away from his credibility? For me, it does. Trust me, I would entertain you more than Wheels and I would also leave out those incessant stupid phrases that he always uses. Less mind numbing analysis and more color. He’s a drone. I find his personality to be ….well, he really has no personality. He’s just a grab asser, Don. Thats how he got his job. He’s been licking boots from the mail room all the way up to the booth. He’s just a snarky little man. And if you’re gonna wear a toupee, can you get a decent one? That thing almost bit Garry Maddox once.

    As for the Sarge, he is a funny dude. See, he’s like… a …real person. He’s says goofy stuff that I personally think is hilarious sometimes. Does he know he’s actually saying it? Prolly not. AND he provides color (no pun intended). See, I would like to hear about when this play or that play happened to Gary one night in Atlanta in 1975 and have him retell a relevant story than listen to Wheels drive home the same point by relying on something that John Vukovich told him during a gin game once. Wheels sucks in EVERY way, Don.

    The Dipsy

  13. George

    March 9, 2010 at 7:32 pm

    This is possibly one of the best pieces I’ve read here. It is well thought out and well written. Its points are made not by preaching, but by reasoning and humor.

    I particularly agree with the last part, about linking personalities with states. That’s something I always find incredibly stupid. It would be like saying Alaskans are all Eskimos or Hawaiians all Hula dancers. It would be like those old depictions of black men with bug-eyes and watermelons under their arms, saying “Yassuh.”

    Someone here has claimed that L.A. fans want “laid back” types, and yet Maury Wills was not only one of the most “hard-nosed” players ever, but also one of the most popular in Dodgers history, and Kirk Gibson’s feat is famous precisely because he was tough enough to hit when he could barely stand. I haven’t lived in any of those other places mentioned, so–unlike some who claim they’re knowledgeable–I won’t comment on their heroes or their ideals. Maybe stereotypes exist for a reason, but maybe that reason is not the few oddballs who stand out, but the people looking for excuses to look down their noses at the rest of a state’s population.

    I might add that I’ve never met a gunslinger from Texas or anywhere else, unless you count police officers. I did, however, know a biker from Los Angeles who wore a cowboy hat and always carried a butcher knife.

  14. The Ed 2

    March 9, 2010 at 7:51 pm

    Let’s not forget terribly generic nicknames like T-Mac, A-Rod, and (worst of all) J-Roll. Let’s stop this orgy of creative lack once and for all please.

  15. Manny

    March 9, 2010 at 7:53 pm

    Even though I agree with No. 6, I must say this: Michael you have issues.

  16. Tim

    March 9, 2010 at 8:48 pm

    the werth the wait stuff and finalee is annoying

  17. shag beta sigma delta

    March 9, 2010 at 8:50 pm

    Those of you hate on Wheels, must not listen to many other team broadcasters. Dipsy, you simply do not like the guy and that is fine, but he does an ok job in my book. Saying that I do not have to listen to him every night. I live in VT with Directv and have the MLB package, work nights and TiVo all the games and watch when I get home. So the people I have to listen to is a crap shoot. But I have heard them all, ok not all just teams philly plays against, and pretty much outside of the Nats guys, whom are probably not the most professional booths guys out their they are a riot. But some of the other teams, Rockies, Padres, Marlins, to name a few are just plain terrible. So before you go hating on Wheels spend a few weeks listening to some other local yahoos and you will see why Wheels stays around.
    Oh Yea and Dodger games where Vin Scully talks to himself, I mean he is good play by play guy, but it is just a little off when he poses rhetorical questions to himself

  18. The Second John

    March 9, 2010 at 9:50 pm

    I agree with almost everything here.

    I think Chris Wheeler is a good announcer. The stuff he says that annoys people like “No doubles defense” etc. are useful as a fan watching T.V. Also, the Phillies have a pretty good announcing team. T-Mac kind of bothers me, but other than that its fine.

  19. Thunder Lips

    March 9, 2010 at 11:24 pm

    I love when Sarge points out that a guy is a “fastball hitter.” Aren’t all baseball players fastball hitters?

  20. Thunder Lips

    March 9, 2010 at 11:27 pm

    Phillies management is supposedly making Wheels take that muskrat from his head and cage it in the booth for the telecasts. It bit Sarge last year during one of the games and caused him to garble a lot of words and to make nonsensical comments. I think it was opening day last year.

  21. George

    March 9, 2010 at 11:58 pm

    In considering who are the bad announcers, I always use Tim McCarver as my benchmark. So far, everyone else has scored better in every single way. In a recent study, it was shown that prolonged exposure to Tim McCarver causes destruction of television sets, brain damage, and testicular cancer.

  22. Rishard

    March 10, 2010 at 1:39 am

    I would just like to sound off on the whole Chris “Wheelz” Wheeler topic.

    I have read plenty of negative things about him. Basically, I haven’t a clue with whom he got along or who he treated poorly, but this I do know…

    I have never liked that douche bag! And, in the earlier days, he was always dumber than a box or rocks.

    The Phillies are a religion in my family. You are raised from day one to know it’s God, Family, Phillies, Self… and on most days Phillies get listed before Family (and on a few occasions even before God).
    My grandmother refused to let the doctors take her in to the O.R. for her scheduled open heart surgery until the Phillies/Royals game was over. So, they waited and the Phillies won. She has since past away, and I have inherited the baseball the 1980 World Series Champs autographed in her honor… She loved them like family.

    Oh, back to “Wheelz”… He just rubs me and the rest of my family the wrong way. Sure, we were in our glory with the likes of Whitey, HK, Musser, and Tastykakes (whatever happened to that Tastykake jingle you got to hear 20 times a game?). I recall a simpler time when my cable company carried “Prism” (Prism was a kind of Philadelphia Home Sports channel slathered in HBO and dipped in Skin-o-Max). Now, as I said it was a simpler time… Chris Wheeler sucked the life out of the broadcast booth during home televised games. However, the world wasn’t as jaded… So, the TV delay was all but non-existent. That fact allowed every Philly fan watching the Phills on Prism to turn off their TV volume and place their radios on top of the TV… Ahhhhh… thereby neutralizing the the aforementioned Bag O’ Douche.

    I miss those non Wheeler days. Just like I miss Harry Kalas, Richie Ashburn, Michael Jack Schmidt, and hearing Larry Andersen on the TV (sure he’s a “homer” but he tells it like its is… If you’re a Phil and you act like a bum, he’ll call you a bum, and he has no problem utilizing self-deprecating humor… He’s a natural).

    I suppose what I’m trying to say is, I’d trade a million Wheelz for one HK and then I’d be ripping off the poor fella’ who gave up HK. I personally believe Harry at this very point in time is still displaying far more talent than Wheelz. (aka Bag O’ Douche)

  23. Nunzio Scholeri

    March 10, 2010 at 4:58 am

    First off, this is a great post. I was hooked right from the subject line – not only the proper usage but even the proper pluralization of moratorium? On a sports commentary blog? Awesome, man. I dig a writer who uses the full range of the wonderful English language.

    Generally I agree with the points mentioned in the post, even if some of them don’t bother me as much as it seems they bother other people.

    I know I’m not alone in wishing Scott Franzke and Larry Anderson were doing the TV commentary – I honestly look forward to the days when I know I’ll be in the car around gametime and can listen to the game on the radio. But I can honestly say that I can deal with Chris Wheeler – he’s annoying at times, but gets the job done. But Sarge… oh, Sarge. The man who speaks in an agonizingly slow drawl of about 3 words per minute, repeats himself over and over again (just as slowly every time), and after dragging the pace of the game to a halt he’ll usually just end up rambling something incredibly *ahem* profound along the lines of “Great diving catch, you can see here he just dives, and comes up with the ball, that’s just the kind of diving catch where a guy dives and he catches that ball before it has a chance to go past him and not be caught like it would be caught if he dived for it, which is just what he did there, he dove, and he caught it.”

  24. Nunzio Scholeri

    March 10, 2010 at 5:01 am

    (Obviously that’s not an actual quote, but read it with a Sarge voice in your head – it’s exactly how he announces. Describing in excruciatingly repetitive fashion what just happened as if highlighting some brilliantly deep facet of the game that only a wise man such as he would notice. No one in my house can stand to listen to the man.)

  25. bfo_33

    March 10, 2010 at 6:58 am

    Enjoyed the post and the comments. Wheels is a good guy to have in the booth – like Gary Dellabate (sp?) on Stern – has a lot of good info, but generally irritating, not a broadcaster, shouldn’t have the spotlight. I like Anderson and Frankze the best, but can’t get the radio broadcast at home consistently (in NEPA), can live with the rest, even Sarge (more so for the unintentional comedy). When the Phils play the Mets, I switch back and forth between comcast and SNY, probably favor SNY a bit more.
    If McCarver and Buck, I turn off the sound. Can’t stand either of those condescending…guys.

  26. Chuck

    March 10, 2010 at 7:16 am


    I stand by my post at 6:12 last night…… Chris Wheeler is a “very good analyst” and Scott Franske is the “best play-by-play man this city has ever seen.”

    I also said that I thought that “Sarge is a boob.” By that I mean that he’s a TERRIBLE analyst. Yeah, maybe he’s funny, like you said, but it doesn’t come off well on the air.

    Sorry, Dip Man. I guess we’ll just have to agree to disagree on this one, huh??

  27. Chuck

    March 10, 2010 at 7:23 am

    ^I DO like Sarge’s hats, though

  28. The Dipsy

    March 10, 2010 at 7:27 am

    Did anybody like Jim Barniak and Garry Maddox on Prism besides me? I thought Maddox was a tremendous color guy. When he came on the Channel 17 broadcasts (thats what we used to call it) he would do color for some home games. Good analysis, self effacing, with a a Venus Flytrap kind of mellow delivery. Very cool. They wanted to hire him full time but he didn’t take the job because he didn’t want to travel (so he told the Dipsy himself in a tavern one afternoon). Ah well. My dad used to really dislike Any Musser but I would take Andy 1000 times over “Wheels”. Now that I’ve made a WKRP in Cincinnati reference, Wheels is definitely Herb Tarlek. Right down to the white shoes and belt.

    The Dipsy

  29. Chuck

    March 10, 2010 at 8:29 am

    Herb Tarlek?? Maybe I can see SOME of that. I still like Wheels though,..Andy Musser was good too.

    And just for the record….my pronouncement that I think that Franske is the “best play-by-play guy this city has had”…..that takes ABSOLUTELY NOTHING away from Harry.

    Harry Kalas was the best all around announcer of any kind for any sport that Philly has had. He was ….and I realize that I’m violating Michael’s #6 in his article….Harry Kalas was as “Philly” as you can get. He had such a personality and he was MORE than just a TV or radio guy. He was really an “ambassador” for not only the Phillies but the game of baseball.

    Harry touched so many people, young and old, and that’s a rare gift. My twelve year old son cried the day he died and loved him so much that he put on his Christmas list this past year that he wanted an “HK” patch. (It was in his stocking). That’s from a 12 year old.

    Maybe in 30 years Scott Franske will have been elevated to that level in this town. Who knows? He’s very, very good….I think he’s as “pure” of a play- by- play as there is. He’s always technically correct, has great delivery and a great voice, and he knows his stuff. Maybe L.A. makes him better. So what. That’s a good thing.

  30. Jeff of Nova

    March 10, 2010 at 8:29 am

    This post has had me in tears laughing this morning.

    Chuck, Dipsy, Don,

    All I have to say is “you can’t make this *&^* up”

  31. The Dipsy

    March 10, 2010 at 8:30 am

    For the record, I think Franske is tremendous.

    The Dipsy

  32. Chuck

    March 10, 2010 at 9:14 am

    You gotta admit, Wheels is pretty funny in this video….

  33. Chuck

    March 10, 2010 at 9:16 am

    For some reason that didn’t work. Just go to YouTube and search Harry Kalas. It’s the vid of him calling the final out of the 2008 WS and Wheels is next to him.

  34. Jeff of Nova

    March 10, 2010 at 10:57 am

    On the topic of who is the best,

    I grew up listening to Harry when I lived in PA, in fact he lived in the same neighborhood, so I am impartial to HK, but Franske is very good, I liked Andy Musser as well.

    Of course nothing is as good as Whitey and Harry

  35. Don M

    March 10, 2010 at 11:37 am

    I think i just like Wheels because he has studied the game so much, that he tells you exactly what to look for in the coming situation . . . and then he tells you why the team is doing it

    (which most of US already know.. but when I’m wathichg the game the wifey.. it helps when Wheels answers her questions, instead of me having to do it)

    Where T-Mac would just say.. “And the Phillies, now in a No-Doubles defense” .. doesn’t describe anything..

    Wheels would give you “Phillies going into a No-Doubles defense, they’re guarding the lines at 1st & 3rd . . . Outfielders are playing a few steps back.. they want to make sure they keep the ball in front of them here. It’s no big deal if a hit drops in, but they want to make sure they keep everything in front of them, and keep guys out of scoring position” .. etc..

    Tmac, “And uh.. Wheels.. how about Sarge had BBQ sauce all over his face when he was eating ribs earlier (and then give us a nice, fake laugh)”

    Wheels to me.. yea, company guy, kiss-a$$ ??, maybe.. how would we know..

    but he cares the most.. its his LIFE.. whereas for guys like Tmac, its a job

    and I actually love the combination of Tmac & Wheels.. SO MUCH compared to Tmac & Sarge.. I almost can’t watch the games in the 4th-6th innings.. it drives me nuts listening to those two together

  36. Chuck

    March 10, 2010 at 12:41 pm

    Yeah, I mean when someone devotes their life to their job….it shows. That’s why we loved Harry so much, too. I mean, from what I understand HK was underpaid but chose to stay here all those years.

    That devotion comes across and I appreciate that.

    And how can you NOT be a “company guy” if you’ve been with an organization for almost 40 years like Wheels has. To say that disparagingly is almost like criticizing someone for having devotion or a good work ethic and attitude towards their job.

    As a culture, aren’t we actually supposed to EMBRACE that?

  37. Bob in Bucks

    March 10, 2010 at 1:50 pm

    On the announcers – I think Franske is great. He does good play by play but is a fun guy. LA is well, he is just a fan – he really doesn’t add anything other than a virtual drinking buddy – which I suppose is something.
    Sarge is a joke – really a waste. He does not add anything except for his hats and I can’t listen to “Cadillac time” anymore. What makes it worse is that T-Mac sucks up to him and they go off talking about some game in 1992 while the real game slips by.
    I liked T-Mac back when he did radio. But on TV he just will not stop talking! That was the beauty of Harry. He knew you saw the pitch was low. He would just remind you of the count. A little white space is not a bad thing. T-Mac either needs to count to three before talking or he needs to go back to radio where you need to keep talking.
    I am neutral to positive on Wheeler. He talks too much BUT at least he knows what he is talking about AND he does talk to players and others before the game so he knows a little more.
    For me I would want Franske and Wheeler on TV. T-Mac on radio and replace LA/Sarge with one guy. Hold on for this but the guy should be…..Dobbs. If you have ever heard Dobbs he is well-spoken, intelligent and knows the game. He should be a broadcaster.
    LA should go to the bar and watch the game and yell at the TV and Sarge should go shopping.

  38. jrollpatrol08

    March 10, 2010 at 4:11 pm

    can i add one to the list?

    7) the ever-popular “good clubhouse guy.”

    This sort of comment has always been like fingernails on a chalkboard, but it was taken about 5 steps too far on Monday. I was watching the phils/yanks game (unfortunately) broadcast on MLBnetwork via the yankee propaganda YES network. it was my first time listening to anything on this network, and i almost puked. all they talked about was the new acquisitions for the yanks–nick johnson, curtis granderson, randy winn, and javier vasquez–and how all of these guys are just fantastic ‘clubhouse’ guys. i mean DURING the game, they went to a split screen so we could WATCH joe girardi talk about how great the atmosphere in the clubhouse is going to be. oh this will make our team so much more comfortable…i mean come on! yanks seemed pretty comfortable last year winning over 100 games and takin the fall classic…all of these guys are above average, eh maybe not winn, so why not brag about their BASEBALL skills? its just an absolute farce and im sick of hearing about the baseball ‘clubhouse’ presence. i think people like milton bradley and contract-year manny ramirez fuel this incredibly bad mentality. oh, ok….NOBODY on our team is as bad as those idiots, therefore we have ‘good clubhouse’ guys. the cubs didnt suck because milton bradley couldnt hack it–they sucked because they languished in mediocrity. The sport of baseball itself just doesnt really depend on the ‘clubhouse’ presence…brett myers called hamels a baby or whatever…both of them could have gone back out and performed just the same on the field 2 days later. in a sport where sooo much emphasis is placed on individual achievements, one jackass terrible ‘clubhouse’ guy doesnt ruin it for everyone, and a ‘good clubhouse’ guy doesnt win ballgames. period.

  39. Don M

    March 10, 2010 at 4:11 pm

    “LA should go to the bar and watch the game and yell at the TV ”


  40. The Dipsy

    March 10, 2010 at 4:58 pm

    Chuck – Would you agree with me that an employee who is kept on at a business that he has worked for forever but is holding back other, younger and perhaps more talented employees, is not necessarily good for the business? In fact, take out the word “necessarily”. Wheels has a good work ethic. He has been loyal to the organization I’m sure. Does that mean we should all overlook the fact that he is NOT a good color analyst? Any useful analysis that some may feel he lends to the broadcast is far outweighed by his personality, which runs anywhere from bland to snippy to haughty, and his bondage to 10 or 15 sayings that he repeats over and over again to describe the action. Additionally, and some may have notived this also, Wheels very often cannot properly identify the pitches that are being thrown. Cutters are sliders, sliders are curves, and curves are “that split pitch he’s been working on”. That grates on me to no end. And then when a call goes against the Phils, you hear him moan “Oh, come on”. Give Wheels his gold watch and send him back to Delaware County. Please.

    The Dipsy

  41. Don M

    March 10, 2010 at 5:06 pm

    Between Wheels… Sarge… and Larry Anderson

    Wheels is definitely the best at the job… maybe not as “entertaining as LA”.. but definitely more insightful.

    You don’t want to hear your local announcer with some support for his team??

    Merrill Reese does the same thing with calls for/aginst the Eagles..
    Jim Jackson & Crew all do it as well..
    Who even knows or cares who does 76ers games.?

    Does it really matter if Wheels does, or doesn’t correctly identify a Cutter/Slider ?? I haven’t noticed him call too many things incorrectly in the years and years I’ve been watching baseball..

    and is bad judgement by announcers got you angry … surely you had get frustrated with Harry Kalas’ “SWING AND A LONG DRIVE…..” on what ended up being warning-track fly balls..

    I think people hate Wheels because its been beaten into our brains that HE FEUDED WITH HARRY… WE LOVE HARRY… THEREFORE WE TOO HATE WHEELS..

    which is pretty ridiculous

  42. The Dipsy

    March 10, 2010 at 5:17 pm

    Don – Yes, I hate when the color analyst can’t identify a pitch. Thats his freakin job. People can’t praise him for his knowledge and preparedness then give him a pass when he doesn’t know the difference between a slider and a curve. Actually, its very easy. Harry just used to say “breaking ball” because methinks he had problems with it too. Wheels can just do that. Please. Not only did he feud with Harry but he also got L.A. knocked down to radio because they couldn’t work together.

    The Dipsy

  43. Don M

    March 10, 2010 at 5:44 pm

    I really don’t notice Wheels incorrectly identifying pitches…

    From 100 feet away.. with an umpire/catcher/batter sometimes blocking your view.. its not always the easiest thing in the world to call each pitch either. But I think he does a great job calling pitches, telling how and why they’ll attack a hitter a certain way, etc..

    and im kinda thinking the incorrectly-identified pitch is something that you may have seen once and just added to your list of REASONS I HATE WHEELS

    basically, I feel that you should come up with more examples why you hate a guy for no reason.

  44. Chuck

    March 10, 2010 at 5:55 pm

    “Holding back other, younger and perhaps more talented employees”

    Just WHO is Chris Wheeler holding back?? Is there someone else working for the Phillies….perhaps in the mailroom….that is qualified to be in the broadcast booth??

  45. Chuck

    March 10, 2010 at 5:57 pm

    Yeah, and who really gives a rats’ you know what about some feud that Harry and Wheels either did or didn’t have. So what. Does THAT makes Wheels a bad analyst??

  46. Chuck

    March 10, 2010 at 5:58 pm

    When you think about it ….MAYBE…just maybe…the “feud” was Harry’s fault. What about that?

  47. Bob R

    March 11, 2010 at 1:07 am

    Well I used to really dislike Chris Wheeler-The ultimate torture for me was years ago on Prism when Wheeler was paired with McCarver-no silence what-so-ever! Just 2 guys trying to outdo each other.
    Now I kind of accept him for a few reasons:

    First-he’s a Philly area kid who is a life-long Phillies fan and
    Second-even though he wasnt a pro player he has seen more baseball than most people and been around the game for so long that I have to admit he knows the game pretty good and
    Third-he just loves and lives for baseball-I can respect that!
    That all said he still can come off as a know-it-all and seems to really dislike any teasing and never admits that one of his partners is right or knows something he doesn’t. So even though I dislike him less than ever-he still can be tough to take day in and day out.

    Sarge-when Sarge is with T-mac there seems to be a tension there-if you hear Sarge with Jim Jackson it’s a whole lot different than hearing Sarge with T-mac-they just don’t play off each other well-Jim Jackson seems to bring out a relaxed, funny and informative side of Sarge that doesn’t come out so well when he is with T-mac. Only thing with Sarge is he tends to state the obvious and over STRESS the wrong syllables sometimes! And please guys we can do without the booth shot on tv of Sarge and T-mac!

    T-mac-kind of bland-not much personality comes through at all yet rarely shuts-up.

    LA-love him
    Franske-love him too
    But the combo can be a little trying at times-too often they are laughing about inside jokes that only they get rather than talking about the game or baseball or even letting us in on the joke.

    To me I’d keep Franske, LA, Sarge and Jim Jackson.
    Wheeler and T-mac could go.

  48. Georgie

    March 11, 2010 at 3:04 pm

    Good posts always bring out the best comments, you guys are cracking me up!

    Dips, your hatred of Wheels is akin to my feelings about Sarah Palin, the mere mention of her name or the sound of her voice is enough to make my head explode. I really don’t feel that way about Wheels, I kind of agree with Don, he tells some interesting stories (heck, he’d HAVE to, as long as he’s been around baseball), he’s certainly knows his way around the game, and I don’t see how his voice is irritating, but that is a personal thing. Now, the rug, yeah, I believe it up and bit Sarge once or twice, I swear I’ve seen it move when he gets overly excited.

    Feelings on Sarge seem to be to the extreme, either you love him or hate him (in the booth, that is), and I love him! No pretentions, he’s just who he is, funny and dorky at the same time. He has a distinct personality which you can always count on, and I find that refreshing.

    T-Mac, I’m ambivolent where he’s concerned, leaning towards “he gets on my nerves”.

    Jim Jackson is just a professional in every way, so he’s fine, and Franske is awesome, and HOT!

    Sorry, but I’m not a huge LA fan, he really is way too much of a homer. I don’t mind a little bit of that, but, c’mon, be a little objective. And for me his voice is irritating, but that’s just me probably.

    I am so stoked for the season to begin….the snow is almost gone here, you can smell the ground awakening from this crap-fest of a winter, it’s time for BASEBALL!!!!

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