Before tonight’s game and all, I wanted to pass along Frank Fitzpatrick’s Morning Bytes about what happens after Harry, as in, who could take the reins as lead play-by-play TV man.
It’s a touchy subject to tackle so quickly after Kalas’ death, but as we live in a world of expanding space and constant news angles, it’s a subject that becomes topical in a flash. Fitzpatrick breaks down the current Phillies broadcasting team and decides Tom McCarthy is the logical choice. He is. In fact, when the Phillies brought McCarthy back to the team, I figured he was pre-decided as Kalas’ logical replacement. McCarthy is likable, and though he may be chatty on air, that’s mainly because of his recent baseball roles (studio guy, third man, field reporter). He would be a fine choice, but getting used to him would take time.
I would immediately rule out Chris Wheeler, Larry Andersen and Gary Matthews. Wheels, for better or worse, is too divisive among the fanbase to be No. 1. Andersen is universally loved, but he doesn’t cater to play-by-play whatsoever. Sarge the same, and as a former ballplayer turned easygoing fan, there’s much more Whitey in him than Harry.
That brings me to Scott Franzke, a fan of our site and an all-around good guy. He’s a class play-by-play man and knows how to pull back (just listen to his emotionally charged call of Monday’s game), but he’s hardly heard as the radio broadcaster. Still, he’s young (37) and could be just the person to lead the broadcasts into the next decade.
Fitzpatrick then mentions Harry’s son, Todd Kalas, as a possible replacement. To which I disagree. Let Todd cull his own legacy on his own terms, and don’t let him come to Philadelphia. The Phillies need to either mold their own voice or work with what they have; to bring in an existing voice that is already on a forward path would be wrong. Plus, on an odd level, I’d rather see the memory of Harry remain the memory of Harry, and not be lived on through his kin in Philadelphia. If that makes sense.
It is always possible the Phils open the gates and allow for a new voice to enter the race. If that’s the case, sign me up – because of Harry, the one job I’ve always wanted most in my life? Calling play-by-play for the Phillies.