How long will the Phillies allow Chris Wheeler and Tom McCarthy to remain in place as the TV face of the Phils?
These two men talk unceasingly, as if they do not understand, first of all, that they are not on the radio. It’s as if they feel that every moment of the game needs to be filled with their chatter. How wrong is that! (Especially when those doing the talking are Wheels and McCarthy)
Wheeler, of course, is at his most excruciating during the first handful of innings, when he is eager to dispense mounds of factoids to us.
He always starts by talking about the other team as if they are Goliath, tauting their strengths and trotting out stats that can show how dangerous a foe they are. I believe he thinks he is creating interest by doing this at the start of every game, but in reality, it’s only the first of 9 innings of Wheeler Annoyance. In fact, the games are exciting enough, and Wheeler doesn’t need to try to whip up excitement. Let me stay this clearly: This is Philadelphia, not Miami. We’re already into each game here in Philadelphia. We’re already excited. We do not need to be treated like oblivious children and have our interest peaked by Chris Wheeler.
McCarthy (who once worked for the Mets, which ever remains an unpleasant fact) seems to compete with Wheeler’s chatter – and so the two of them become a hugely annoying situation, a spewing of talk for 9 innings.
Thus for every single Phillies game, I mute the TV, at least for the first 3 innings until Sarge rides over the horizon in the 4th, and listen to Franzke and L.A on 1210, WPHT. There is absolutely, positively no alternative. If one wants to listen to a Phillies game without annoyance, one must mute the TV.
Franzke and L.A., by the way, do a really good job on the radio. If the Phillies put them on TV, instead of the radio, that’d be fine with me. Add into that mix Mitch Williams or Ricky Botallico (who, by the way, has improved drastically this season on Comcast Post Game Live) then it’d be so much the better. In fact, that would be my current dream TV team: Franzke, Mitch Williams, Botallico and L.A I want some wit and humor in the game, along with the insight only a former player can provide. These guys would give all that.
Normally I turn off the radio and restore the TV sound for the final 3 innings of a game. By that time, I can hope that Wheeler has calmed down enough so that he isn’t rattling off facts the way he does during the first couple of innings. I figure at the very least, Wheeler is wearing out by that time, and will not be talking so much. But one can never be sure of that: it is not a hard and fast rule.
Please, Phillies Front Office, please give us a TV team that we can be proud of, in the tradition of Harry Kalas – one that is not annoying, one that is smart and witty as well as knowledgable – and one that knows when to be quiet, and when to talk. There is something to be said for the wonderful sounds of a game. Wheeler and McCarthy will talk through anything.
(All this is aside from the visual appearance that McCarthy and Wheeler present on camera. We won’t even go there, ’cause they cannot help how they look – and so I will not delve deeply into that fact that one of them reminds me of a squinty-eyed Disney character, a weasel to be exact. The fact is that their appearance would not matter if they were less annoying in the booth.)
But annoying they are.