Tagged: Chris Wheeler

Phillies’ Tom McCarthy Still Annoys

Let’s face it: the Phillies organization keeps inflicting a very second rate TV broadcasting team on its fans. That’s just wrong.

Chris Wheeler, whose flood of facts never ends, and who never fails to say what the players are thinking in every situation (and often incorrectly, of course, as a mindreader he’s not) almost seems acceptable when compared to his broadcasting crony Tom McCarthy.

McCarthy has never learned the subtleties of broadcasting: He doesn’t realize that his voice does not need to be piercing the game during every moment of the game.  After all, there is the sound of the crowd. There’s the ambience of the game. There’s the sound of the game.  McCarthy’s m.o. is to take a headlock on the game, and  endlessly insert himself in the game.

McCarthy’s voice is adequate when its tone is calm and low, but when he gets excited or loud, the high tone of his voice becomes equivalent to chalk squeaking on a blackboard. Its intolerable.

The only thing to do is to mute the TV and to listen to the great interaction of Larry Anderson and Scott Franzke.  They are two guys with whom it is fun to share the entire season of baseball, and most of us do just that by muting the TV and enjoying the Phillies radio broadcast.

On the other hand, one game is one game too much if spent with Wheeler/McCarthy.

And would someone in production please tell McCarthy to wear a hat? Have mercy on us!


Do the Advertisers Know?

Jimmy Rollins is getting closer to returning. He ran at the park yesterday, which is a good sign.

Meanwhile, do the paying advertisers know that many of us mute the Phillies games in order to avoid Tom MacCarthy and Chris Wheeler? They have a right to know that we do not hear their commecials.

When will the Phillies organization give us TV announcers who attract an audience rather than repulse an audience? When will the Phillies have TV announcers who are the sort of guys with whom we want to spend hundreds of hours a year?

When Tom MacCarthy’s voice rises in pitch, it becomes like the proverbial chalk scratching on a blackboard. He needs to keep his voice LOW in tone, for the sake of us all. And his beady little eyes, his bulbous head, and his lipless smile just creep me out. They just do. And Chris Wheeler…oh boy.

And then there is the endless boring conversation between these two guys, heard when now and then I might turn on the TV sound for a change. It is a short lived change, tho. I always turn off the TV guys immediately, and return to the likeable guys on the radio.

Don’t the Phillies brass see how bizarre the TV guys are? Don’t they hear them? Don’t they ever actually look at them?

Have mercy on us. Put LA and Franzke on TV. They are two guys I want to spend my baseball hours with.

Try Not to Notice …

If you want to enjoy the Phillies games on TV, don’t become aware of Tom McCarthy’s vocal gymnastics, his voice swinging up and down, from one syllable to the next, to such a degree that it becomes annoying. Try not to notice.

Try not to notice that McCarthy’s vocal pitch is high and irritating. Try not to wish that he’d work at lowering his pitch – so that his voice would be less piercing.

Try not to notice that his rather big head looms in the forefront of the tv screen whenever they (too frequently) put Wheels and him on camera. (God help us.)  Just try not to notice how much of the screen Tom McCarthy’s head requires. And try not to wish that we had two more appealing men to do the Phils games.

Try not to notice how Tom McCarthy laughs at things that are not very funny – and that he laughs too long, too often at such things. Is it nerves?

Try not to notice just how much Tom McCarthy talks, especially considering that the game is televised, and we are actually seeing just about every single thing he says. Redundancy…Try not to wish that sometimes we could hear the sounds of the game without a voice droning through it. Ah, how nice would that be?

Try not to think how nice it’d be to have Franzke and LA or Franzke and Botallico or Mitch on TV. Try not to think how nice it’d be to spend all that game time with guys you’d actually enjoy listening to.

Try not to think how nice it’d be to not have to mute the TV during Phillies games, to eliminate the annoyance of Wheeler and McCarthy.

And definitely try not to remember that Tom McCarthy was all too recently an employee of the New York Mets.

Yearning for a Shake-Up in the Phillies TV Booth

Many thought Chris Wheeler was the sole problem in the Phillies’ TV Broadcasting Booth, but there is definitely more trouble in River City than just Chris Wheeler. 

Baseball play by play and color commentators absolutely need to be guys you enjoy spending time with. Lots of time, as in 162+ games a year.

Let’s face it: at an average of 3 hours per game, that is Major Togetherness.

But many don’t like spending time with the Phils’ TV broadcasters, (with the exception of Sarge, who’s like a favorite uncle that you don’t mind having around. He sort of putters in the background.)

Chris Wheeler. looking a tad weaselly, apparently believes he knows what the players are thinking in every situation. And every little factoid he can possibly scrounge up, he throws out there for public consumption.

When one thinks of it, Wheeler is rather like the know it all kid in The Polar Express.

Then there is Tom McCarthy – a former Mets announcer, for gosh sakes – who possesses an annoyingly reedy voice.

And suffice it to say that it is not enjoyable when Wheeler and McCarthy fill up one’s whole TV screen. You know what I mean? Whew. 

Don’t the Phillies front office ever watch the games on TV? Guess not.

And then there are The Conversations between these two guys: When Wheels and Tom talk to each other, back and forth, what unfortunately unfolds is boring interaction between two unappealing guys.

Yeah, it’s a barrel of monkeys for the viewers

To avoid this dismal state of affairs in the TV booth, many are forced, game after game, to mute the TV, putting up with the out of sync radio coverage.

But out of sync coverage is a lot a whole lot better than listening to Tom McCarthy’s long hyena laughter (at things that are really not very funny) and Wheels’ infinite pontificating.

Scott Franzke, on the other hand, does an outstanding job calling the plays on radio, and would make a great TV play by play guy.

Scott’s banter with L.A. is enjoyable. In other words, Franzke and LA are guys you like spending time with. And during every Phillies game, many of us mute the TV, to do just that.

L.A. could do the color better than Wheels – and with a ring of authority, too, because he played in the MLB.

The same with Ricky Botalico. He would be another fantastic TV color analyst. He’s got a great grasp of the game, with an aura of authority because he pitched in the majors.

And, of course, who wouldn’t enjoy Mitch Williams as color analyst? Can you say Fun?

The bottom line is this, that the Phillies are a world class team with a truly sub par TV broadcasting team.

It is a situation that needs to change. 

Chaws, Cheese, Spit, and the TV Announcers

Last night’s game was great. It was a win, first and foremost, and a pitching triumph for Kyle Kendrick. There were homers and stolen bases  – and it felt like The Phillies of Old were commencing a return.

All Philadelphia hopes it is so.

But there are always a few minor things that bear mentioning. Take, for example, Charlie Manuel’s mega wad of tobacco in his bulging cheek. Dang, there was so much stuff in there that when Charlie talked, the danged tobacco showed. Ew. Please, Charlie, go back to your standard issue bubble gum. It looks lots better on you, honest.

Then there are the Phillies’ TV guys, ever an issue for many of us. Does Chris Wheeler have a new toupee? It looks…yellower. And Tom McCarthy’s long, piercing laugh is as much in evidence as ever, as is his giganctic, bulbous head. (Please…Tom…wear a hat. A nice, simple Phillies hat.)  I will forever lobby for Scott Franzke and LA (or Bottalico) to be the TV announcers for the Phillies.

And then there is this season’s new terminology for a high fast ball. Cheese. High Cheese. Cmon. That’s sorta …strange, don’t you think? Every time I hear it, I see a wedge of Swiss Cheese dangling by a long cord above the batters’ heads…

There’s also the EVER present spitting. It’s like all baseball people are allergic to grass, or pinstripes, or something. Even the coaches spit, for gosh sakes.

But I suppose there is some sort of humble accomplishment in proper spitting. Yesterday  one Phillie walked away from the plate while wimpily spitting downward in front of him. It was almost a drool.  Moral: Spit forecefully when moving fast, or you’ll be wearing your spit on your uniform.

Not desirable, no matter how you slice it.

A common spit scenario is when the TV camera goes in for a close up of a player in the dugout. Suddenly the spit of someone just off camera goes flying several times – larger than life – across the bottom right hand corner of the TV screen.

Now that’s really special.

It’s a case of truth being stranger than the fiction. An author couldn’t dream up this wide scale baseball spitting, and get away with it.

So, in this moment of pleasure, the Phillies having beaten the Yankees 2 out of 3, it is the little things that elbow their way front and center.

Mr Doom and Mr Gloom

I mute my tv during Phillies games, and listen to Scott Franzke and L.A. on the radio. It’s far better that way.

In fact, I even try to avoid any TV booth shots of Tom McCarthy and Chris Wheeler. Whew. I spare myself. (Tom, please wear a hat.)

But now the golden boys on the radio – my baseball companions – have taken to calculating running counts of all sorts: strike outs, lack of home runs, lack of extra base hits. It used to be how many games running. Now they’re doing how many innings running for each drearey statistic.

To say it is getting old is a huge understatement.

Please, LA and Scott, just call the game. Leave the constant gloomy running counts on the radio booth floor. We all know how horrible the current games are going. We all know, so hearing it from you two, in all sorts of detailed running counts, is very, very, very, very unnecessary.

It’s like hearing a bad echo over and over again.

Mr Doom and Mr Gloom, just call the game. The fans who are listening to your broadcast are already feeling down about the Phils.

Have Mercy! Put Franzke and L.A. on TV

Enough is enough, Phillies Organization.

Please deliver us from Tom McCarthy.

He might be a nice guy. Probably is. But….being an announcer on TV for a major baseball team takes more than having the gift of gab.

As Harry Kalas personified, the announcers have to be the sort of guys you like spending time with. Lots of time. 162 games a season.

And honestly, Tom McCarthy, with that hideously lengthy laugh of his, and his incessant chatter, just does not cut it.

McCarthy doesn’t really sound like a Phillies fan, either. He’s too busy being….objective. If you’ve listened to him, you know what I mean.

(We will not mention that he should wear a baseball cap to cover some of his head. That’s not really all that important, tho it cannot help but factor into a somewhat shallow mix when the cameras are aimed at the TV booth.)

The worst part of the current Phillies TV announcer pairing is that Wheeler and McCarthy seem to compete against each other for air time, to spew their baseball facts. There is never silence. There is never just the beautiful sound of the baseball game. They’ll even talk thru a National Anthem, or thru the rarely-seen-on-Tv 7th inning stretch rendition of Take Me Out to the Ballgame, sung by a tremendously unique 40,000 voice choir.

And the further into a game they get, the more far-reaching (and less pertinent) their factoids become…ie how a certain player on the other team once played for the Twins, whose former closer had a shut out 3 weeks ago, etc. It gets hair-pullingly frustrating to listen to it. (So I dont anymore. Thank God for the TV mute button.) 

Someday, I hope that the powers that be will give the option of announcerless TV baseball. But till then, may they please consider putting the very likeable Scott Franzke and Larry Anderson on TV. Scott is danged good, DANGED good, and the chemistry between him and Larry is great.

Plus, Larry played the game, which gives him much more credibility than Wheeler has – tho obviously Chris Wheeler thinks he knows everything, even down to what the players are thinking at any given moment.

Philadelphia fans deserve better than Ex-Met announcer Tom McCarthy and the factoid-laden Chris Wheeler.

But til the fans are given a really first class TV booth pairing, I’ll be muting the TV for every game, and putting on the radio.

Franzke and Anderson are that good.Put them on TV.