That there would be new faces in the broadcast booth in 2014 was welcome news to almost all Phillies fans. It was time for something better. Far better.
That one of the news faces would be Jamie Moyer’s was met with more puzzlement than joy. Jamie Moyer, whose name evokes images of him in the dug out, jawing non stop into the ear of some pitching newbie, might have had good things to share with those young pitchers – and he probably did – but Moyer is not known for witty verbal excitement.
Matt Stairs is a different matter. He is funny. He’ll zip some amusing anecdotes in there, and Phils Fans will like spending time with him. It’s Moyer that remains the question mark.
Yesterday was the first Spring Training TV broadcast.
Admittedly it must take time for a team to meld, for new broadcasters to feel confident in their new jobs and comfortable with each other, but even so, we listened with interest to how the announcers would do calling their first game together.
They did pretty good in their first foray. Tom McCarthy, never a favorite of mine, seemed more relaxed without Wheeler next to him. He seemed more comfortable listening to the opinions of former players than the opinions of….well…Wheeler.
Matt Stairs delivered some funny lines and stories, as we knew he would. And he had good things to say.
Jamie Moyer seemed comfortable in the booth, although many times it felt like he was giving a very long pitching lecture, with a bit too many of his comments centering upon himself.
Overall, tho, it was a good first effort. Hopefully in time they will keep improving, and likely they will.
The Phillies gave Philadelphia a lovely Christmas present: Chris Wheeler is out of the broadcast booth. That is good. That is wise. (Try not to grovel with gratitude…)
Now we hear rumors of whom will replace Wheeler. Of course, there would be rumors.
But one name has psyches screaming, ‘Nooooo!’ That name would be Jamie Moyer.
We’ve just gotten rid of one guy who talked and talked and talked…and talked…about all that he knew, about all that he could possibly know. Would Moyer be too similar to Wheeler in that regard?
Moyer is a talker. He talked in the dug out. He talked and talked about what he knew – you could see him practically chewing on the ears of the young pitchers.
That’s not to say that Moyer doesn’t know a few things about pitching. He does. But, again, we just got rid of one non stop talker in the booth. Strong intuition says do not replace one rather boring avid talker with another one.
There are some great possibilities out there: Mitch Williams, Larry Anderson, Matt Stairs. They’d all be great. They’re interesting. They would be fun to spend time with, all those hours of games every season.
Just…not Jamie Moyer, please.
Philadelphia woke up this cold morning to the news that Comcast has fired Chris Wheeler.
Immediately, this January day’s bitter cold seemed to melt away before the basking glow of well being’s warmth. Finally, after all these years of listening to Wheeler’s endless verbage, he will be gone from the Phillies broadcast booth.
It took a long time to get it done, but done it is.
No one denies Wheeler knew the game, but his likability quotient was too low. One didn’t want to spend Hundreds of hours each season with Wheeler.
It remains to be seen who will replace Wheeler. Among the names mentioned to replace Wheeler in the booth are Wild Thing Mitch Williams, Chris Coste, Ricky Bottalico, Brad Lidge, Larry Bowa and John Kruk.
For years in his early career, Michael Young was leadoff hitter for the Rangers. Last night, Young was leadoff hitter once again, having not done so since 2004.
Was he successful at leadoff? How about hitting 3 out of 5? Now…that’s a leadoff hitter. (Domonic Brown was also 3 for 5, continuing his red hot ways.)
Last night the Phils rose a game over the .500 mark, and with Cliff Lee pitching tonight, chances are good they will be 2 games over .500 by the night’s end.
Ben Revere was notably absent from the game last night, and that’s as it should be. He hasn’t been contributing as he should. And the first inning failed steal of third with nobody out the other night? Not a pretty picture, that.
Cole Hamels, pitching ace for the Phillies, won his second game of the season yesterday.
How does a pitcher keep resentment out of the mix, when his team so often failed to garner him any run support in the past 11 games?
But now he has two wins out of 11 games. It’s not a glowing statistic – but it sounds a lot better than 1 – 10.
So we are thankful for small favors – and Cole must be too.
Meanwhile, Domonic Brown is a sideshow all by himself, leading the NL in homeruns, cranking out at least one every game now.
How does he handle the pressure of 42,000 screaming fans expecting a homerun every time he strides to the plate? He seems to be handling it, at any rate. Maybe the away games with the Brewers, the Rockies and the Twins will give him some relief from the expectations, and from the pressure.
He is a delight to behold, tho, and that is a fact.
Cliff Lee continues to be a pure pleasure to watch. Tonight he pitched the entire game, leaving a bunch of Marlins in his wake.
And Delmon Young is beginning to wield his bat in winning fashion. He had another home run tonight. It comes at a time when the Phils need all the offense they can get.
Of note is that Delmon is doing good in the outfield as of late. He threw a solid throw from the outfield to Rollins, to get a man out at second.
The Phils won the game 3-0, and won the series.
Now at one game under .500, they are off to battle the Nats in Washington, DC.
Is the Phillies closer named Ocho Cinco or Jonathan Papelbon? That’s an easy answer. Once the tall blond pitcher runs to the mound to close a game, Jonathan Papelbon is gone. That pitcher standing on the mound in the ninth inning, his killer stare blazing toward home plate, his arm swinging, is no other than Papelbon’s alter ego Ocho Cinco.
Former Red Sox infield Alex Cora remembers when Ocho Cinco was born. It was during the 2007 season during their fantasy football league draft. Papelbon was fixated on getting wide receiver Ocho Cinco and talked about it all the time. So Cora started calling him Ocho Cinco, and that name stuck as the name of his alter ego on the mound.
According to Papelbon, it’s Ocho Cinco, the cold blooded closer, on the mound when he pitches. Ocho Cinco has ice in his veins. He doesn’t remember past wins or losses.
After he’s cooled down in the tub post game, then he’s Papelbon again, the ‘goofy, nice’ guy with a soft southern drawl.
Papelbon said he loves running to the mound to close a game. He loves the passion of the Phillies fans, and loves the roar of the crowd as he departs the bullpen. He said it makes the hair on his arms tingle.
But, of course, it’s Ocho Cinco’s arm hairs that tingle, to be exact.
The less said the better concerning the Phillies game in Cleveland tonight.
Chase Utley hit a homerun; Delmon Young had a homerun his first time at bat, but from those points onward the game spiralled wickedly out of control, to disappear down the major league drain.
In baseball tomorrow is always, and forgivingly, another day.
Phillies pitching remains strong. Last night Kyle Kendrick had an 107 pitch, 3 hit shut out.
Today, Jonathan Pettibone had his first Major League win, defeating the Mets 9-4. He had lots of offensive support, including back to back homeruns from Domonic Brown and John Mayberry Jr., and a 5 run fifth inning.
Pettibone, whose father was also a major league pitcher, got his first major league hit today, in the third inning.
All this improved the temperaments of Phillies fans everywhere.
When Phillies 5th starter John Lannan went on the DL, eyes turned to the Iron Pig’s starting rotation. Who would substitute for Lannan, and get his first start in the majors?
The answer was Jonathan Pettibone, whose 9.64 ERA with the Iron Pigs was not massively impressive.
But Pettibone came to Citizens Bank Park determined to do well, and he did, striking out 6 and allowing two Pirate runs in 5 1/3 innings.
So the Phils have won two in a row. It’s a start. Maybe tonight Cole Hamels will get his first win, and it’ll be three in a row.