Wheels and Sarge Out on Phillies Broadcasts
Rob Maaddi of the Associated Press is reporting on Twitter from both his verified personal account and his AP account that Chris Wheeler and Gary “Sarge” Matthews have been relieved of their duties as part of the Phillies broadcast team.
[Update: The report has been verified by the Phillies, per Matt Gelb.] If true, it will be interesting to see who replaces the duo to team up with Tom McCarthy. Obviously, there are a ton of ex-Phillies in the broadcast world who could step into the booth at Citizens Bank Park such as Mitch Williams or Ricky Bottalico. Given that Tom McCarthy is still around, it is hard to see the Scott Franzke/Larry Andersen radio team being broken up [Update: it won’t, per Todd Zolecki], with Andersen moving to the TV.
Emblematic of the franchise as a whole, the Phillies’ broadcast was consistently one of the least informative. National broadcasts have implemented Sabermetrics — or, at the very least, on-base percentage — for years, and many local broadcasts were including it as well. For example, thanks to Cubs broadcaster Len Kasper, Chicago’s WGN was helping fans get better informed. The subject of analytics was routinely brushed off or ignored on Phillies broadcasts, as they repeatedly went to the well of old, disproven baseball tropes. Hopefully, as the new team is assembled, they make some sort of effort to be more inclusive of modern statistics.