There are conflicting reports on just who is left in the Philadelphia Phillies color-analyst search, over a week after news broke that both Chris Wheeler and Gary Matthews Sr., would not be returning as color-men.
What we do know, is that both Brad Lidge and John Kruk have decided for different reasons, that they will not accept the position. Beyond that, we know that Ricky Bottalico, Mitch Williams, Ben Davis, and Chris Coste have been considered for the job, but don’t appear to be the front-runners. The finalists, gathered through different reports, appear to be three former Phillies; Doug Glanville, Mickey Morandini, and Kevin Stocker.
Glanville’s name isn’t a surprise, as he has been speculated about since the position became available. Stocker, who is one of the many names that played the middle-infield for the Phillies in the 1990’s, hasn’t been talked about until now. Howard Eskin says that both of these two are “finalists” for the position, and one of them is closing in on landing the position.
I hear #phillies and Comcast SportsNet close to naming either former Phils SS Kevin Stocker or Doug Glanville as TV Color analyst.2 leaders
— Howard Eskin (@howardeskin) January 16, 2014
I’m not sure how the Phillies can be close to naming two guys for one position, or why I should believe Howard Eskin, whose “sources” tend to be about as reliable as Domonic Brown making a diving catch. But, he works for NBC, so I would be remissed to not at least put it out there.
Glanville played six seasons in red pinstripes, as an aggressive basestealer, proficient center-fielder, and with the exception of an outlier season in 1999 that saw him hit .325, was an average MLB hitter. He retired as a Phillie in 2005, after returning to the Phillies in 2004, because he had been a Phillies fan his entire life. Certainly that should speak to New Jersey native’s love of the city of Philadelphia and the Fightins’, which could very well make this a dream-type job for Glanville. The problem? Glanville may very well have a better option at his current position at ESPN.
Stocker was a spark for the 1993 national-league pennant winning team, batting .324 in just 70 games that season. Beyond that, the shortstop and eight-year MLB veteran’s greatest accomplishment for the Phillies might have been when they traded him to the Devil Rays for future overachiever/most unclutch player in franchise history Bobby Abreu, in 1997.
Bob Brookover of the Philadelphia Inquirer did a piece on Philly.com Wednesday, suggesting that Mickey Moradini, who was recently named Lehigh Valley Ironpigs third-base coach, not only has interest in the job, but isn’t hesitant about discussing how special getting the job would be.
“I didn’t expect it and I wasn’t looking for it,” Morandini said. “I always thought Wheels and Sarge would be here forever. I never thought broadcasting would be an option because I know how loyal the Phillies are to their own. I love what I’m doing and I love being in player development, but there is something about being one of the voices for the Phillies that is very intriguing to me. I would love and enjoy being part of the Phillies family in that way. It’s too good of a dream job to pass up.”
“I think I’d be honest,” Morandini said. “I know the game very well and I think I know the minor-league system better than any of the other candidates out there. I have a love for the Phillies. It’s the one organization I’ve wanted to be a part of, but I know, being an analyst, you owe it to the fans to be honest and say what’s on your mind. That’s what I would plan on doing.”
The former Phils’ second-baseman Morandini does have experience as a studio analyst, as Brookover points out that he did work for the Chicago Cubs post-game show after retiring, and judging by this 2012 interview with Jay Floyd of Phoul Ballz, he is pretty well spoken.
That said, and this goes for all candidates, being a studio analyst or being interviewed as a manager, is completely different than doing color-commentary. In color-commentary, you don’t get time to formulate your thoughts, Tom McCarthy will tell the viewers what is happening, and you have to respond from there. It’s totally different, and people don’t understand that. I have experience as an analyst, but I by no means am qualified to be an announcer. None if this is to say that Morandini couldn’t be a good color-guy, but people can’t overlook how difficult the transition may be.
In the end, I think the Phillies end up with Stocker. I think it would take a ton to lure Glanville away from cushy Bristol and ESPN, and Morandini just got promoted to being a coach at the Triple-A level, so I think CSN and the Phillies may decide not to mess with that. I don’t think anyone knows much about Stocker’s announcing backgroud, which makes the idea of giving him the job kind of scary, but also intruging. That’s just speculation though, and throwing out the names of Ben Davis, Chris Coste, Mitch Williams, Rickey Bottalico, and even someone whose name hasn’t been mentioned yet, doesn’t make sense.