As the Phillies search for a new color commentator,to replace both Gary “Sarge” Matthews and Chris “Wheels” Wheeler, approaches it’s fifth week, MLB.com’s Todd Zolecki has learned that the Phillies may ultimately bring in two new color commentators to pair with play-by-play announcer Tom McCarthy.
Zolecki says that the duo that might be brought in, includes two fan-favorites from the 2008 World Series team.
Sources said this week the network has been speaking to both Jamie Moyer and Matt Stairs about joining Tom McCarthy in the broadcast booth.
Moyer, who is from Philadelphia and appeared on ESPN’s Baseball Tonight during the 2011 MLB season, pitched for the Phillies for four and a half seasons, helping the team to win four division titles in that time. His shining moments in red pinstripes came when he pitched the NL East clinching games in 2007 and 2008, and pitching six and a third innings of solid ball in game three of the 2008 World Series, despite having the flu.
Stairs, an under the radar trade-deadline addition to the 2008 Phillies, belted perhaps the biggest homerun in team history in game four of the 2008 NLCS. Tied in the top of the eight 5-5 against the Los Angeles Dodgers, Stairs ended any hope of the Dodgers tying the series as he catapulted a two-run pinch hit bomb into the right-field stands at Chavez Ravine. The Phillies would hold on to win the game, and take home their first National League pennant a day later.
In addition to that homerun, Stairs also holds the distinction of being the last homerun call of legendary Philles’ announcer Harry Kalas’ hall of fame career.
Since 2012, Stairs has worked as a part-time studio analyst for Boston’s NESN. The chance to becoming a full-time announcer certainly could lure Stairs away from that job.
While Zolecki points out in the article that the Phillies weren’t originally anticipating bringing in two color announcers, I like the idea. First, you would get two different perspectives from a slugger and a pitcher. Secondly, if one of them turns out to be a really annoying announcer (can’t be worse than Wheels or Sarge right?), than we don’t have to listen to them for all nine innings. (That is all assuming that McCarthy is only working with one of them at a time, and not both)
According to Zolecki, CSN will have its first spring-training broadcast on February 26th, so an official announcement on what the Phillies are doing with their announcing situation should come sometime late this week or early next.