The Philadelphia Inquirer is reporting the Phillies have finalized their broadcast pairs for the 2006 season.
Harry Kalas and Larry Andersen will call the shots on television for the first three. Scott Graham and Chris Wheeler take over from there. Then Kalas and Wheeler bring it home for the final three.
It all adds up to a big jumble that won’t make the viewing experience any better. Phillies broadcasts need sweeping change, not reshuffling. They’re stale, and the personalities are too phony.
The best news here is we won’t have to suffer through the L.A. and Wheels combo anymore, on radio or television. They carried on the most transparent non-relationship, even worse than Harry and Wheels. Their banter made me cringe.
I’m satisfied with straight baseball, without artificial camaraderie, but I’m not a typical fan. In this day, you need to inject some level of personality. They also need to beef up the appeal for today’s advanced fan. When David Bell is hitting, we need more than a batting average up there. Most importantly, the broadcasters can't be afraid to be critical and honest. Their analysis is far too calculated and disingenuous. This has them far behind the latest trends, where ESPN, Comcast and even local news outlets like NBC-10 have entire shows based on no-holds-barred opinion. I'm not saying they need to become the next 610, but taking a page from ESPN or Fox wouldn't hurt.
Then there’s Harry. I feel like I’m stomping on sacred ground by saying this, but I’ll say it anyway. I no longer look forward to the seventh inning the way I did three years ago.