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Tuesday, July 25, 2006


Everything you said about Wheeler is on the money. Excellent article, Jason.

this just goes to show you how horribly bad joe morgan is...

I have to agree. I've enjoyed Wheeler over the past few years and definetly this year. Frankly, I think Larry Anderson is flat out bad.

philliies broadcasters are beat up for no good reason. wheels is fine even if he does talk too much and scott graham is a fine replacement to harry. one thing i miss is kruker. when he gets fired from espn (see: reynolds, harold) he should come back here again. joe morgan and tim mccarver make wheels look like a mute.

Jason, I've defended Wheels for a long time - he tells a good story and he knows the game. I thought I was the only one who liked him, so I'm sort of waiting for you to come back with a big "Psych! Got ya."

As for Morgan, the missus watched her first Sunday Night Baseball game this week (to see the (non-)reaction to Myers) and I gave her one bit of advice - don't listen to anything Joe Morgan says.

Sorry, I still can't stand him.

Wheeler is almost as horrible as Graham. Both condescend. Ugh.

I'm still not a fan of Wheeler; there's just way too much excuse making there -- especially from someone who's never played professional baseball. I will admit, however, that I've not heard much of him this year and will take your word for it, Jason, that he's gotten better.

As for the rest, Harry is clearly on the decline and has been for a number of years. I like Scott Graham. I think he and Larry Anderson work very well together, especially on the radio. As for the other Scott, Mr. Frantzke (sp?), it's tough to get a handle on him. I haven't heard nearly enough to offer a somewhat intelligent opinion.

If the Phillie were winning I wouldn't give a crap who the heck was announcing. But since they suck so bad, it annoys me even more when I sit there and listen to some idiot pop off at the mouth about how hard the team is trying, or it's just unlucky and crap like that.

Nice article Jason. One of the things I like about Wheels is his genuine love of the game of baseball. It is obvious he really enjoys watching and broadcasting baseball games.

What's the deal with harold reynolds getting fired from ESPN?

Long story short:
years ago, I was a newspaper reporter. Had a great chance to go down to The Vet and cover the PRISM broadcast team for the Phillies, which was Chris Wheeler and Jay Johnstone at the time. Maddox did the middle three innings.
What a great night. Met up with Wheels and he took me and our photog into the press room. Long interview, in which Harry and Whitey came by to say hello. Then, he took us down onto the field for Phillies BP. What a thrill. It was 1992, and the nucleus of the 1993 was already in place. Kruk, Dykstra, Daulton, all were down there taking BP.
Anyway, the point of this story? As I am taking in BP, along comes Philly Legend Gene Hart. I struck up a convo, and interviewed him for my story. Turns out, he LOVED the Phillies and baseball. According to Hart, Wheels was his "favorite" baseball announcer. Hart gushed all over Wheeler, talking about his knowledge of the game and his ability to inform the average fan of the inner-workings of the game.
All this was capped with a night in the booth, then entire game during the boradcast. Got to meet Maddox and Johnstone and the ever-present Larry Christenson. Also, Eskin and Charles Barkley were there, sitting right below the booth. Johnstone leaned over and called them up. Barkley come sinto the booth, sits right next to me and gets on the air. Beer in hand (must have had a few by then).
What a night. st

wait, i thought this post was satire. its chris wheeler! he may be better than some, but still below average. hell, anyone's better than joe morgan, mr. "well, babe ruth drank beer during prohibition, so why wouldn't these fans boo him in addition to barry bonds? it's the same thing." that has got to be one of the all-time worst comments in baseball broadcasting history.

gr - joe morgan really said that?!? what an odd, odd statement.

Here's all I could find on Reynolds getting canned. As of right now, no reason is being given.

Jason, kudos for standing up for Wheeler. The beating he's taken over the past couple years has been disheartening and totally unwarranted. I've certainly learned much more about baseball from listening to him over the years than any of the other Phillies' broadcasters.

I dont mind wheeler he's ok to me but other people rip em

I'm a former reporter, too, Steve T., but my story is a little different.

When I was still in college, a friend of mine and I went to the Phillies meet and greet at the Vet. Wheels was the guest speaker.

We approached him afterward -- I was a journalism major and my friend was a broadcasting major.

We asked him about how to best get into sports broadcasting, particularly with the Phillies.

Wheels, ever so helpful, said something like, "You just have to get a job somewhere."

I've been annoyed with him ever since.

That is odd, indeed, because he has always been very helpful with that, too. We tend to keep in touch today, and he always remembers me. He has even hand-written me letters to asnwer my questions regarding getting that "dream job" with the Phillies. No kidding! st

I've grown to love Harry for his blunders. I could have sworn last night he said the Cubs were ahead in their game against the Phillies while the Phillies were playing the Braves right there in front of him. And I vividly remember a game in spring training, at Brighthouse Networks Field, in which he sang the praises of the beautiful afternoon there in Citizens Bank Park.

That's about it for my opinions on Phillies broadcasters. I find listening to music whilst watching the Phils to be a much more rewarding experience, at least until the game gets exciting.

I lost respect for Morgan after reading Moneyball. He couldn't even comprehend the fact that Billy Beane didn't write the book nor had anything to do with the writing of it. I think he's 2 sandwiches short of a picnic.

I agree with everything positive everyone has said about Wheeler. But, at times, he is just too much of an apologist. Saw him during Saturday's rain delay by the way...

are you sick? seriously. touting wheels? look, i understand that in comparison with other piles of crap announcing he may be better than them, but that does not make him a good announcer. more often than not his stories make little to no sense and have no bearing on the game at all. sure sometimes they make sense but then again sometimes shaquille o'neal makes his free throws. let's not forget that wheels is absolutely lost whenever there is a guest in the announcing booth with him. (although, admittedly, being quiet is probably better than asking robin ventura if he ever faced sandy koufax when he was born 2 years after koufax retired.)

the simple fact is that none of the phillies broadcasters have been good and larry anderson seems to be the only one that actually enjoys his job and all the people he works with. plus, in a season that is filled with the crap we see on the field, sometimes LA's funny quotes are all that make the games bearable.

Wheeler has his lows and highs. The only thing I don't like about him is that sometimes he tries to create a narrative or story when he just needs to call the game.

Morgan is the worst national announcer around. Being a national announcer is difficult because it is nearly impossible to keep on top of every MLB team. Morgan has a great baseball intelligence but it is obvious that he does little to no game preparation.

While I will give Morgan a pass on not knowing what pitches a starter has or the hitting tendencies of a particular hitter, he is downright embarassing at times. I really think that Morgan just says whatever comes out of his head without any thought. Makes for some head-stratching comments.

Not that anyone seems interested -- other than Will -- but I found this story on Deadspin about Reynolds. Nothing concrete, but apparently he liked the ladies a little too much.

Jason- No offense, but to say Wheeler is better than Joe Morgan isn't saying anything at all. Even McCarver is better than Morgan. And it's not because Morgan isn't smart; he is, but he's so afraid of new ideas that he has ten comments that he endlessly recycles.

Wheeler's the same way. Again, no offense, but the Wheeler quotes you cite are so pedestrian, and sound so much like Scott Graham's "insights", that I expect tommorrow you'll say you were kidding.

The truth is that the whole Philles' broadcast team, other than Frantzke, is pretty weak. Andersen adds nothing-sometimes literally, as he can entire half innings while saying not a word; Harry misses Whitey and doesn't like doing games of a losing team; and Graham is too in love with the sound of his FM DJ voice to offer much of anything.

The only one who does any work to come up with something different to say is Frantzke.

Being in New Orleans since 1979, I remember Chris Wheeler as the color man of last resort with Ashburn, Kalas and some stiff slick announcer I don't remember. I wasn't impressed with Wheeler back then. Sounds like he improved.

Radio is different than television. You need to listen to the radio guys, the TV guys can be turned off completely and you can still watch the game. Usually, I don't mind Joe Morgan, but the few innings I was able to see on ESPN this past Sunday, I do remember him saying some stuff that was really off the mark. I just figured he was having a bad night.

That's ashame about Harold Reynolds. I really enjoyed his work on the College World Series and enjoyed his other work at ESPN. I tend to believe the ladies story as the reason to get fired. Companies generally don't fire you for arguing with the boss. They worry about sexual harassment lawsuits.

John - No offense taken. Good points.

The dirt on Reynolds could be true, but there's nothing in Deadspin's post that indicates credible sources. Let's hold off on that one.

Jason-I should add, I only hear so many Phillies' games, not living in Philly anymore. Also, Wheeler is a LOT better than the guys who do Nationals games-Tom Paciorek and some other guy. They're just awful.

I have the pleasure of living in the DC market and taking in the Nationals TV broadcast with Paciorek and Bob Carpenter. They I generally turn the sound close to 0 they are so bad. I sometimes argue with myself about which one of the guys is worse. They are new to the Nats this year. Last year, Ron Darling was the Nats' color guy. I caught a Mets game on SNY and actually missed having him in DC, if anyone can believe that.

RFK turns into little Delaware Valley when the Phils come to town. LOVE IT!

Whether Kalas' general disdain toward Wheeler is deserved or misdirected, Chris has shown class by stepping in and gently assisting when Harry gets lost. No more was this apparent than when Victorino hits a ground rule double and Harry zones out in the middle of the call:

Kalas: It''s.......
Wheeler: It's a double.
Kalas: ...bounces off the warning track into a ground rule double...[etc]

As condescending as Wheeler can be, he's shown surprising humility and respect with regards to his aging co-announcer.

The only thinkg Wheels brings to the broadcasts that Harry doesn't is that friggin fake squirrel on his head.

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