Wheeler, Matthews Out as Phillies Commentators

Posted by Pat Gallen, Wed, January 08, 2014 01:45 PM | Comments: 82
Analysis, News, Posts

(via Phillies)

As a new TV contract takes hold for the Phillies, a new broadcast team will be unveiled this season. The Phillies announced that both Chris Wheeler and Gary Matthews will be taken out of the broadcast booth, but will remain with the organization.

The Phillies sent out this release:

”As the longest-tenured member of the Phillies broadcasting team, Chris Wheeler will return to his club roots after stepping down from his role as a Phillies broadcaster.   With 37 years of broadcasting experience, combined with his front office background where he began his Phillies career, ‘Wheels’ will take on a new role allowing the organization to continue to benefit from his knowledge, experience and dedication to the game.  Additionally, Gary Matthews will continue to work with the Phillies bringing his exceptional background as a major league ballplayer, broadcaster and commentator to new roles at the Phillies.”

Wheeler had this to say:

“It’s been an honor and a privilege to be a part of the Phillies broadcast team for 37 years. I certainly respect the decision that was made and I look forward to my new role in the Phillies organization.”

From the outside looking in, Wheeler caught quite a bit of crap from the average fan (especially on twitter), but was one of the most game-ready broadcasters I’ve ever come across. He was smart, clearly knew the game, and was prepared.

Sarge was a pseudo-fan fave, although it was clear the multi-man booth, with interchangeable parts, was not part of the future.

There has been no indication of who will take over, but Todd Zolecki of MLB.com says they’ll look for just one person to fill the vacancy. Some names of the cuff: Ricky Bottalico, Doug Glanville, Ben Davis, Dan Plesac, Jeff Brantley. Who would you go with?


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About Pat Gallen

Pat Gallen has written 1671 articles on Phillies Nation.

Pat is Editor-in-Chief of Phillies Nation. He also covers the Phils for 97.5 FM in Philly.

  • Posts: 0 PattyP

    Doug Glanville sounds good. I, too, thought Wheels got a bad rap — I usually enjoyed listening to him and almost always learned something during the broadcast from him.

    • Posts: 0 Hills

      Mitch Williams!

  • Posts: 0 Dukes

    Brad Lidge

  • Posts: 0 Craig

    Bring in HKs kid from Florida!!

    • Posts: 0 Ryne Duren

      Craig my son called me from work to tell me of my biggest wish! (Wheeler gone) Made my day man. I kinda liked Sarge though ,I thought he was funny. But I’ll take it. Now in reply to your comment. He was my first thought.

  • Posts: 0 RandyO


  • Posts: 0 Frank Magaro

    Chris Wheeler ! Crazy idea to get rid of Wheels !!!

  • Posts: 0 DC

    Wheels was the ultimate homer – Phillies fans love that sort of thing.

    Sarge was Captain Obvious – worse than Frank Caliendo’s John Madden.

    “Here’s a guy that when he runs, he goes faster!”

    • Posts: 0 Rags Faircloth

      If you listen to out of town broadcasts on XM, you’ll find that every team has an “ultimate homer” on their broadcast crew.

  • Posts: 0 Ken Bland

    Pie Traynor might be good. Who says a local connection’s so necessary?

    If that couldn’t be arranged, I’ll take 1 of the other 15 imbiciles tht left Maddux off the4 ballot. Be easier to find their ass on tv to voice my lack of respect. 16 idiots.

    But kidding aside, and I’m deadly serious, here’s what I would definitely do. I’d audition Corey Seidman for the job. Have he and McCarthy test their rapport, and Corey’s ability to be comfty and productive in the analyst role. He knows the game, knows the team. Seems to have fast track star attached to his name since I became aware of him a couple years back. CSN seems to like him. So he’s fit enough to warrant serious consideration for the position. So I don’t say hire him just yet, but take him through an audition and a no joke thought process. Youth in the booth as opposed to the same old same old, which is ESSENTIALLY what the usual guys would bring is not something this club needs. And while he needn’t reinvent the analyst wheel, I’m sure a whole bunch of people across the game and nation would listen, and assuming good results, it’d be a feather in the Phils cap.

    • Posts: 0 smitty

      Who the hell is Corey Seidman?

  • Posts: 0 AdrianM

    Sad about Wheels, ecstatic about Sarge. I say move LA in from radio for the middle innings, and man, I would LOVE to have Doug Glanville in that booth.

    • Posts: 0 Bryphilly k

      How can anyone be sad wheels is gone he somewhat knew the game but often pointed out the obvious he was often wrong often went off on unwanted tagents he was terrible Harry the K hated him and so did i. this is the best news about the phils in a couple years. I know no one hat liked wheels therefore See ya!

      • Posts: 0 KathyB

        I am glad Wheels is leaving the booth, drove both me and my husband nuts. I liked Sarge though, thought he was funny. But whoever it is can’t be as bad as Wheels. Been waiting for this for a long time…

  • Posts: 0 mudmin

    Sarge was painful to listen to…always sounded like he had some sort of gurgle in his throat.

    I guess being a kid growing up in the 80s wheels always meant that either HK or Whitey had the inning off from TV and that always sucked.

    To me, though this is truly the end of an era. For anyone listening to games from the late 70s through the 90s, the trio of Whitey, HK, and Wheels WAS our childhood. Sad to see them go.

    I vote for Doug Glanville. He is smart and funny as heck.

    • Posts: 0 Dawn Liedtka

      You’re right! I feel kind of sad…wheels was the only connection left to Harry and Whitey. As for when Wheels was on in the 80s….I had to laugh because you hit the nail on the head!! Always knew either Harry or Whitey had the inning off when you heard Wheels’ voice!!

      • Posts: 0 Jon K

        Right on! It’s definitely the end of a golden era for Phillies broadcasting.

    • Posts: 0 smitty

      The eea ended when HK died. For the love of Christ, please don’t compare the two.

  • Posts: 0 Scott Murray

    Bring back Scott Graham!

  • Posts: 0 Roe

    How about Larry Bowa? Passion and knowledge….just saying

    • Posts: 0 schmenkman

      Bowa already has a job as the Phillies bench coach, but what the heck — mike him up anyway. Should be interesting!

  • Posts: 0 Ron

    Mitch Williams!!!

  • Posts: 0 Brian

    Sad for Wheels, we share a birthday, but why does it have to be a male replacement? Get a hot chick in there to spice things up.

  • Posts: 0 tom cengeri

    It’s about time they got rid a Wheels. He always made you feel dumb when he broadcasted . He thought he knew more then anyone else. Tootalu Chris!

  • Posts: 0 ponch

    It a sad day. I think both were good

  • Posts: 0 Chris C.

    Put Cholly on, could you imagine that play-by-play!

    In all seriousness, I would love to have LA and Franzke on. I usually listen to the radio broadcast while TV is muted.

  • Posts: 0 John

    They should have dumped Wheels 30 years ago. He may be knowledgeable, but he sucks as a broadcaster. And Scott Murray has it right…bring back Scott Graham. He’s fill Harry’s shoes better than anyone we’ve got now.

  • Posts: 0 Rick F

    LA but I would prefer he stay in radio booth!

  • Posts: 0 Dom1438

    Anyone that has anything negative to say about wheels is flat wrong. Having worked with him for 10 years I can tell you there wasn’t a classier guy in all of baseball. Never ever ever had his head in the clouds. Always went out of his way for fans. Always made time for anyone that needed him. On air, he was rock solid. He prepared more than any broadcaster I have ever seen. Glad he’s staying with the club but very sad to not hear his voice on air anymore. Wheels was a wonderful person and friend.

    • Posts: 0 Rags Faircloth

      I never had a problem with Wheeler either. He certainly offered more real information than anyone else on the broadcast team.

  • Posts: 0 john

    wow, big surprise to me. i found them both very annoying . mostly because they never shut up. wheels was very knowledgeable , i give him, that. and HK did hate him. have to agree with chris c ,larry anderson is just great. anyone besides larry is a mistake !

  • Posts: 0 Ryne Duren

    Wheeler knew the game but he was the most annoying man in the booth. The other pom pom guy T mac should go also. I like the idea a few posted Glanville, HK’s son. I like LA and Franske also but Franske was on 94.1 and said he’s happy on the radio. I wouldn’t mind Mitchy Poo either, or for that matter Ricki Bo or Big Ben. Hell my grandmother knew baseball I’d take her over the pom pom girls anyday! She’s been deseased for over 20 yrs. I don’t mind a little hominess but I like people who will tell it like it is too. All of the above fit that mold.

  • Posts: 0 JT Kelley

    Mitch Williams

  • Posts: 0 Alex

    Ben Revere has been traded from the Phillies to Comcast for a broadcaster to be named later.

  • Posts: 0 Bruce Rose

    I would like to see Larry Anderson in there. He has the knowledge and he is not overly ecxcitable.

  • Posts: 0 Eric S

    I know Tim McCarver retired from the national booth! Would he be interested in taking a job with the Phillies?

    • Posts: 0 schmenkman

      I thought of him too, but he apparently is committed to a part-time job as a Cardinals’ broadcaster, and in any case may no longer be interested in the rigors of a 162-game schedule.

    • Posts: 0 Jan

      No Tim McCarver – he rarely said anything nice about the Phillies!

  • Posts: 0 Shiraz

    Chris Coste

  • Posts: 0 Vinnie

    Move Jimmy Rolins from the field to the both.

    • Posts: 0 schmenkman

      Interesting thought, but if you’re going to pay Rollins and Galvis $11.5 million combined either way, you’ll win more games with Galvis in the booth.

  • Posts: 0 hillary

    We want LA!

  • Avatar of Tom in South Philly

    Personally, I kinda liked Wheels and I don’t have strong feelings for Sarge either way, but I guess change is inevitable, except from vending machines.

    I’m OK with most of the names already mentioned and I really think Mitch Williams would be a great choice for the job. But, would he do it? I don’t know what the financials are, but it seems like he has a pretty good gig at MLB Network; I’m not sure if he would want to leave.

    Regardless of who they get to pair with Tom McCarthy, I would like to see more of Scot Franzke and Larry Anderson. Move them from the radio booth for the middle innings, and McCarthy / new commentator to the radio booth. I think they did this type of announcer rotation back in the days of Harry and Whitey, and it seemed to work pretty well.

  • Posts: 0 Joel

    Wheels had the knowledge and experience that MOST Phillies fans like. He was able to compare a player or a play to one in 1975 or 1980. I will miss him.

    I think Scott and LA should stay on the radio; they’re great there. As far as a new guy (s), Glanville is very good and I like Murph!

  • Posts: 0 Joel

    If you want someone young and from the area and on the way up, check out Dave Leno
    Great kid and very knowledeable!! He’d be a real asset! Move Murph into the booth and have Dave take his place on the field!

    • Posts: 0 Mike

      Murphy was given a job because of CSN…….he never worked a day in the minors or has any big league experience. He will be the first one to tell you: He is extremely lucky to have the job he has……no way could he handle the PBP duties. No experience at that at all!

  • Posts: 0 Bob D

    Since there may likely be way too many losses, just bring in a few comedians for the entertainment value.

  • Posts: 0 john

    the difference between HK,and wheels. HK goes on and on about my brother catching this ball. and wheels gets back to the game. HK was loved, super super nice guy, never to busy for an autograph. whitey was tops in my book also. miss those guys !https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pC4RZpZe8Sk

  • Posts: 0 Mike S

    Please, please put Larry Anderson on the TV broadcast!

  • Posts: 0 Eric B

    Rex Hudler

  • Posts: 0 Dennis DiClaudio

    I would consider that young lady Amy Fadool from comcast. Shes actually pretty knowledgable for a woman. Ut oh …I did it now…..

  • Posts: 0 Kron

    Can they have LA and Franzke on both radio and TV? TMac is awful–worse than both Wheels and Sarge–has so little understanding of the game, its rhythm. It won’t matter who goes in the booth with him. It will be another year of turning down the tv and syncing the radio. Ack.

    • Posts: 0 smitty

      Right. They canned the wrong guy. McCarthy is an error machine and has no feel for calling a baseball game.

      McCarthy is arguably the worst PBP guy in the history of the sport to hold a job for this long.

      A large market like Phillies deserves better than McCarthy. He’s simply not fit for the job.

  • Posts: 0 Andrew Snider


  • Posts: 0 jeff

    U gotta keep la and franski together.

  • Posts: 0 anthony

    Sorry to see Gary go but ecstatic to see Wheeler go, he always came across like smart aleck he has been annoying me for almost 40 years Good -Bye.

  • Posts: 0 Amy

    Dutch Daulton would be my choice! <3

  • Posts: 0 Rocco

    Please don’t put those radio guys in
    Andersen or Scott they should be replaced.
    Boring to listen to

  • Posts: 0 Rags Faircloth

  • Posts: 0 TheDipsy

    Wheels: knowledgeable, smarmy, socially inept, humorless, colorless for a color man.

    Hey, he was a good company man and knew a lot about baseball. But he was drab and nerdy and the fact the he never played the game, yet tried to explain it to everyone, always irked me. He had a good run but the booth will have a much better vibe without him. Fair thee well, Wheels. And I want Ricky Bo for sure. Ben Davis? Wha?

    BTW, why Jack Morris continues to be left out of the Hall really blows my mind. All he did was win more games in the 90′s than anyone AND have one of the best World Series career, with three different teams. The high ERA kills him but shouldn’t.

    The Dipsy

  • Posts: 0 Mary

    I liked Chris Wheeler because although he could be annoying and cheerleader-like, he conducted himself with class. I could tell he had a true appreciation and love for the game. I would choose Ricky Bo to replace him. He has a lot of heart, and he tells it like it is. I like hearing his opinion about players and situations, because he is usually spot-on. I’m not sure about play-by-play, but he would be a superb commentator.

  • Posts: 0 Shannon

    The organization would never take the chance with LA on TV, too much of a loose cannon. I can tell you though I was glad it wasn’t him, I find him and Scott to be amusing especially when the games get rough. Sorry to see Sarge go, again he made me laugh because of his obvious humor. Wheels, well I think he gets a bad wrap. Personally I always listen to the radio when I can but if I had to watch a game I didn’t mind Wheels. Very knowledgeable about the game. But good luck to both in their new positions.
    As for who I’d want to see I like Ricky Bo (one of my fave ex-Phils), Brad Lidge or Glanville.

  • Posts: 28 PhillyMike

    Avatar of PhillyMike

    It is clear that Comcast wants a color analyst who will do all 9 innings. Not so sure that is Ricky Bo who I like a lot. Mitch and Kruk won’t leave where they are . Sweet gigs. Brad Lidge? No experience. I don’t know. We will find out soon enough.

    Sarge grew on me but I can live without him. Wheels knew baseball to be certain but it was time to move on. I always thought the Phils had too many announcers.

    Anyway, let’s hope we are talking about the players doing well in 14 and not the announcers.

  • Posts: 10 lilwengs

    Avatar of lilwengs

    Hopefully this makes my viewing of the Phillies easier. As an out-of-state fan, I use MLB TV to watch the games. Last year I watched the opponent’s broadcasters during the Sarge/Wheeler innings.

  • Posts: 0 charlie

    Thank God —no more “no doubles defence ” and the same explanation each and every broadcast. Doug Glanvile for me.

    • Posts: 28 PhillyMike

      Avatar of PhillyMike

      Let’s not forget “put up a crooked number” and “wait for something middle in”.

  • Posts: 0 nancy

    Doug Glanville would be great – smart and fun and a classy guy – always thought he should come back in some capacity to the phils.


    Charlie Manuel – he needs a job now LOL

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