BREAKING: CHRIS WHEELER AND GARY MATTHEWS ARE OUT!

Voila_Capture944Holy shit. Rob Maaddi of the AP is reporting that Chris Wheeler and Gary Matthews are out. No further details were given. This story will update. But for now, THIS:

UPDATE 1: Phillies beat writer Matt Gelb had to cut his chat on Philly.com, somewhat hilariously:

Voila_Capture945

UPDATE 2: Many may assume this opens up some room for Scott Franzke or Larry Anders on TV. But on our podcast last week, we discussed the broadcasting team with Kevin Cooney. He explained the Franzke absolutely prefers radio.

UPDATE 3: I don’t know how to react. I wasn’t even this emotional when we got bin Laden.

UPDATE 4: WOW. Maaddi reports that it came from the network as part of the new deal:

Longtime Philadelphia Phillies broadcaster Chris Wheeler is out after nearly four decades in the booth and Gary Matthews isn’t returning as color analyst, several people familiar with the situation told The Associated Press on Wednesday.

The team recently signed a new television contract with NBCUniversal and Comcast SportsNet that’s reportedly worth $2.5 billion over 25 years.

The decision to replace Wheeler and Matthews came from the network, according to multiple sources. The Phillies said Wheeler and Matthews will continue to work with the organization in other roles.

No surprise that they’re sticking around.

UPDATE 5: Phils confirm it.

UPDATE 6: On our podcast last week, we talked with Phillies beat writer Kevin Cooney about the broadcast team. Many might assume that this will open up spots for Scott Franzke and Larry Andersen on TV. But Cooney says Franzke prefers radio and likely doesn’t want to do TV.

UPDATE 7: From the Phillies:

UPDATE 8: Phils are already spinning this, saying Wheels is stepping down. Right. Matt Gelb reports that CSN has gained some editorial control as part of the new 25-year, $2.5 billion TV deal and played a role in this decision. Money might not be able to buy you happiness, but it’ll buy you more peaceful summer nights. [I'm talking about Wheels here. I liked Sarge.]

This deal really seems to have gone in Comcast’s favor. The Phillies got less guaranteed money than expected and lost some editorial control over the broadcast.

UPDATE 9: Never forget:

UPDATE 10: Let’s speculate on replacements (in the comments). Kruk, Mitch, Schilling (all with other networks), CHARLIE MANUEL? 

UPDATE 11: Cooney also reporting that is was CSN’s decision.

UPDATE 12: T-Mac is under contract, but, to me, the fact that he stays here tells you how much he’s liked by front office and CSN. He was a close second to Wheeler in terms of fan dislike.

UPDATE 13: Todd Zolecki says Franzke and LA stay on radio booth. No surprise there.

UPDATE 14: Here’s the full statement the Phillies sent to the media:

”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,” the statement read. “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.”

#hastilythrowntogether

UPDATE 15: Chris Wheeler almost immediately refutes the stepping down thing, in a statement:

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

I’m surprised he made it two sentences without mentioning the no-doubles defense.

UPDATE 16: Two years ago, Ricky Bottalico made it known that he was upset that Gregg Murphy and his second G got added to the broadcast over him. Possible replacement? More Angry Bottalico Games?!

UPDATE 17: Wheel’s finest moment:

UPDATE 18: Phil Sheridan going hard:

UPDATE 19: Tim Panaccio, who didn’t get the memo that his employer got Wheels taken off air:

UPDATE 20: Wheeler was around for a long time, and he does know his stuff. He’s also, by all accounts, an incredibly nice man. I’ll admit that, at times, he made the broadcast more enjoyable or truly explained something to you that you didn’t know before. But, overall, his incessant prattling about nonsensical things and his need to tell you why he was always right would nearly ruin some games. I don’t like picking on good people (really), but when you spend countless hours watching someone, you can’t sequester your opinion on them. Same goes for T-Mac.

UPDATE 21: Franzke just told Rob Ellis and Anthony Gargano on WIP that he loves radio and really likes doing it with LA. He says he has no desire to do TV.

UPDATE 22: Matt Gelb reports that the new color guy will be a CSN employee, not a Phillies employee, like all other broadcasters.

Maaddi lists Bottalico as a potential replacement:

Among those thought be potential replacements are former Phillies closer Brad Lidge, who was 48-for48 in save situations during the 2008 World Series championship season, Chris Coste, a backup catcher on that team, and former All-Star closer Ricky Bottalico, who currently serves as a postgame analyst.

We’re hearing that Ricky Bo is the frontrunner. Though Lidge would be an interesting choice.

132 Comments

  1. Very interesting news….Wonder why TMac gets the pass, he is the worst of the 3.

  2. Please, please be true! And take McCarthy with you!

  3. They have to take McCarthy too!!!!

  4. They need to move Franzke & LA to TV…they’re great together.

  5. Outstanding. Queue the wig jokes

  6. Please let LA and Franzke be taking over the tv play-by-play. Please.

  7. Larry Anderson's Mustache

    January 8, 2014 at 1:50 pm

    Slay all 3

  8. Holy shit if this is true I can watch without having the radio on this year… FUCK YOU WHEELS YOU ARE HATED GO JERK OFF ON BILL CONLIN IN EXILE

  9. Currently doing a dance, though I’d be dancing harder if McCarthy went too.

  10. Best News from Phillies Camp All Offseason!

    Fuck Off Wheels

  11. OH MY GOD YES!!!
    Prayers answered.
    I honestly worried this day would never come.
    All praise Allah, yes hope LA & SF end up in there but honestly don’t care who takes over.

    Dorothy song is perfect.

  12. Who is Larry Anders? And why did Gelb cut his chat?

  13. Feel bad about Sarge,but Wheeler is a pompous,blowhard,interrupting jag, and I think his sketchy private life would have eventually caused problems for the brass…Christ,even harry Kalas hated him!!

  14. Angelo's Inner Voice

    January 8, 2014 at 1:57 pm

    Good they both sucked I’m glad they got shit canned

  15. “Larry Anders”.

  16. Ricky Bo to replace Sarge and Wheels?

    • Yeah, why not? Why have the 3 inning shuffle? Never understood that – but was glad that pathetic piece of shit Wheeler would sit in a room by himself for the middle three.

  17. Remember when they offered Uncle Charlie a job in the Phillies organization? Sarge’s successor

  18. At first I thought it said Kevin Cooney was going to be in the booth. Almost had a heart attack.

  19. I hear the new broadcast team is Tim McCarver and Cris Collingsworth.

  20. Do you realize how many fewer stupid banal words will be uttered during ballgames?
    Have you any idea man?!!

  21. Zach Berman's booster Seat

    January 8, 2014 at 2:08 pm

    I hope Ricky Bottalico becomes the new color commentator.

  22. Everyone’s happy that Wheels is gone. Wait until Comcast brings in a 28-year-old from Iowa who gets caught ordering a cheesestesk wrong, and then everyone will hate him too.

  23. phils should hire todd pratt to do play by play

  24. Erroneous Groundhog

    January 8, 2014 at 2:12 pm

    TMAC has gotten better at shutting the fuck up over the last few years, although he more than makes up for it in his ability to yell into the mic over the course of a 3-hour broadcast. One of the things I (still) miss the most about HK was his ability to let the game breathe. To let the viewers at home hear the sounds of the crowd, the ball hitting the bat, etc. McCarthy started to let that happen, only to have Wheeler jump in with some obvious observation (“you see here, Utley just swings at the pitch and makes contact with the ball. Then it just leaves the ballpark. That’s a home run.”), and by the time they both are quiet again, so is the crowd. Hopefully this means we’ll hear less idiot and more baseball in the coming year. Hopefully.

  25. Franzke
    LA
    Pat Burrell’s Talking Penis

    Best booth ever?

  26. Worley's Hot Piece of Ass

    January 8, 2014 at 2:13 pm

    When you think about it, Wheeler being one of the few voices that linked the fans to Phillies FOR 4 DECADES is an absolute joke. Usually the Phillies are in touch with the fans, or they do a decent job at trying. But to keep Wheeler on as their voice to us the fans, against a majority of what most of us wanted, I just don’t understand their rational. I personally have gotten to the point over the past 3 years that I rarely watch the Phillies on TV. 90% of my play-by-play comes from the radio.

  27. Catch a damned pass

    January 8, 2014 at 2:13 pm

    NBC will throw Corn Boy their way.

  28. Candy from the Oak

    January 8, 2014 at 2:14 pm

    “Wheeler will remain in the organization”

    Right underneath David Montgomery’s desk

  29. Take Moobs McCarthy with you!

    FRANZKE AND L.A. FTW!!

    FACE

  30. THANK FUCKING GOD.

  31. Thank you…Thank you….Thank you…Thank you….Thank you…Thank you….Thank you…Thank you….Thank you…Thank you….Thank you…Thank you….

  32. This is better than signing Tanaka and trading for Trout on the same day!! Well, maybe not but Goodbyeeee Wheels it’s been niceeeee

  33. Sarge sounds like a Muppet with a mouthful of balls. So glad he’s gone along with Chris “I Ratted Harry Out For Getting Road Pussy” Wheeler.

  34. I’d like tom McCarthy to sit on my FACE

    FACE

  35. My name is FACE everyone please notice me

    FACE

  36. Evvverryyyyyy Step of the Wayyyy!

    January 8, 2014 at 2:24 pm

    NOT GOOD ENOUGH!

    Leaving McCarthy in there is like when the Eagles traded McNabb but kept Reid. The broadcasts are still going to suck enormously with his constant, loud, nonsensical babbling. It was actually T-Mac who made Wheels and Sarge completely unbearable, because he would always prod and encourage them to say stupid, useless things. He will do the same with whoever the new color guy is.

  37. New roles: Squeels will be scanning tickets along the 3rd base entrance and Sarge will be in the gift shop.

  38. Chris "Wheels" Wheeler

    January 8, 2014 at 2:41 pm

    Don’t worry, I’m going to be the GM now

  39. Please let it be Jim Jackson!!!

  40. FACE!!! I just really like saying FACE

    FACE

  41. You suck face get a life

  42. Kyle you have to get rid of that kid doing crossing streams with you he’s no good he might be good some day but he has a long way to go too young and immature and doesn’t have an on air presence he’s holding you back man it sucks cause of him

  43. Nick Foles Butt Crack

    January 8, 2014 at 2:53 pm

    I heard from an inside source they are going to hire tom McGinnis the sixers guy as the new color commentator

  44. Tame Her Strange

    January 8, 2014 at 2:53 pm

    Ricky Bo should be in the TV booth, he’ll make Tits McCarthy look a little less shit sounding.

    That said, Kruk, if he leaves ESPN would be great!

  45. The only thing i can think of Wheels being capable of is pissing me off by fucking up my order for a Schmitter and a drink. I expect to see him running some concession stand somewhere in the park now. I will miss Sarge for sure. He did what he did well imo. He wasn’t paid to call games, just make observations, and I liked his observations. But all in all, anything that sees Wheeler and his dumb bullshit hit the road I applaud.

    “This guy doesn’t want to hit, you can tell by looking at him!” (Smack, triple) Silence from Wheels)

    “This is another (black) guy from the opposing team I will berate for not playing the game “correctly”.

    Bye bye Wheels, don’t let the door hit you in your ass!

  46. Gargano and Ellis are absolutely nauseating right now, especially Gargano. Going on, being nostalgic as if Kalas or Reese were just let go. Fact is, 90% of the area is happy with this move. In the meantime, who is the fakest person in Philly, sounds like he is about to cry.

    • THAT’S AWWWWWSOME BROTHER!.. I’m all broken up about the news. Wheels was a really great guy… He’s all I’ve ever known BO!.. I hate to see any one lose his job… Except for every on air partner I’ve ever had! Anyone heard from the goose lately?!…My new Cherokee is about ready to break down with all the trips to PRIMOS, and Massimos formula runs. MAAAAAAN I MISSED IT HERE!!.. I’m still recovering from the holidays BO!, how’s tha Fam brotha?! Preciate it!

  47. Now they just need to can that hack Greg Murphy…dude, no one gives a fuck that you’re standing in the emptys at Marlins Park attempting to read you’re bullshit Phillies Notebook that “reports” shit that happened days prior. Best thing Murph brings is the PhotoBombs from hammered fans fucking with the dude.

  48. Candy from the Oak

    January 8, 2014 at 3:07 pm

    This sucks now I can’t check out what cool hats sarge is wesring

  49. Catch A God Dam Pass!

    January 8, 2014 at 3:10 pm

    This is sad day in phillies history :(

  50. You know you suck when Tim Pannacio sings your praises.

  51. The years allowed Wheels to wear on me a bit. I could tolerate him because he was a Phillies fan through and through. T-MAC is the absolute worst there is. Gotta can him next.

  52. John Kruk's Tummy

    January 8, 2014 at 3:17 pm

    I am so happy I just…

    I don’t know how to express these feelings.

    It’s like the first time I saw a real nipple in person.

  53. Middle-In My Rectum

    January 8, 2014 at 3:17 pm

    One thing we can all look forward to this season is when the Phils marketing team decides to have a Thank You Chris Wheeler game and he gets relentlessly booed by a sold out crowd. That will be worth the negative press.

  54. Candy from the Oak

    January 8, 2014 at 3:28 pm

    I have no life i’m fat & short so to feel better about myself I constantly put others down,but other than that my life is great sitting on my ass all day stuffing my fat face with junkfood while I troll crossing broad all day.

  55. First Time Long Time

    January 8, 2014 at 3:29 pm

    I have never posted before, but wanted to chime in as a fan who does watch every game. Sarge seems like a nice enough guy. But as an ex-player he brings nothing to the booth. No insider perspective, no old stories, he is just boring to listen to. Wheels is ok, I have nothing to compare him to, but seems past his prime, in my opinion. I do like McCarthy. For a guy who has never played, he is very insightful and brings some much needed energy to the broadcasts. He knows what pitches look like, player history, situations; he’s basically a walking baseball encyclopedia. This is by far the best, most surprising move the Phillies have made in a while. I now have a reason to be excited for the upcoming season. Wouldn’t mind seeing Mitch or Dutch do a few innings up there.

  56. Just had a horrible thought what if they picked Scott Palmer to replace?
    Too bad Wheels supposedly had Scott Graham fired that would be justice.

  57. I hope they hire Angelo Cataldi as the new color guy. My shorts expand every time he enunciate’s the word “Tamarrow”

  58. PLEASE dump McCarthy too!! NEVER shuts up, is ALWAYS wrong, doesn’t know a THING about baseball, ALWAYS apologizing and excusing players/manager/umpires/front office – the WORST announcer on the air! HE is the reason I only watch with the radio on for sound. And you Comcast employees trolling here and trying to say he is good? You are laughably obvious! Go back to Public Relations school…

  59. Phils Fan in NYC

    January 8, 2014 at 3:42 pm

    As a Phillies fan who lives in NYC, I watch all games through the MLB package. So I am often subject to watching the opposing broadcast. Having access to the package also allows me to watch all the other games on any given night. With that being said, I have heard every single broadcast team in baseball on multiple occassions. I know people in Philly don’t like Wheels. But anyone in my place knows that Wheels is light years better than the majority of slop on the airwaves. Wheels talk baseball while most announcers joke and pay half attention to the action on the field. I know more about on-field strategy because of Wheels than almost anyone else. I firmly believe his replacement will be a step down and put our broadcast team in line with the rest of the league…and that is not a good thing.

  60. Thank God…. now I can watch the Phillies telecast again, instead of the other teams feed. Got real tired of his act making excuses for every dumb ass play on the field. If he told me one more time that Ryan Howard isnt 100% when he cant move his fat, lazy, ass, I was going to punch the TV

  61. Worley's Hot Piece of Ass

    January 8, 2014 at 3:52 pm

    I wonder if this new contract with CSN will force Tits to use “OOPPPPPOOOOO-BBBBOOOOBBBBOOOOO” more often?

  62. Candy from the Oak

    January 8, 2014 at 4:07 pm

    :( :( 2 fake me. Honored

  63. Coatesy's Purple Nose

    January 8, 2014 at 4:20 pm

    I never minded Sargent Matthews. He sucked when he started but became a pretty good PART of the Broadcast. He even had some good insight AS WELL!

  64. Bad firing; Wheels was fun to hate, whereas T-Mac makes you want to turn off a game / stab your face.

  65. chris wheeler's toupee

    January 8, 2014 at 4:45 pm

    my master was a real ass bandit.

  66. Stop dicking around and hire todd kalas. Tmac and his saggy boobs dont need to be on tv anymore

  67. Coatesy's Purple Nose

    January 8, 2014 at 5:14 pm

    Sarge: We need more updates from the real Candy FROM the Oak.

  68. Out of the closet? I knew it!

  69. great move. wheels i brutal.

    please, elaborate on all the shit he tried to pull. i always heard rumors but nothing beyond “harry hates him.”

  70. Candy from the Oak

    January 8, 2014 at 6:51 pm

    Ok here’s my update…my tits are very fat and saggy

  71. nick pappagiorgio

    January 8, 2014 at 8:00 pm

    The comments and some of the names are crazy on here sometimes

  72. Rick schu's mustache

    January 8, 2014 at 8:15 pm

    Bye bye wheels hope you and your toupee find a nice new home kissing ass somewhere else. And sarge sorry to see you go but good luck as citizens bank park’s new head men’s room attendant.

  73. Harry Kalas' Ghost

    January 8, 2014 at 11:45 pm

    Wow, it’s about damn time that ferret was given the boot. (About 15 years too late)

  74. MISSINELLIS HUGE LABIA

    January 9, 2014 at 12:00 am

    I dated wheels toupee for a while, I used to lick the double sided tape. I Fell in love with WHEELS while at PED State. We were both obnoxious and closeted faggots so we hit it off. My lisp and bald spot are out of control, would LOVE to suckle TMACS BOOBIES.

  75. Three hours a day of Ricky Bo

    January 9, 2014 at 1:41 am

    Hate Wheels. Now prepare yourselves for Ricky Bo. He is going to wear you down. He seems like an angry and miserable person as he breaks down games. I guess the best part is he won’t engage with T~Mac. I guess this is good in a way. When McCarthy does the National Fox game on occasion he has to tone down the broadcast. It’s still unlistenable but less than a local Phillies broadcast. I don’t think Ricky will develop any chemistry with McCarthy. It should be like when Harry was working Wheels and never interacted.

    By the way they will be building a Wheels statue next to Asburn at CBP. It will be Wheels with a knife stabbing him the back.

  76. Senior Citizen Bank Park

    January 9, 2014 at 9:21 am

    Great. The Phillies are getting rid of over the hill, past their prime has beens. But they’re doing it in the booth where the real need to discard the sludge is on the field. The Phillies will be losing big time next year. I guess management wanted more interesting personalities describing the action (inaction?).

  77. It is about time that little pompous ass is gone. I am tired of hearing “no doubles defense”, “off the end of the bat” and his incessant mind reading. He thought he knew what every player, coach and manager was thinking and he would tell you what they were thinking. TMac should go also, he is nothing more than a “no talent boring suck ass”, but sucking ass can keep him in a job and apparently it has worked. When Ashburn and Kalas hate you, then there is a reason. Also, the alleged reports of Wheeler ratting out Harry to his wife about things that happened on a road trip. Thank God the douchebag, road kill wearing little twit is gone, it is abou time. I keep thinking back to a radio broadcast many years ago when Richie Ashburn asked Wheeler “who did you play for, again”?

  78. YOU F@(KED UP PHILLIE FANS CRACK ME UP. BEING A YANKEE FAN, I WOULD MUCH RATHER HAVE ANY OF THE 3 ON THE RADIO BROADCAST WITH JOHN STERLING THE BEST MLB RADIO ANNOUNCER THAN THE WITCH SUZYN WALDMAN. IT WOULDN’T SUPRIZE ME SHE’S BLOWING HAL STEINBRENNER TO KEEP HER JOB.

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