GOOD MORNING EVERYBODY BASEBALL SEASON OFFICIALLY STARTS TODAY AND I’M SCREAMING LIKE TOM MCCARTHY WHO RECENTLY TOLD A PHILLIES WEBSITE THAT HIS FIVE-YEAR CONTRACT EXTENSION BEGINS THIS SEASON SO HE’LL BE WITH YOU EVVVVVVVERY STEP OF THE WAY.
Tom McCarthy’s contract expired at the end of last season, but in the absence of any news that the Phillies had politely driven him out to the middle of nowhere and left him to scream amongst the trees (if a T-Mac yells in the forrest and no one hears him, does a T-Mac really scream in the forrest?), it was assumed that he got some sort of extension for at least this season. But yesterday, PhilsBaseball.com posted an interview with T-Mac, who revealed that he signed a five-year extension last winter. Oh, and that the broadcast crew plans on carrying around a life-sized Chris Wheeler puppet this year.
That is great to hear, but I understand last season was the final year of your contract. Have you discussed renewing your contract yet?
I actually heard that from a lot of people. I never even realized my contract had been public notice or that people had wondered. I even got an email from someone asking if I was coming back this year and I said, “Yeah, why?” They said they heard my contract was up and I said, “It was?” But yes, I signed a new contract last winter for a five year extension. It starts this year, so I’m here for at least another five years after this.
Gah. The Phillies TV broadcast crew finished in third, with only 8% of the vote, in a poll we ran in November. In 2010, T-Mac finished a distant second to Scott Franzke when we asked who you would prefer to have doing play-by-play on TV. So I don’t get it. T-Mac seems like a good guy, and he has his moments, but the overwhelming sentiment is that he is more annoying than he is enjoyable to listen to. He doesn’t let the game breathe (the way Franzke does and Harry used to), his reactions seem forced, and his tone-deaf, company man style is irritating. A local radio person once told me that he felt like T-Mac broadcasts directly to David Montgomery, not the fans - what does my boss want to hear, as opposed to what does my audience want to hear – and I think that’s a fair criticism.
Of course, T-Mac sticking around will bring more awkward hilarity, like this:
Any new pranks planned?
We had this thing in Cincinnati where Sarge left the water running and flooded the whole hallway, so I went back to the hallway and took a picture of it and I sent it out to everybody. Then I let Wheels know that I was ready for the season and I had all these things planned, and he just went, “Oh joy.”
Most of the stuff we do is pretty spontaneous. We do try to celebrate Wheels’ birthday in a different way each year. One of the things we’re going to try this year is to get a life sized puppet of Wheels so we can carry it around with us everywhere we go.