Chuck Darrow wrote a piece in the Daily News today about the thus-far performance of Matt Stairs, Jamie Moyer and Mike Schmidt on the Phillies’ broadcasts this season. Here’s Stairs on Stairs, which I suppose is a strange cousin of Staccs on Staccs:
“People have the right to say what they want,” he said. “I was judged when I played baseball. And if people are gonna judge me when I’m in the broadcast booth, they have the right to.”
Early on, he was vexed by when to speak and when to be silent, he said. “Are you talkin’ too much? Are you not giving enough information? That was the main concern.”
He feels that his delivery has improved since those rocky first days on the job. “When I finish my sentences, I usually come to a lower tone. Now the volume’s up,” he explained. “I’m more vocal, and I think I’ve become clearer and have slowed down.”
Agreed, he has improved. I still wouldn’t call either him or Moyer* good yet, but there’s a pretty steep learning curve for the job, and Stairs is getting better about, you know, putting sounds together in such a way as to denote words. I’m quoted in Darrow’s article critiquing them. What was left mostly unsaid, however, is that I think both guys have improved to the point that you can’t say either is unsalvageably bad. Both Gary Matthews and Larry Andersen were pretty shaky when they first started, too. Sarge remained lovably bad, while Andersen has earned himself a sort of cult following on the radio, thanks in part to his partnership with Scott Franzke. This sort of thing can take years to get good at. Will Stairs or Moyer be around that long? Hard to tell. Darrow spoke with CSN VP of live events Sean Oleksiak, who wouldn’t divulge any of their contract information:
Shawn Oleksiak, vice president and executive producer of live events at CSN Philly, said he was impressed by his newbies’ work ethic and convinced that they’re on the right track.
“There’s nothing they’re not open to discussing, nothing you can’t approach them about,” he said. “They all realize the importance of going back and looking at their work, and watching it and trying to do better next time.”
He declined to talk about the trio’s future, citing privacy concerns related to their current contracts.
That sounds like a nice way of saying, yeah we haven’t decided on the future yet.
*I don’t count Schmidt as part of the broadcast team. He’s more of a mascot, tapped for Sunday performances of his special brand of regaling and bloviating. He’s done a nice job, though.