Let’s Talk About Mike Schmidt

I noticed something this weekend: People were tweeting me about their dislike of Mike Schmidt.

It’s one of the few times over the last two years that I received a series of Tweets about a Phillies game.

Michael Jack Schmidt has been doing home Phillies Sunday (now weekend) games for two years. This is his third season. His annoying brand of commentary is not new. But, suddenly, there’s pushback.

This tells me two things:

  1. People are paying attention again. I can’t tell you the last time I was fully engrossed in a Phillies series like I was this weekend. It had to be 2012. No joke. It’s the first time I felt like I was watching competivie baseball again. Judging by the number of Tweets I got about Schmidt (Hey, Mike Schmidt stinks!), I’m not alone here.
  2. Mike Schmidt stinks.

Great players don’t always make great announcers. Sometimes the greatest players get so caught up in their own greatness that they begin to believe they’re great at everything, especially if it involves the thing they were great at in the first place. Got it? Great. This obviously describes Schmidt, whose knowledge of the game would be fine if it weren’t for his lack of preparedness, disdain for conventions that didn’t suit Mike Schmidt, and insistence on saying questionable things which must have company man Tom McCarthy squirming in his overworked broadcast seat.

Anecdotally, just on Sunday, Schmidt professed how much he detests it when pitchers talk to opposing players when they’re on base – because that’s not what Bob Gibson did! – as if Vinvent Velasquez, who drew a walk while turning in yet another impressive outing, was somehow less competitive because he talked to Carlos Santana on first.* He flashed political leanings with an odd comment about Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders (regardless of your stance, avoiding politics is Sports Broadcasting 101):

He called Cameron Rupp’s mom, who was being honored for the Phils’ celebration of moms, “cute”:

And he displayed a general lack of preparation, even joking that he stopped keeping score in the seventh.

Somehow this stuff is endearing when Larry Andersen or Gary Matthews does it. When Mike Schmidt does it, he comes across as an asshole, probably because Mike Schmidt has an opinion on everything… and opinions are like assholes. Did I get that right?

All the more perplexing is that the Phillies, because it’s Mike Schmidt, are promoting it – with a sponsor and everything – as Weekends with Mike Schmidt. Though somehow I’d rather have Bernie Lomax in the booth. [I’ve heard that Schmidt is getting an insane amount of money for each homestand he works, but can’t confirm the number.]

Schmidt could be a good broadcaster. His voice is good, he has the clout, and his stories are, at times, interesting. He also has a knowledge of the game (maybe not the one he’s calling, but the sport in general). But he just can’t get out of his own way and stop being Mike Schmidt long enough for us to ever find out if he’s worth listening to.

*He allowed two baserunners, both walks, over the next three innings. Curiously, they were the first two batters after he returned to the mound. But this might have a little more to do with the fact that he was facing the Indians third and fourth hitters than it does with him talking to Santana.

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42 Responses

  1. You could replace all the Phillies broadcasters with the morons booing Wentz & it would be an upgrade!

  2. Put me on the list of people who met Mike Schmidt when I was a kid, and he was a dick.

    1. Remember when Schmidt had that charity golf tournament in the early 1990’s that lasted only two years? Despite all the crowds and revenue, he stiffed the Inquirer charity as he was paying big admin fees to Michael Jordan et al for showing up. And remember that failed franchise business, Mike Schmidt Steaks.

  3. Worst broadcasters in Philly

    1) Innes
    2) Angelo
    3) Barkann
    4) TMac
    5) Coatsey
    6) Schmidt
    7) Ike Reese
    8) Al Moronganti
    9) “Sludge”
    10) Matt Stairs

    This is a list of all WIP and Phillies people.

    1. coatsey isn’t a wip person or Phillies guy. just saying. he is annoying, though.

  4. I disagree as Schmidt is the only reason to that keeps me from switching to LA & Frantzke on the radio for weekend games.

    I love to hear Schmidt’s perspective from his era and he is not a ‘get off my lawn’ guy as he has never called out any Steroid guys who pass his 548 Homeruns unlike someone like Reggie Jackson.

    But you have to remember our idiot fans booed Schmidt throughout his career. I was there in 1985 when he came out with a wig as a joke cause fans booed his bad start of the season.

    I always find it strange that the fans Revere an Aaron Rowand cause he crashes into a wall but boo a Jayson Werth who helped us win a World Series. Both left for a bigger contract, but Werth gets the boos.

    Sorry, but our fanbase is a bunch of idiots sometimes and the way Schmidt has always been treated by our fans proves my point.

    1. why don’t you wake the hell up? if you ever met Schmidt in person, you would know why he was booed. He’s a complete self-absorbed ass. I saw him walk by plenty of kids without acknowledging them when they wanted his autograph. Werth gets booed ever since he lambasted that guy in front of his kid because he thought the guy interfered with a foul ball Werth thought he could catch. bottom line: act like a dick, get treated like one.

      oh, and by the way, Schmidt didn’t get booed because of his poor start to the season, he had to wear the wig because he went off about how bad the phillie fans were in an article in a Montreal newspaper. I guess he thought we would never see his remarks

  5. You see, Tom, when you are the home team you usually bat in the bottom of the inning and have to play in the field to start the game as well.

    1. Not only that Tom, but the other team bats first to start the game. You pick these things up as you play a long, industrious, I’m sorry, illustrious career such as I have.

  6. Schmidt knows his shit, but he is and always has been a miserable jerkoff. He can’t help it, and he can’t hide it on the air. I don’t mind Stairs. Something’s different about Ben Davis. Sounds like the company is controlling him, or telling him how to be. He doesn’t sound like himself. T Mac is just plain awful.

  7. Would love to knockout Mike Schmidt . That asshole always has something to say to get under your skin

  8. Schmidt is the Bret Hart of baseball. Beyond respectable and among the greats as a performer/athlete, but can’t get out of the way of his own misguided words now that he’s no longer playing the game.

    1. that is a pretty solid comparison, and just like i could listen to Bret Hart talk wrestling, i really only enjoy listening to Schmidt call the games. I find Stairs and Davis to be boring and McCarthy is just irritating and annoying.

      Nothing is worse than whatever ESPN puts in the booth. More talking makes for a worse viewing experience for the baseball fan at home

  9. Interesting how many Philly fans are frontrunners yet will get mad if you call them frontrunners. I’ve been watching the Phillies since opening day because they were always going to be interesting. I didn’t need to see them on ESPN before I said, hey, maybe I should watch the Phillies.

    1. You know what else sucks? Miserable self righteous fucks like you who get off on speaking down to people. get a hobby you fucking jerk off.

  10. Let’s not forget baseball players general sense of greatness of self that is matched by few others in sports

    1. Um, they make the most money and have the longest careers, after which they are still able to actually pick up their children, as opposed to gang banging NFL players who either go to jail, go broke, or off themselves. Baseball players ARE smarter.

  11. A short list Schimdt, Carlton, Bonds,Ted Williams Clemens. these guys make NFLers look approachable

  12. McCarthy, Schmidt and Stairs have to go. Now that the team is on the upswing it’s time to hire some real announcers again like Harry and Ritchie. Most viewers want new announcers. The only people who like them are fanboys like Mikey Miss.

  13. Love dudes who make millions playing a game and complain about taxes.

    Cool people.

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