It has been reported that the Philadelphia Phillies have finally decided on who would replace Chris Wheeler and Gary “Sarge” Matthews in the broadcast booth. The two former Phillies who will join play-by-play announcer Tom McCarthy this season are Jamie Moyer and Matt Stairs. When Wheeler and Sarge were let go last month, it had been rumored that former Phillies and post-game analysts Christ Coste and Ricky Bottalico would take over, as well as possibly Brad Lidge. However Comcast SportsNet has decided on Moyer and Stairs to join the broadcast team. The former Phillies are being welcomed back with open arms by fans, who no doubt remember the heroics of these two during the 2008 championship season.
Moyer, who pitched for the team from late 2006 through 2010, has some previous broadcasting experience. He was a part of ESPN during the 2011 season, while recovering Tommy John Surgery. He was a fan favorite during his time with the team, because of his role in the team’s success as well as and his work as a philanthropist. Being from around the area, Moyer grew up in Sellersville as a Phillies fan, helped as well. Moyer has been involved in each of the Phillies’ World Series parades, playing hookey to attend the team’s 1980 parade, was a member of the 2008 team, and can now take part as an analyst in the potential parades the team may have in the future.
As a Red Sox analyst for NESN, Stairs has some broadcasting experience of his own. He is a legend in Philadelphia thanks to his heroic moon-shot of a homerun against the Los Angeles Dodgers in the 2008 NLCS. Thanks to that, Stairs will likely never have to pay for a beer while in Philadelphia. Sarge’s reputation of producing some interesting soundbites will likely be followed by Stairs who produced this gem following his heroic home run
When you get that nice celebration coming into the dugout and you’re getting your ass hammered by guys – there’s no better feeling than to have that done.”
Stairs is blunt to say the least, stating things matter-of-factly, such as once telling the media, “I’m not gonna lie…I try to hit home runs and that’s it.” Which only helped to win over the fans even more. Stairs’ personality is a perfect fit for Philadelphia, which was clear when he was a player, and will translate to his time in the booth.
The two former players will bring interesting perspectives as color commentators. Moyer has always been considered of having the potential to be a pitching coach, and will no doubt bring his knowledge to the booth. Having defied time, Moyer pitched in the majors for 26 years, relying on control and mixing pitches over velocity. This would allow Moyer to give the viewer a glimpse of the mental aspect of pitching, and mechanics as well.
Stairs on the other hand could offer some insight on what it is like to be in a major league clubhouse. Having been on 13 different teams throughout his career, Stairs knows about the different personalities that are on a team. This along with his bluntness could give fans a view inside the clubhouse that they may not have seen before. In the end, it is as though Stairs is filling Sarge’s role while Moyer fills Wheeler’s.
It is not known how the new broadcasters will work alongside McCarthy. Sarge and Wheeler often split time, with Wheeler broadcasting six innings to Sarge’s three. It could be possible that Stairs and Moyer could be in the booth at the same time or possibly split games.
Fans will not have to wait too long to see the new commentators, as the Phillies will broadcast their first spring training game on February 26th.