The Daily News Strikes Out; Gary Matthews Bumbles Along; The Three Most Annoying Voices in Philly Sports; and, one more time, Who Is Rob Brooks and Why He Must Be Fired NOW!!! – Part 4
The Daily News – More Money, Less Coverage
There was a time when The Philadelphia Daily News had one of the finest sports pages in America. Now, in this writer’s opinion, they’re not even first in Philadelphia. Beat reporters like Les Bowen lack the insight, the clever phrasing, and authority fans expect, while there has yet to emerge a columnist who can carry Bill Conlin’s laptop. Give me The Inquirer’s Bob Brookover and Bob Ford every time.
Can You Find Phillies Coverage?
We can all agree the current edition of the Phillies has captured the imagination of the city. But let me ask you this: have you noticed where the News puts Phils coverage? Certainly not on the first sports page. And no, not on the second. More like the 4th or 5th. But on Tuesday, following the long awaited first game in the Red Sox series, they relegated game coverage to page EIGHT! That is simply not acceptable. Worse yet, and if you didn’t read the game account you won’t believe this, the contest was NOT reported by beat writer David Murphy, not by Paul Hagen, not by any News sports writer, but by the AP. There’s more. The piece was less than 400 words. Ridiculous and insulting. The Daily News disrespects both the team and the fans. So, as a proud Philadelphian, let me respond to the News and this conspicuous and inexcusable omission thusly: BOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!! Some one needs to be fired. Or taken behind the wood shed and whooped!
Gary Matthews Flunks Another MATTH Test
The abysmal, appalling, atrocious, astonishingly inept work of alleged color commentator, Gary Matthews, just doesn’t get any better. If you love your Phillies and enjoy watching them on TV, the experience continues to be ruined by his forever incoherent babbling. Face it, he’ll never get better. He’s just plain bad, arguably the worst commentator in the entire history of sport.
I’ve written about my ever-growing contempt for his jumbled thinking, and intellectually insulting mutterings for some time now. But it’s even more important to remind folks that the determination to hire Matthews, along with other horrible decisions, was made by the Phillies director of broadcasting, Rob (I’m the smartest guy out there) Brooks. It was Brooks who hired (and, after one season on TV, fired) Scott Graham. It was Brooks who created the last year’s disaster of three men-in-the-broadcast-booth. It was Brooks who so “cleverly” decided that Tom McCarthy should make in-game “reports,” while mindlessly intruding on the action on the field.
Last night sadly served as another reminder of how aggravating “TMac’s” in game invasions are.
Maybe you’ll agree with me that one of the most exciting plays in baseball is the drag bunt for a hit. The batter taps the ball and then we watch fielder, runner, and the baseball in exciting anticipation of who wins the race. Last night, Shane Victorino dropped a beauty to the second base side of Red Sox first baseman Sean Casey, and legged it out for a single. It was sheer delight. But thanks to Rob (Hey look at me – I’m really smart) Brooks, what did we get? We got a look at TMac, sitting in the stands, rambling on about something eminently forgettable, and were denied the call by Harry Kalas. It’s revolting. It really is.
But back to Matthews and some more beauties of illogic and inarticulateness. Here are some of his “best” dim-witted remarks from the last two Red Sox games:
On Pitching: “Your number one and two have been struggling except for Hamels.” Say wha? Are we just a bit confused, Sarge? Hamels is clearly the Phils Nunber one starter and he has been brilliant. Egads.
On getting the “Sure Out”: With a runner on first and a ground ball to Ryan Howard, Howard considered throwing to second, but then got the “sure out” at first base. Matthews intoned, “You want to take that sure out, but you want that sure double play.” That’s for sure, Sarge. Existential thinking there. Impressive.
More on Pitching: With Adam Eaton pitching and struggling to keep the Phillies in the game, our ace analyst spoke, “He needs to pitch to allow his team to win.” I’d not only agree with that, I’d say Matthews has to shut up so my ears can breathe.
On Jon Lester’s Assortment of Pitches: “He has four pitches: fastball, slider and splitter. OK, let me do some rudimentary MATTH. Hmmn, that would be THREE pitches, Sarge. One. Two. Three.
Well, that’s it for me. It’s sickening enough to listen to Matthews, but it’s become even more stomach turning to recount his gaffes on this site. So, to protect my mental health, I have to retreat to my policy of earlier this season: no TV during innings 3, 4 and 5. No more Matthews. Just can’t do it anymore..
Silly Season for the Spoken Word
For those who aren’t paying attention – congratulations! You haven’t noticed that Mike Misanthropic-nelli is back on the air. I wonder if he’s still angry? Yes, I’m sure Mikie is terminally apoplectic.
John Clark – Weekend Sports Anchor, NBC10
Calrk is the most high school Harry, rah rah rah, jock sniffing “journalist” in town. If you want to win some money, make this bet about his next report following an Eagles road game: while he’s blabbing sophomoric homilies, there will be a bunch of Eagles rooters shouting behind him. Not that Clark is obvious or predictable. His next original thought will be his first.
Jan Gorham – WIP newsreader
Gorham has gotten the longest free ride in town. She is simply rude, crude, and barbaric. Gorham reads her copy with a derisive, mocking tone. Gorham is all about the cult of Gorham. And on the rare occasion when she does an interview, she poaches her unsuspecting subjects and asks demeaning questions for which there are no answers, something along the lines of, “Do you still beat your wife?” It’s time someone noticed and called her out.
Of all the dung heaps that stink-up Philly sports, nothing – nothing – could be more insulting, more sleazy, more upsetting than yesterday’s condemnation by that slime, Cataldi, the WIP talk show hack. Oh, he’s odious.
He made loathsome comments on his “Morning Show” yesterday, impugning both Tim Russert and Tiger Woods. He tramped deep into the sewage of his mind, beyond his already subterranean limits of decency. He’s a slime.
Cataldi is so completely full of himself, so puffed up with a sense of his own importance, that he feels no compunction in condemning anyone at all, just for his own amusement. This Cataldi, this slime, is a real sport.
Once, about 20 years ago, Cataldi had a pedigree. Now he needs a pedicure of the mouth. Or a punch. Where he once had a measure of respect as a beat writer for The Philadelphia Inquirer, now he resides in a bathtub full of his own mucous secretions.
That he’s loud and full of himself doesn’t mean he’s not entertaining. He often is. I admit it. Listening to Cataldi is a guilty pleasure. I can easily enjoy his harangues at the expense of pompous Philly sports owners, most particularly Jeffrey Lurie, and the mysterious, secretive, creepy Phillies landlords.
His transparent tirades, most often a huckster’s shout to boost ratings, are obvious. He is – and I say this with a touch of praise – a skilled ratings manipulator. And oh, is he ever a master of the tease. He is brilliant at peeling off a tasty morsel, holding it tantalizingly just out of reach, keeping us in his grasp while his bosses sell more soap and sleaze.
But yesterday, Cataldi gleefully tossed out piles of invective at Woods, complaining that he wasn’t really hurt, that he was milking his knee surgery for sympathy. Surely, Woods was faking it. All that limping? All that grimacing? Using his driver as a crutch? Oh, Tiger Woods, you’re such a phoney. And Cataldi’s new toady, slurping Hugh Douglas, along with the ever pliant Rhea Hughes, gushed in agreement. All together now: he’s faking-he’s faking-he’s faking! Na na na na na.
For anyone who somehow doesn’t know, Tiger Woods won the U.S. Open yesterday, having competed for 5 days and 91 holes on an obviously damaged and painful left knee. That he hadn’t even walked 18 holes since the Masters in April only underscores his achievement. On a day when his play was less than brilliant, when he was often doubled up in pain, Woods did what a transcendent athlete does: he persevered and somehow found a way to win.
And Cataldi? Cataldi does what a ratings whore does: he infects something good and makes it vulgar for his own egotistical purposes. It was an odorous, transparent attempt to boost ratings and draw attention to his own sad Self.
Here’s an approximation of what Cataldi said: “Can you name people like Tim Russert and Tiger Woods who can do anything and people won’t complain about them?” In other words, Russert and Woods have been so deified by the press that they can get away with any kind of bad behavior. The implication is that Russert and Woods could lie, cheat, and steal without ever having to own up to things. The further implication is that Russert and Woods are too privileged, too high and mighty to have to be accountable for their actions.
Cataldi’s remarks were revolting. The irony is that all of Cataldi’s accusations apply to Cataldi. Cataldi has never known what being an athlete is truly about. Being an athlete is about trying your best. It’s about willing yourself beyond seeming physical limits. It’s about never giving up regardless of circumstance. Sport is about the purity of competition, of finding the finest part of yourself. Of trying your best. Of playing fair. OK, I know, I know that sounds so corny, so hopelessly old fashioned, but it remains true. It will always be true. I don’t care about the users and abusers of performance enhancing drugs. They don’t negate the highest calling of sport: to give it all you have all the time. To respect the sport, to respect your opponent by playing hard and by playing fair.
But Cataldi, the slime, wouldn’t know about that. His conceit wouldn’t allow it. And so he attacked Tiger Woods for his own personal benefit and amusement. Cataldi delightedly belittled what most would agree was one of the finest moment in sports: Tiger Woods relentlessly and endlessly calling on his best, giving his best, in the most pressure packed, dire circumstances, while in visibly agonizing pain. My God, to watch Woods deal with pressure and physical pain was, in the truest sense of the word, awesome. It was awe-inspiring, a rare alchemy of genius and courage mixed together, forming a perfect harmony of mind and body. It was absolutely thrilling to see Woods, in ever deepening adversity, do exactly what he had to do to compete at his highest level – and win!
There’s more. Cataldi, the slime, in utter madness, also demeaned NBC-TV political analyst Tim Russert, the much beloved and stellar political analyst, who died of an apparent heart attack on June14th. Russert was also a great champion. To besmirch this man within days of his death is both horrifying and unforgiveable. By his own words, Cataldi reveals himself to be a man without ethics.
Cataldi, the slime, is man who says he had a breast reduction operation. Apparently, his doctor sliced away his decency, too.
THIS NOTE is being added on the evening after I wrote about Cataldi, the slime. We’ve just learned that Tiger Woods played the U.S. Open with a torn ACL AND with a double stress fracture of his left tibia. So, what do you say everybody, let’s all tune in tomorrow to Angelo and his sycophants for more accusations about Tiger and his “fraudulent” injury. Let’s listen again to how Tiger was so phony, faking all that pain just to gain our sympathy. I, for one, can’t wait for all the hijinks, frivolity, and yuk-yuk-yuks at the expense of a truly courageous athlete.
Ike Reese – Just Another WIP Jerk
This is being inserted on October 28, 2009. Have you ever heard a more awkward, more uncomfortable pairing on WIP than Eskin and Ike? Oh my, it’s really awful. They don’t fit together at all. The Esk just dominates Ike, who, after all, is still a rookie and who will never catch up to The Esk’s acumen and savvy. If the ratings were down before the move, they’re going to seem like “up” to me as the Arbitron’s are surely going to plummet. There’s no doubt about it. The suits blew this one.
Ike Reese, former Eagles special teams star, has been an impressive rookie on WIP. “Ike at Night,” from 7-10PM, has been surprisingly entertaining. Not just another jock boring us with retiree-spouting jock-speak, not just another tongue-tied interchageable sports senior citizen mouthing homilies, Reese has been impressive, displaying a wide knowledge of the national sports scene, while offering cogent commentary, along with a welcoming presence to listeners.
That’s why it was so incredibly disappointing to hear him disparage Phillies pitcher, Tom “Flash” Gordon, in the most trashy and despicable way. Nice work, Ike. Congratulations for passing muster as just another tool of WIP, radio talk show station of idiots for idiots.
Last night (June 11), Gordon came into pitch the 9th inning of a 2-2 game against the Marlins. Gordon was wild, loaded the bases, and gave up a devastating walk-off grand slam to Dan Uggla. The Phillies lose. The Phillies lose.
How did Reese respond to that moment of misfortune? By referring to Gordon as Tom “Flush” Gordon. I thought I misheard until Reese said it again, and over again. Tom Flush Gordon – what a knee slapper. Ho-Ho- Ho, Ike. So Clever. So Brilliant! Welcome to the dirty toilet bowl of WIP pre-pubescent humor. Ah, WIP, first in our hearts, last in our bowels.
Well, not only did Reese earn his Vulgarity stripes, he earned a cluster for accompanying his “Flush” slur, conspiring with his engineer by playing the sound of a toilet flushing. And let me tell you, Dear Reader, it was an ever so long flush – really, really, really loonnnnggg. Ho-Ho-Ho, Ike. Wow-Pow-Zowie. Oh, such unadulterated comedy. Such willy nilly silliness. Such a nifty imagination. Belly laughs all around. Ah, Ike, you coulda been a “contendah.” I suppose WIP will now launch a campaign along the lines of “Be Like Ike …. and Don’t Forget to Flush! And Don’t Forget to Wipe!!” Oh, Oh, Oh, My, My My, I’m funny, too. Just like Ike.
Visual Clutter at the Bank (Click on photos above.)
When I attended a recent Phils game, I was struck (in the eyes) by some pretty awful images. The big scoreboard is so crowded that you don’t know where to look. The visual stew is inedible, just like those Hatfield doggies. I mean, take a look at that jumble. Stars, number signs, text all over the place. Everything bumping into everything else. What’s the point of writing the pitcher’s name twice, the second time in caps? Just for fun, try looking up from the game action to locate the balls and strikes numbers. Try to spot them before the next pitch. Bet you a Hatfield doggie you can’t.
Oh, and where do you have to look for pitch speed? Deep in the rightfield corner, where those numbers are surrounded by more visual clutter – a phalanx of out of town MINOR LEAGUE scores. I’m not talking about just Phillies farm teams, but a whole array of teams I’ve never heard of and wouldn’t ever want to hear of.
Call me picky, but another thing I don’t like is that the pictures of the opposing team players are shown in their home uniforms. What’s with that? They are not our homies. No, they are visitors and their photos should be in their grey road unis.
But if you’re looking for something less opinionated and more of an undisputed fact, take a walk down Ashburn Alley and check out the sign with an arrow pointing to the “Mens Restroom.” Hello. May I have an apostrophe, Pat? As in MEN’S. Or take a look at the SECTIONS numbers. There’s a useless comma after 111, and the 148 isn’t centered under the 111. Not just sloppy folks, but stupid and incompetent. Makes you wonder about management’s attention to detail. Makes you understand why the Triple A iron Pigs are stocked with cast-off 35 year olds instead of promising players in their early 20s.
Fire Gary Matthews (Have mercy on our ears)
The stumbling stupidities and inane idiocies of Gary Matthews continue to pile up. Rather than to re-count another long list of useless and dim-witted narrative, I’ll offer my first Viewer Challenge. Take a listen to what words Matthews emphasizes as he speaks. It’s almost always the wrong WORD. Moreover, he’ll often pause for emphasis before “actually” emphasizing the wrong WORD. Give it a try, and I’ll list a few of my own Matthews’ gems in my next post.
P.S. Just in case you think I forgot, I ask you, “Who Is Rob Brooks and Why He Should Be Fired NOW!!”