Philly Media Sports’s (PMS) Weblog

Dave Spadaro – Philadelphia Eagles’ Loyalist and Impresario of Sycophantocracy

Posted in Uncategorized by phillymediasports on September 28, 2009

We all know about Spadaro, Eagles’ apologist and propagandist.  We all know about Spadaro, Eagles’ magic elixir salesman.  We all know about Spadaro, Eagles’ tent revivalist. We all know about Spadaro, weepy Eagles’ grubber.  We all know about Spadaro, clumsy Eagles’ deconstructionist.  But now we know something new about Spadaro:  He’s off his ever lovin’ rocker.

Apparently, for all this time, Spadaro has been a resident of Tweedledeeland, parked in a cul de sac of his own warped inter-planetary hallucinations.  Listen to this.  Today, on WIP, if I heard it right, Spadaro revealed for the first time that he is promoting a change to the Wildcat formation, popularized last year by the Miami Dolphins and adopted and taken to new extremes by Andy Reid this season.  Spadaro, in sophistic fealty to Reid, wants to rename the Wildcat as the EAGLE or EAGLECAT.

Dear Lord.  Spadaro has finally succumbed to the ooze of his syrupy mind.  Still, every crazed idea presents an opportunity to belittle the architect.  And this is such a delectable opportunity.  Therefore, in recognition of Spadaro’s ode to absurdity, let me take the EAGLECAT to its (ill) logical conclusion.  From this time forth, let the following football fouls be known thusly:

from false start to false Eagle

from offensive interference to offensive Eagle

from unnecessary roughness to unnecessary Eagle

from delay of game to delay of Eagle

from grasping a face mask to grasping an Eagle

from illegal forward pass to illegal forward Eagle

from illegal use of hands to illegal use of Eagle

and best for last –

from illegal formation to illegal Eagle.

Talk about the quintessential illegal Eagle.  Oh my dear Spadaro, thank you for the EAGLECAT.  Al Michals, are you listening?

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More Noise From Boyz; And (As Always) Fire Gary Matthews ASAP

Posted in Uncategorized by phillymediasports on September 15, 2009

More Noise from Boyz

I know we all have radio and tv voices we can’t stand.  Voices that make us cringe, or want to throw up.  Voices we can never mute quickly enough.  Voices that should be silenced in the public welfare . Or ex-communicated to Cleveland.

So, what is upsetting me today?  Why it’s the engineers and producers who’ve begun injecting themselves into radio and television broadcasts.  It’s horrid, puerile, beyond immature, silly, infantile, utterly stupid and insipid.  These dudes are now introducing sound effects on top of the talkers. I heard the first  such intrusion on the Glen Macnow-Anthony Gargano “Mid-day Show” on WIP.  Whoever produces the show began launching sound effects, like grenades, into the the on- air gabbing.  Beyond interrupting the flow of conversation – such as it is – it’s absurd, and entirely annoying.  As days have gone on, the intrusions have become more relentless, more encompassing, more obtuse, more dim-witted, and yes, utterly stupid.  It has spread like a California conflagration.  Listen long enough and you’ll have to leave your home.  Listen long enough and stay in your home, and you risk burning your ears to death.

So, yes, it’s begun to spread like the Swine Flu virus.  Cataldi’s boy picked it up. Barkann’s boy followed suit.  And most troubling of all, our beloved Phillies broadcasts have also, sadly, fallen victim to the same brutish, boorish behavior.  Now chimes and buzzers go off during Chris Wheeler’s Seventh Inning “Guess the Boring Trivia Question” segment. Do we really need more noise in our society?  Do we really need more inanity? Do we really need more mindless twaddle?  Wow, that’s it.  They are twaddling us to death.  It’s a twaddle conspiracy.  It’s a right wing conspiracy …. no, no, I mean it’s a left wing conspiracy, or  no, it’s an across-the-aisle, bi-partisan conspiracy designed to further erode the American spirit.  Whatever it is, it’s coarse and it’s working.  And it should be stopped.

Maybe we should all gather at City Hall, at a specific day and time, and in unison, with all the outrage we can muster, shout: BLAH BLAH BLAH BLAH, BLAH BLAH BLAH BLAH, HEY HEY, GOODBYE.  Maybe we should resurrect a sixties-style march and take over the broadcast sets of the offending engineers and producers.  Maybe we should form a political action committee to silence these evil doers.  Get a couple of lobbyists.  Pay off a few pols. Hire a world-class publicity agent.  Hell, hire an advertising company.  Let’s put together an all-out assault to quiet these jerks. Let’s form up and let’s call ourselves SHHHHH.  C’mon people, smile on your brother, everybody get together, let’s love one another right now. But enough rubbish. Enough!

Sports Pages – The Inquirer v. The Daily News

No further evidence is needed.  It’s now clear that The Daily News sportswriters are inferior to those at The Philadelphia Inquirer.  Or, put another way, the Inquirer has far surpassed the Daily News and left them in second and last place in the city. And they’re pulling away.  Please check back. Analysis to follow.

Fire Gary Matthews & Limit Tom McCarthy or Who Will Replace Harry Kalas?

If he could have, who would our beloved Harry Kalas picked to replace him?  Not Tom McCarthy, at least not as the lead TV announcer.  I think McCarthy, under the unexpected pressure of Harry’s death, has acquited himself quite well.  He has proved to me that he has a place in Phillies broadcasts:  the middle three innings, not the six around them.  McCarthy does his homework and is well-prepared. He gets an “A” for trying to get Sarge (Gary Matthews) involved in the broadcasts and to induce him to become verbally coherent – as impossible and unrewarding a task as ever foisted on a broadcaster.  But McCarthy just has one volume, one tone:  loud.  There is no nuance in his telecasts.  Moreover, he is not a baseball story teller, he doesn’t let the game come to him.  In essence, he talks too much, talks too loudly, often times shouting in a sing-songy tempo, and tends to overwhelm the game.  And, yo, McCarthy’s thunderous, cackling, out of proportion laughs are iced-gatorade-poured-on-the-back annoying.

So, if not Tom McCarthy, then whom? I submit that this critically important task cannot be entrusted to Rob Brooks, the Phillies manager of bad broadcast hires, and equally bad (very) broadcast booth assignments. It was Brooks who brought the forgettable Scott Graham to the Phillies telecasts.  It was Brooks who broke-up that wonderful, simpatico broadcast relationship betwen Harry and Larry Anderson.  “L.A.” had the impossible task of replacing a legend, our Richie Ashburn, and doing so without any  experience.  And yet, he did, and did so admirably.  It was clear that the Harry-L.A. team clicked.  But, apparently Anderson angered Brooks by not always commenting upon the TV graphics displayed countless times during a broadcast.  Tsk, Tsk, Larry.  Your work made be genuinely terrific, your rapport with Harry quite wondrous, but you don’t obey well enough  The one thing I can say for Matthews is that no matter what he’s saying he always stops to read the graphic., no matter how horribly it interrupts the flow of the game.  Nice, lad, that Matthews, so well-behaved.

More. It was Brooks who made a tangled mess of a constantly rotating booth with three people in the booth, then four people, all vying for the microphone, all talking over each other. I’ve written about this often, but the new hire is such a supremely important decision, one that could affect Phillies telecasts for the next quart4er cetnruyy or more, that Brooks must sit this one out, be transferred to a new position, or be axed.  The one thing he cannot be trusted to do is to lead the way for a new main mouthpiece.  Nor can he be trusted to set-up the broadcast rotation in a way that lets the game be what’s important, as oppsoed to Brooks’ transparent and failed attempts to reinvent television baseball broadcasting.  And just to make us all feel comfortable, I say Rob Brooks….BOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Robbie, can ye hear me?

Let’s get this right and let’s start by canning Brooks.

The Top Nine List: Philly’s Most Annoying Sports Personalities

Posted in Uncategorized by phillymediasports on September 2, 2009

The Top Nine Most Annoying Philadelphia Sports Personalities

What is it about the number 10?  I’m tired of it; it’s so predictable.  So, I’m going with my Top Nine Most Annoying Philadelphia Sports Media Personalities.

#1 – Barkann, Michael.  Comcast SportsNet

By acclimation, Barkann could sweep all nine spots for himself.  No one in the Philadelphia sports media community is more of a huckster, so tirelessly, so aggressively, so LOUDLY in love with his own wonderfulness.  Michael B. –  The Barkmeister!  The Barkenenema! The Barkann’t Stop Talking About Me, Mister!  Look at me, look at me, oh please, please, please look at me.  Love me.  Love me.  Love me.

#2 – Fadool, Amy. Comcast SportsNet

OK, camp tryouts are over.  She did her best.  Fadool tried really, really hard. But if viewers need subtitles to understand her marble-mouthed utterances, and if she mis-speaks on every single broadcast, then it’s time to go.  I mean I have seen her stop in mid-sentence –more than once – to try a second time to say what she wanted to say the first time.  It’s an insult to sports fans to have to wade through such annoying, incompetent work. One more note about Fadool.  She needs to hire a fact checker.  On the night of September 3rd, when Ryan Howard drove in his 113th run of the season, Fadool reported he had driven in his ‘112th.’  This kind of error is like a print journalist not using spell-check; there’s no excuse for getting it wrong.  That’s just bad work.  Fadool needs to leave the yard. She’s gotta be OUTTA HERE!!!!!!!!!

#3 – Matthews, Gary. Comcast SportsNet

How painfully bad is this dude?  I’ve chronicled his awful-awful-awful work in other posts. What makes Matthews so horrible, and his horrible work so unforgiveable, is that he doesn’t improve.  He wallows in the ooze of the pathetically bad, Ad infinitum. His grasp of the obvious is so strong that he chokes ‘obvious’ to death.  Bring in the coroner for “The Sarge.”   And, Dear Lord, he never stops talking.  He goes on and on and on and on babbling about nothing, tell us nothing, making sense of nothing. And so, I am denied the pleasure of watching the Phillies broadcasts with sound for one-third of every game.  I have to ‘mute’ the television for my emotional well-being.  But, in the interests of making an up-to-date report, I forced myself to watch the middle-three of last night’s game against the Giants – a Phillies 1-0 victory, a gem of a game pitched by Cole Hamels.

Here are three of Matthews’ more memorably stupid, incomprehensible babblings:

1.  On Ryan Howard running the bases:  “He should be able to move with his feet.” I suppose moving with your elbows didn’t occur to the Sarge.

2.  On the work of shortstops: “Shortstop is the busiest position.  You have line drives. You have grounders.  You have pop-ups.”   Now that’s deep.  That’s incisive commentary. That’s analysis of the highest order.

3.  On Winning Road Games:  “In most cases, it’s always difficult to win on the road.” Golly, I’d sure like to know those cases where it’s sometimes easy to win on the road.

Lastly, I’ve (sadly) memorized a beauty of a Raul Ibanez home run call by Matthews. It went like this:  “That’ got a little more distance than it’s goin’.”  Just a little more, indeed.

#4 – Gudel, Leslie. Comcast SportsNet

It would seem to me, outsider that I am, that the first rule of broadcasting is to have a pleasing voice.  But our Leslie’s voice could make serene the sound of group blackboard scratching by the entire population of South Philadelphia. Turning down the volume doesn’t help, at least not much.  If you simply must listen, then it’s crucial to put away your china and glassware.

#5 – Missanelli, Mike. ESPN Radio

He’s our Mikey of Eternal Anger. Missanelli must be so unhappy. Maybe his daddy was mean to him. Missanelli is a tireless bore who, by definition, is totally predictable.The only question is when he’ll get fired.  The over/under is six months.

#6 – Charry, Rob.  WIP Radio

I just went online to have a first look at this guy.  You know how radio personalities never look like you think they will?  Well, here’s a notable exception. He looks crazed and upset.  Angry Rob is second only to Missanelli because he gets so much less air time.  But this dude is perpetually pissed-off, and equally perpetually dull, hollow and humdrum. A nasty man.

That’s it.  I’m done.  I will not continue my self-flagellation with three more paragraphs. But I will honor my commitment by filling out the roster.

#7 – Kram, Mark. Philadelphia Daily News – Does this man have a pulse?

# 8 – Spadaro, Dave.  Eagles Digest – His cloyingly transparent kiss-ass defense of everything Eagles, no matter how smelly rotten it is, would make syrup angry. Have you ever witnessed a more pathetic wannabe jock sniffer?   Oh you have?

Well, then, that would be Mr. High School Harry, aka #9 – Clark, John. NBC10-TV

There you have it:  the nine most annoying sports personalities in Philly.  Bring me some Maalox.  Hurry.

P.S.  I know.  I know. No Eskin. No Cataldi.  Cataldi deserves his very own slap-him-upside-the-head page, all by himself.  On the other hand, many of you love to hate Eskin.  I understand. His arrogance, his condescending in your face superior mien, is hard to take.  No, it’s often impossible to take.  But compare him to the other radio sports talkers, and I think you must agree:   no one gets more scoops, no one gets better guests, no one does better interviews, no one goes into the clubhouses and locker rooms, no one does his homework like H. Eskin.  Irascible Howie delivers the goods.

BARKANNBARKANNBARKANN LOOK-AT-ME I’M MICHAEL BARKANNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNN!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Posted in Uncategorized by phillymediasports on August 26, 2009

BARKANNBARKANNBARKANN LOOK AT ME I’M MICHAEL BARKANNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNN!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! SAY IT AGAIN: BARKANNBARKANNBARKANN LOOK AT ME I’M MICHAEL BARKANNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNN!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

I’M WRITING THIS IN A FONT CALLED, “BARKANNMEE,” WHERE EVERY WORD IS IN CAPS, BOLD AND IN CAPS, ALL THE TIME, DAY AND NIGHT, 24-7, KNOW WHAT I MEAN? THERE IS NO MODULATION IN THE BARKANN UNIVERSE, ONLY THAT SELF-PROMOTIONAL SHOUTING, THAT PERPETUAL CONCEITED LOOK-AT-ME WINK WINK AINT I THE GREATEST?!  IN THAT GALAXY THERE IS ONLY ROOM FOR THE GLORIOUS GREATNESS THAT IS MICHAEL, MIKEY B, THE BARK, THE BROADCASTER EXTRODINAIRE: MICHAEL THE B GIVING A PERPETUAL SHOUT OUT TO HIS OWN ASTONISHING MAGNIFICENCE.

EVERYBODY LOOK.  IT’S MICHAEL BARKANN, WHERE EVERY WORD IS EAR-BUSTING, WHERE EVERY WORD IS DESIGNED TO DESPERATELY DRAW CONTINUOUS ATTENTION TO HIS OWN WONDERDOUS WONDERIFFIC WONDERFULNESS.  EVERYBODY LOOK SOME MORE. IT’S MIKEY THE B IN ALL HIS PERPETUAL GLORY.  AND YO, KEEP ON LOOKING AT OUR OWN MICHAEL B EXTRAORDINAIRE, THE VOICE OF HIS OWN GRANDIOSITY, THE MAN, THE MYTH, THE LEGEND, THE STAR OF STARS.  HEH HEH HEH.

HEH. HEH. TWITCH. TWITCH.  YAKNOWWHATIMEAN?  THIS JUST IN!  AIN’T I GREAT?

EVERYBODY LOOK AT ME.  THIS JUST IN.  OH, I JUST SAID THAT. HEY, I’M MIKEY B., THE GREAT BARKANNSKY. HEH. HEH.  LOVEMELOVEMELOVEME, LOVEMEALLTHETIME, JUST LIKE I DO.  YEAH, LOVE ME DO, OH THAT’S THE BEATLES, HEH HEH HEH, WELL, THEN JUST GO AHEAD AND LOVEMELOVEMELOVEME, JUST LIKE I DO, TOO.  YA KNOW WHAT I MEAN?!

AH, WE’VE GOT AN EMAIL FROM JOHN IN NEWARK, DELAWARE.  JOHN WRITES, “HEY MICHAEL B., YOU’RE THE BEST.  DON’T HOLD BACK.   KEEP ON KEEPING ON WITH YOUR FANTABULOUS BARKANNMANIA, YOUR BARKANN AND BAILEY SELF PROMOTION.  WE LOVE YOU.  WE CAN’T GET ENOUGH OF YOU.  YA KNOW WHAT I MEAN?!  HEH. HEH.”

ARE YOU LIKE ME?  ARE YOU IMPREGNATED WITH BARKANNMANIA?  I FOR ONE WANT MORE.  I WAS TERRIBLY DISSAPOINTED TO SEE THAT THE MICHAEL BARKANN SELF-GLORIFICATION COMEDY SHOW HAS BEEN CONTRACTED TO AN HOUR.  THAT’S 30 MINUTES LESS WONDERFULNESS 5 DAYS A WEEK.  THAT’S 150 LOST MINUTES WHERE I CAN NO LONGER WATCH IN AWE THE BARKANN GREATNESS AS IT OOZES OUT INTO OUR LIVING ROOMS IN BARKASSMIC HIGH DEF.  HEY, I’VE GOT IT:  LET’S GET A “WE WANT MORE MIKE” PETITION GOING. YEAH, THAT’S THE TICKET.  SIGN-UP HERE.

WE WANT MORE MIKE.  WE WANT MORE MIKE. WE WANT MORE MIKE.  WE WANT MORE MIKE. WE WANT MORE MIKE.  WE WANT MORE MIKE. WE WANT MORE MIKE. WE WANT MORE MIKE.  WE WANT MORE MIKE. WE WANT MORE MIKE.  WE WANT MORE MIKE. WE WANT MORE MIKE.  WE WANT MORE MIKE. WE WANT MORE MIKE. WE WANT MORE MIKE.  WE WANT MORE MIKE. WE WANT MORE MIKE.  WE WANT MORE MIKE. WE WANT MORE MIKE.  WE WANT MORE MIKE. WE WANT MORE MIKE. WE WANT MORE MIKE.  WE WANT MORE MIKE. WE WANT MORE MIKE.  WE WANT MORE MIKE. WE WANT MORE MIKE.  WE WANT MORE MIKE. WE WANT MORE MIKE. WE WANT MORE MIKE.  WE WANT MORE MIKE. WE WANT MORE MIKE.  WE WANT MORE MIKE. WE WANT MORE MIKE.  WE WANT MORE MIKE. WE WANT MORE MIKE. WE WANT MORE MIKE.  WE WANT MORE MIKE. WE WANT MORE MIKE.  WE WANT MORE MIKE. WE WANT MORE MIKE.  WE WANT MORE MIKE. WE WANT MORE MIKE. WE WANT MORE MIKE.  WE WANT MORE MIKE. WE WANT MORE MIKE.  WE WANT MORE MIKE. WE WANT MORE MIKE.  WE WANT MORE MIKE. WE WANT MORE MIKE. WE WANT MORE MIKE.  WE WANT MORE MIKE. WE WANT MORE MIKE.  WE WANT MORE MIKE. WE WANT MORE MIKE.  WE WANT MORE MIKE. WE WANT MORE MIKE. WE WANT MORE MIKE.  WE WANT MORE MIKE. WE WANT MORE MIKE.  WE WANT MORE MIKE. WE WANT MORE MIKE.  WE WANT MORE MIKE. WE WANT MORE MIKE. WE WANT MORE MIKE.  WE WANT MORE MIKE. WE WANT MORE MIKE.  WE WANT MORE MIKE. WE WANT MORE MIKE.  WE WANT MORE MIKE. WE WANT MORE MIKE.




Philadelphia Eagles – 2009: Pro’s and Con’s

Posted in Uncategorized by phillymediasports on August 20, 2009

I have just completed an in-depth evaluation of the pros and cons of this year’s Philadelphia Eagles team.  I have considered the 53 man roster in all aspects, from every conceivable angle.  I have consulted with experts across the country (and in Canada), and my conclusion is as follows:  pros = 52.  cons = 1.

FAAAABSUT – First Annual Admitted and Alleged All-BS (Banned Substances) Users Team

Posted in Uncategorized by phillymediasports on August 10, 2009

Baseball’s Steroid Era has engendered two opposed responses.  The first is from reporters, who write with hand clasping, mouth drooling, tsk-tsking eagerness to expose and condemn every possible violator of baseball’s substance abuse policy.  The second is from fans, who don’t care a whit about steroids, don’t care who used what, and, yawn, wish the reporters would just stop their blathering.

But out of this mess, it suddenly occurs to me that we have before us a “juicy” opportunity to take this steroid debacle and put it to good use.  And that good use is to obliterate the artificial and fake import attached to the annual All-Star game.  Yes, let’s put the the delight of exhibition back into what was and should be an exhibition game, a game for fun, without the fake and silly Selig rule that usurps the importance of achievement throughout an entire season.

So, how do we do that?  By selecting an All-Star team composed of admitted and alleged users of banned substances and an opposing team , composed of “clean” players, clean meaning that either those players have not cheated or just haven’t been caught yet.  Just think about it:  The First Annual Admitted and Alleged All BS (Banned Substance) Users Team (FAAAABSUT) vs. a Clean Team. We’ll give the game a new subtitle:  Users vs. Cleanies.

No longer will the Selig’s of the world be left to arbitrarily invent such preposterous nonsense as to make an exhibition game actually count for something important. Now, we’d have a game with clear implications:  that non-users can beat the users. It would be kind of like the “Miracle on Ice” Olympic game between the USA and the Soviet Union. You’d have “good guys” and “bad guys,” though which was which would depend on your political persuasion.

The game would be hard-fought.  The Cleanies would be out to prove they are the better team, a winning team without the need to inject, rub, apply, or swallow performance-enhancing drugs.  And opposing them, the Users would be just as determined to show they are a winning team, that their tainted consumption actually works, that all the acne and anger and exploding head sizes was worth the trouble.

Just to move the idea along, I have made a 25-man roster of Users – those who have either admitted to or been suspected of using PED’s.  I don’t claim that my team will be the best of the worst abusers, and I’d be happy to have your suggestions as to who should be on the squad.  Oh, by the way, please don’t take issue with the fact that some of my selections have long ago retired.  I plan to pump them full of the latest pharmaceuticals to get them in tip-top playing shape.

OF – Barry Bonds (Team Captain), Manny Ramirez, Sammy Sosa, Gary Sheffield, Juan Gonzalez, Lenny Dykstra, David Justice

1B – Mark McGwire, Rafael Palmiero, David Ortiz

2B  – Brett Boone, Brian Roberts

SS  – Miguel Tejada

3B  -Alex Rodriguez, Troy Glaus

C  – Mike Piazza, Ivan Rodriguez

Pitchers –  Roger Clemens (Starter), Andy Pettitte, Eric Gagne, Paul Byrd, Ryan Franklin, Mike Stanton, JC Romero, John Rocker

Finally, since this is my list, I’m going to add a “Commissioner’s Choice,” and pick a 26th man.  Who else but Jose Canseco?

P.S.  New information necessitates a worthy addition to the “Users” club:  Bronson (I’ll Ingest Anything) Arroyo – Batting Practice Pitcher.

Fire Gary Matthews. Fire Rob Brooks. An Open Letter to Dave Montgomery

Posted in Uncategorized by phillymediasports on August 3, 2009

Dear Reader,

I haven’t made a post in over a year, but I can’t suffer anymore.  I have to massage the pain out of my system. Phillies television broadcasts have been rotten for the last four years – I’m talking about the announce team – but now, with the passing of our beloved Harry, the only pleasure of watching/listening to a game on TV is gone.

My thesis is that a World Champion team deserves a world champion-level television broadcast.  So here it is: An Open Letter to Dave Montgomery, President of the Philadelphia Phillies.  Oh, before I start, I should mention that Rob Brooks is the man who hires announcers and assigns their broadcast roles.

Dear Mr. Montgomery,

The time has come to fire Gary Matthews and to demote, reassign, or fire Rob Brooks.  For the past four years, the television broadcast quality of games has been, in order, substandard to awful to finally, incomprehensible.

The timing couldn’t be more crucial because of the sad, sad passing of our beloved Harry.  The next television broadcasting decisions are the most important since Bill Giles hired Harry in the 1970’s.  They will define the next epoch of Phillies announcing.

Why fire Matthews?  Because he has only imperceptivity improved from an innocuous start three years ago, and remains in the basement of television analysts.  He’s just awful.

Gary Matthews is an ignorant man.  That sounds harsh, but I believe it to be true.  The difference between stupid and ignorant is determinant:  stupid refers to someone who simply can’t learn, while ignorant refers to someone who will not put in the time to learn and improve.  The first is a condition, the second a choice.  Matthews has clearly made that choice.

Matthews’ calling cards are to state the obvious and belabor it to death, or to make unintelligible, poppycock ramblings that go nowhere, and illuminate nothing.  Oh, I almost forgot, there’s the Matthews “I don’t know what I’m saying, but I have to say something shtick.”  In one recent game, he described a Raul Ibanez home run this way:  “That’s got a little more distance than it’s goin’.” Oh, really.

And, oh, by the way, baseball is a game that sometimes needs to breathe, to speak for itself.  But with Matthews, we are forced to endure his never ending banalities after almost every single pitch.

Dear Lord, have mercy.

This brings me to Rob Brooks, who, in my opinion, has made a flock of failed decisions in the choice of announcers and in the way he organizes their use.

Hiring Scott Graham was such an obvious mistake that he was terminated after one painful year of announcing. Then came Brooks’s Matthews debacle.  First, Brooks put three men in the booth – Harry, Wheels, Matthews – and the clunking was painful for nine innings every game.

Then Brooks brought in Tom McCarthy and made yet another decision at the expense of clear and commanding broadcasting.  This time he only put two men in the both, but rotated them with a game of musical broadcasters.  There was never a chance for the game to have a flow.

To get McCarthy, I’m guessing Brooks promised him those “in game” reports which only served to take attention away from the game itself. Those reports were often ‘fillers’ where nothing of importance was said. Worse yet, they intruded on some great game action —- like a game winning Ryan Howard home run.  While McCarthy was running around with his innocuous blather, Howard was running around the bases.  Whoops.  How grand (and timely!) it would have been to have heard another Harry, “It’s Outta Here.”

So, we had Harry and Wheels, and then, McCarthy and Matthews, and then McCarthy and Wheels, and finally, Harry and Wheels again.  How do you fit all of those pairings into nine innings and not get broadcasting mush? What a fiasco!

This year was a little better, with Harry and Wheels doing innings 1-3, and 7-9, while McCarthy and Matthews did 4-7.  Regardless of how horrible Matthews’ work remains, at least their was a flow to the broadcasts.

But now, where are we?  Now we have McCarthy for nine full innings. I understand that.  But McCarthy is, barely, an average announcer, a middle-three innings man. Next year, a new lead announcer should be hired and along with Matthews’ firing, you have a chance to build a broadcast team worthy of our world champions, a team we loyal fans deserve.

The question is whether you will take a hard and clear look at the broadcast decisions of the last four years, and see how crucial it is to fix the mess, to make a winning decision.  Matthews must go.  Brooks must go. A truly talented lead announcer, a word-weaver, needs to be hired.

I want to assure you of this:  I love the Phillies.  They are my team. I’m counting on you.

Sincerely,

JJ Weiss

The Phillies: Losers Even When They Win

Posted in Uncategorized by phillymediasports on August 1, 2008

Huge numbers of Phillies fans are packing the Bank, the club’s in first place, and still, I think of the Phillies as losers. Here’s a short list of losers at the helm, and I don’t mean Wes.

Dave Montgomery, CEO – I’m sure that Dave wants to win a World Series. I’m sure he feels it would be really, really nice.  I think winning a World series would make Dave very happy. He would like that. Yes, he would. But I think most of us agree that with Dave, there is no URGENCY to win.  It’s just so “pleasant” to be competitive, draw those huge crowds, play nine at the country club, and drink martini’s with the boys. But my God, wouldn’t we love an all-out-do everything-to-win-right-now CEO? Don’t we deserve one?  Sadly, we can only conclude two things about our Dave: 1. He doesn’t have the guts to take the risks required to win.  2. He doesn’t have the smarts to win. Either gutless or incompetent. Or both. Nice.

And one more thing:  this is not a young team.  Their all-star trio is hovering at the tip of old baseball age. Certainly, potential for top production years is dwindling. Chase Utley will be 30 this year. Jimmy Rollins will be 30 this year. And next year, Ryan Howard will be 30. Plus, Pat Burrell, turns 32 this year, and may soon turn away from the Phillies to test free agency.  No, this is not a team with a lot of time to get it done. Hey Dave, boooooooo.

Ruben Amaro, Jr., Assistant GM – Oh, this guy thinks he’s so smooth. But really, he’s transparently counterfeit. What a phony. Whenever I listen to him, I feel like I’m being “had.” He always seems to be trying sell us a used car (without an engine). I’ll bet you tons of Euros that the next time you hear Amaro interviewed, he will say three things: 1. Frankly.  2. The fact of the matter is.  3.  We didn’t get to the finish line.  Well, Rube, frankly, the fact of the matter is you’ve never gotten your club to the finish line.   Amaro, to me, is condescending and smarmy. And utterly predictable. But he’s the prince to the G.M. throne. Bill Conlin calls him, “Gilbuckle.” I’m not sure, but I don’t that that’s a compliment. Ah well, just another UPenn boy at the gates.

Gary Matthews, an Ignorant Man.  For quite some time, I thought Gary Matthews was simply stupid. But he’s not.  What he is is ignorant.  Stupidity you’re born with. Ignorance is a condition, a choice. As hideous as his work is, it’s obvious this guy has no interest in getting better. He obviously has never put in the time the study to improve. He makes the same mistakes over and over. He has so much room to improve you’d think it would be easy to get better.  But he is quite comfortable with his gig, happy to take his money and go home.  Oh, how I wish he would go home.

Tom McCarthy, a Flatulent Man. Does he never shut up? Does he think he’s on radio? McCarthy talks-talks-talks, blah-blah-blah,and is so impressed with himself. Let the game breathe, McCarthy. And while we’re at it, his in-game interruptions remain gaseous, full of hot air. A good plan might be to have “T-Mac” go to his typically far-away broadcast location, have his picture taken, not say a word, and then go back to where he started. That would serve everyone’s interests so well.  Tom could be on-camera lot and lots, and we fans wouldn’t have to suffer his vacuous disruptions. 

Alert! Alert!! This just in: Our dear, dear Tommy has enlightened us again. During the second inning of tonight’s Phils-Cards game (Friday, August 1st), ol’ Tom has scooped the competition. He talked about “walking around Busch Stadium and I saw lots of Cardinals fans.” Wow, really. How perfectly fascinating. Cardinals fans at a Cardinals game. Good work there, Tom.

TV Games – Television coverage of the Phillies games continues to be mottled.  Most annoying, as ever, is their inconsistency with posting pitch speed. One inning, it’s shown, the next not.  One pitch it’s shown, the next, not. That is so bush league.  It’s so astoundingly inept.

There’s more. Do readers recall the disputed home run Ryan Howard hit weeks ago?  At first it was ruled a ground-rule double, then the call was changed to a home run. I still haven’t seen a picture of Howard crossing the plate. Take a bow in the truck, boys.

While I’m at it, how about those incessant, unrelenting cutaways showing us silly shots of fans in the stands.  Who cares?  I want to see the players. The whole idea of showing fans cheering dates back to the first days of sports television – to show viewers the action was “live.” But now those shots come at us in oceanic waves.  It’s so boring. Tedious, really. 

Rob Brooks Must Be Fired Now!  Bet you thought I’d forgotten. Brooks, the Phils director of broadcasting, is the man responsible for hiring the hideous Matthews, the insufferable McCarthy, and the long-gone, easily forgotten Scott (Say what?) Graham. He’s also responsible for the lack of continuity in TV broadcasts with the constant shuffling of broadcaster pairings.  This guy thinks he’s re-inventing sports television. What he’s done for the last three years is to destroy the once great pleasure of watching a Phillies telecast.  Entertaining, very entertaining, Robby.  Thank you.

Philadelphia Sports Writers –  Why is it these denizens of letters never report on any of this stuff? Both the NY Daily News and the NY Post have reporters to keep an eye on incompetence and fraudulence by sports commentators and TV executives.  But not the Philly papers. Hell, maybe they should hire me. Ha!

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

Posted in Uncategorized by phillymediasports on June 18, 2008

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

Mike Missanelli

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.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Angelo Cataldi – Vulgarian at the Gates

Posted in Uncategorized by phillymediasports on June 17, 2008

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.

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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.