Philly Media Sports’s (PMS) Weblog

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.

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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.

*************************************************************************************************************

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 + Bad Signs at the Bank + Fire the Sarge (as always)

Posted in Uncategorized by phillymediasports on June 12, 2008

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!!”

Ed Moran – So Brave, So Stalwart, So Lonely

Posted in Uncategorized by phillymediasports on May 11, 2008

Daily News Hockey writer, Ed Moran, is a man of courage, conviction, and valor.  We need more Ed Moran’s on the Philly sports scene. It can be lonely when you’re the only writer who’s right. It can be isolating when you’re out there on an island, all by yourself, with nothing to get you back home except the exquisite knowledge that you’re the only one who knows the truth, and has cojones enough to speak the truth. But our Ed is nothing if not determined, despite overwhelming evidence that he’s a fool. 

Ed Moran is the one and only Philly sportswriter to refer to the Flyer’s Danny Briere as DANIEL.  He is steadfast, if not supercilious, in his resolve.  In his heart, he knows he’s right.  You are not going to sway Ed. The idiocy of his position as the one true believer that Danny prefers Daniel serves as a beacon of audaciousness to us all.  All praise Ed Moran, a public servant of steely tenacity.

But, wait, let’s pause to look at the Danny v. Daniel scorecard:

Philly sportswriters who refer to Briere as Danny:  
Tim Panaccio
Ray Parrillo
Phil Sheridan
Rich Hofmann
Sam Donnellon
Les Bowen 
Anthony J. SanFilippo
Jack McCaffery
And all other writers, well, almost. 

Philly sportswriters who refer to Briere as Daniel:
Ed Moran

And if you want a real scoop, I can tell the world that Ed Moran prefers, no, insists, that he now be referred to as Eduardo. Here’s to you, Eduardo, so right, so brave, so silly. 

 

P.S.  I can’t believe I missed this.  Our Eduardo refers to Vinny Prospal by his non-hockey name of Vaclav! Wow, that’s so exciting and encouraging.  O.E. (Our Eduardo) is not just a one trick pony.  By Golly, O.E. is true to his core.  Now I’ve done some research among Philly sports writers to see who calls Vinny “Vaclav” and who calls Vinny “Vinny.”  I’ve tabulated the results for all my fine readers and here they are:

Philly sportswriters who refer to Vaclav as Vinny:
Tim Panaccio
Ray Parrillo
Phil Sheridan
Rich Hofmann
Sam Donnellon
Les Bowen 
Anthony J. SanFilippo
Jack McCaffery

Philly sportswriters who refer to Vaclav as “Vaclav”: 
Ed (call me Eduardo) Moran.

God bless you, Eduardo.  Thank’s to your steadfast persistence in pursuit of a higher truth, there is peace and harmony in our little corner of the planet.

Out of the Zu – Marc Zumoff is Wayoff

Posted in Uncategorized by phillymediasports on May 8, 2008

I was so thrilled when Marc Zumoff began announcing 76ers games. His was a fresh voice.  He knew the game and he reported it with clarity, with just the right amount of enthusiasm. He brought the games alive. Zu was a joy.

As he settled in, I thought Zu was on a path to the greatness of Merrill Reese and Harry Kalas. There is a beauty to the way Reese and Kalas call a game.  They clearly root root root for the good guys, but they tell a creditable story, while not getting in the way of that story.  Yes, Zu was headed in that august direction, but sadly (and I AM sad about this) he has become a cliché-ridden bore.  And worse, the clichés are of his own labored creation.  Instead of reporting the game, he seems to be saying, ”Hey everybody, look at me!  Wait till you hear this one! Ain’t I clever?”

Zumoff has coined so many catch phrases that he assaults the poor listener with what seems like scripted inserts. I mean Marv Albert has “Yes,” and Dick Enberg has “Oh, my,” but one catch phrase is not enough for Zu. No, Zumoff seems to have an endless supply of them. Now, when I watch a 76ers game on TV, I feel like I am under continuing attack with Marc’s precious and predictable “Zumoffisms.” Instead of reporting the game – which he once did so well – he postures and preens by churning out his stash of in-game clichés. He makes it painful to listen to the telecasts.

Here’s a list of Zumoffisms, right off the top of my head:  

takes him to the weight room

turning garbage into gold

mining for gold 


lock all windows and doors


in among the trees



bust a move 


heaves it down


double vision


Yes!  or Yesss!  or YESSSSSS! or OH, YESSSSSSSSSSSSS!

That’s nine of them.  I’ll bet there are at least nine more.

If Zumoff could get back to making the game about the game, instead of about him, watching the 76ers on TV could become fun again.  But for now, Zu is both predictable and heavy handed (heavy mouthed?). Sad to say, he’s made himself more important than the game. 

P.S.  While we’re on the subject of sports announcing, let me just say:  Bob Salmi must go!  His relentlessly preachy commentary is so tiring, so tedious. I’ll bet you weren’t aware of this little known fact: basketball was not invented by Dr. James Naismith, or even by Stephen A. Smith. No, it was Salmi.  Just ask him. 

 

Thanks, Bill Conlin, You’re Too Kind

Posted in Uncategorized by phillymediasports on May 7, 2008

Now I know how it feels to be a “Teflonic,” a member of the “Gang of Six,”
or the newly minted, “Gilbuckle.”

Yes, I’ve been slammed by the over friendly Master, Bill Conlin.  The Big Man, once a fireballing columnist, but now throwing slider speed slop out of the bullpen, who, upon receiving a complementary posting of my new blog, wrote this:  “Took it, blocked it and now will never miss it. . .”  Thanks, Big Man, makes me feel all warm and toasty. 

 

Gary Matthews – Discharge the Sarge

Posted in Uncategorized by phillymediasports on May 5, 2008

So, let’s begin.  Let’s begin with the most painful, grating, puerile announcing work ever to be foisted upon us fans. Of course, I’m referring to the horrid mutterings of Gary (The Sarge) Matthews, alleged color man for Phillies telecasts.  Ordinarily, I’d demote the Sarge to Private, but his work is so bad, I have to drum him out of the service with a Dishonorable Discharge.  Now that I think of it, Matthews pollutes the airwaves with a putrid stream, no, make that a river, of nasty discharges.  

During yesterday’s telecast (Phils v. Padres, Sunday, May 4th) I counted the number of times Matthews used his favorite crutch – “ACTUALLY.”   He actually used “actually” 14 (!) times in 3 innings. Just be thankful he isn’t doing all 9 innings like last year. His “actually’s” would total 42.  Hard to believe, Harry.

But, wait, there’s more.  Matthews never seems to connect the beginning of a thought with a conclusion. He wanders all over the tortured outfield of his mind.  And he doesn’t simply have a grasp of the obvious, no, he has a choke hold.  Get this:  Referring to former pitcher Mike Krukow:  ”He’s got a vineyard where they actually make wine out there.”  Brilliant.  Or how about this juicy bit of reporting, referring to the Giants’ Emmanuel Burriss scoring on a close play at the plate: “He actually got his foot in there and made it easy – not easy – for the umpire to see.” Inane to the Nth.

What’s a fan to do?  I’ve tried muting Matthews, but that really doesn’t work. So, sadly, I’ve given-up the Phils telecasts during Matthews’ time – the 3rd through the 5th innings. I am, however, getting more (vin) yard work done while listening to the radio broadcast of the very adequate Scott Franske.

In parting, I would like to sing the Sarge outta here: na na na na, na na na na, hey hey, goodbye.

PC – Post’s Coming:  Rob Brooks – Phillies Director of Broadcasting, must follow Matthews out the door. Marc Zumoff and his clutch (crutch) of cliched announcing.  Ed Moran gets it right – He’s the only person in the 6th largest city in America to know that Danny Briere prefers to be called Daniel. Thank you, Eduardo!