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!!”

Matthews Mutterings, McCarthy Meanderings and Hot Dogs at the Bank, Or, Who Is Rob Brooks and Why He Must Be Fired NOW! (Part 3)

Posted in Uncategorized by phillymediasports on June 8, 2008

(Updated June 10th))

Today I’m going to offer you a hodge podge of opinions, from Gary Matthews and his serially deficient mumblings, to two other broadcast “giants,” Tom McCarthy and Scott Palmer, to puerile “antics” on WIP radio, and finally to those horrible, hideous, heinous Hatfield hot dogs at the Bank.

Matthews and McCarthy – The Boobsey Twins – Brought to You by Rob Brooks, yes the very same Rob Brooks as in, “Who is Rob Brooks and Why He Must be Fired NOW!” (Part 3)

I can’t help myself.  I used to turn off Phillies telecasts from innings three through six to avoid the idiot mutterings of Gary Matthews and the vacuous meanderings of Tom (T-Mac, as if) McCarthy.  But now I load up on painkillers and listen to these two poor excuses for announcers, wondering, masochistically, I admit, what they’ll say to annoy me.

Here are three Matthews’ beauties from today’s (June 8th) game in Atlanta:  Beauty #1 – In the bottom of the first inning, Braves first baseman Mark Teixeira homered and Matthews’ gave this highly original commentary: “We’re talking sraight away deep centerfield that ball was hit.” Wow, the sheer, raw brilliance of that observation was both sheer and raw.   Beauty #2 – With Shane Victorino on second base and one out in the top of the second inning, Chase Utley popped up.  Matthews’ reaction:  “Remember you want to hit a deep fly ball.” Yeah, Sarge, a deep fly ball would be super fine, but call me nutty, I’d prefer a base hit.   Beauty #3 – Commenting on Ryan Howard’s slowness afoot, Matthews muttered, “Once he starts running it’s OK, it’s just that he starts slow.” Deep, Matthews, deep.

No doubt I’d have more to report, but I passed out on the sofa and didn’t wake up until Matthews was relieved for the day.

Now to McCarthy.  You know that he still make those tiringly banal reports that so aggravatingly intrude on game action.  Our T-Mac’s favorite ploy is to sit in the stands with the proletariat and ramble on about nothing important.  What’s so odd is that no one sitting near to McCarthy seems to notice our T-Mac is speaking into a microphone and looking into a television camera.  It’s all so cinema verite.  As if they weren’t coached.  It’s such a fraud.

While I’m thinking of it, would someone please tell McCarthy that he’s broadcasting on Television, not announcing on radio.  He doesn’t have to talk incessantly.  Let the telecast breathe Tommy boy, it’s the least you could do. And, oh yeah, perhaps someone could remind Matthews that HE doesn’t have to talk between each and every pitch. My God, these guys are painful. Their work is the equivalent of hump-backed liners, or better yet, of fouling off a strike three bunt attempt.  Oh, how glorious would it be to say to these two:  you’re both OUTTA HERE!

P.S. For those of you who haven’t been keeping up, Rob Brooks is the Phillies director of broadcasting.  The long, skinny finger of blame sits in Brooks’ lap, for he is the ‘genius” who’s foisted the M & M boys upon Philly fandom, and I don’t mean Maris and Mantle.  I hope Sarge and, ahem, T-Mac, will hold the door open on their way out so Brooks can accompany them.  Hey, how about a trade with the Mets?  These guys for an announcer and a hot dog (see below) to be named later.

Scott Palmer – Mr. Obsequious

And speaking about ineffectual TV talkers, have you ever watched the Phillies Sunday pre-game show with Scott Palmer?  The achingly sincere Palmer, a Phillies employee and homer cheerleader, is a cliché ridden hack.  I find it so annoying that this show is produced by the Phillies themselves.  That makes it an advertisement, an infomercial.  It should be labeled as such.  In fact, it you ask me, the ingratiating Palmer is second only in jock-sniffing skills to the Eagles front man, Dave Spadaro.  These toadies, these sycophants, these fawning and obedient ass kissers couldn’t be more annoying. I’d rather play with a sharp knife and listen to Matthews read the dictionary over a loud speaker than be subjected to these two.

Smarmy, Scott, smarmy.  Absolutely smarmilicious.

WIP Radio – A New Low for High Ratings

Have you noticed the new segment on “Angelo and the Morning Crew”?  Each morning we’re subjected to the toilet humor of something they call, “Boner of the Day.” Oh, these boys are so clever. The innuendo is so unexpected. I know it keeps me on the edge of my theoretcial (toilet) seat.

Last week, during one of their more memorable Boner segments, someone referred to Dick Cheney. Dick?  Do you get it? Oh, I was overcome with hysterics. Such hijinks! Such crazy shenanigans!!

The thing is, I’m not at all against toilet humor.  What does offend me is dim-witted, STUPID toilet humor.  What’s even more offensive is UNFUNNY, dim-witted, stupid toilet humor.

Hatfield Dollar Night – The Worst Wursts Ever

I went to a Phils – Reds game last week and loved the energy in the stands.  It was as electric as I’ve experienced in a long while.  It was so much fun to be in the ballpark and watch our hometown boys chalk up another win.

Naturally, I took advantage of the One Dollar Hatfield hot dog offer. After my first bite, I had to spit it out. It was, in a word, wretched. I wanted to puke. I am not exaggerating. It was just horribly, horribly putrid.

The doggies are wrapped in aluminum foil for speedy, high volume delivery to us suckers. But the foil has the effect of moisturizing the contents so that the roll is damp and soggy, while the dog is furrowed like a Sharpee’s brow, and is utterly inedible. Silly me, I bought two.  

The food at the Vet was always rank, but this new menu has been getting lots of props.  So, having coughed-up the frank, I next tried a Philly cheese steak. I was pleased to see that the servers were Not wearing gloves and thus had hope that their bacteria-infested hands would add a pleasing flavor to my steak.  Alas, the meat was horrid and I spit it out, too.  I will say, in all fairness, the roll was somewhat tasty. 

I cleansed my palette with a pre-poured Coke which was more watery than a mid-west flood.

But, having the choice between good food and a Phillies loss, or “reguritant” food and a home team victory, I’m sucker enough to prefer the latter.  Go Phils!

 

 

 

 

Who is Rob Brooks and Why He Must Be Fired NOW!

Posted in Uncategorized by phillymediasports on May 13, 2008

That the Phillies have lost more games than any team in the history of Major League Baseball is a sad, but well known fact among sports cognoscenti in this town.  What’s less well known is how Rob Brooks has destroyed a first place Phillies telecast.

Who is Rob Brooks, you ask?  Brooks is the Phillies Director of Broadcasting.  If you know your Phillies history, you could say Brooks is the broadcasting equivalent of former Phillies shortstop Steve Jeltz.  Jeltz, who played for the Phils from 1983-89, hit a “robust” .210 for his career, accumulating all of 5 home runs in 1749 at bats.  That four of those homers came in one season shouldn’t detract from the meagerness of his slugging prowess.  Of course, this belies the question of “How did Jeltz get the job, anyway?”

Well, Brooks has “Jeltzed” us fans.  The Phils’ telecasts have been murderous on the ears for the last three years.  They are beyond horrible.  They are the futile attempts by Brooks trying to prove how smart, how clever he is.  All his odd, and yes, stupid moves, have destroyed the pleasures of listening.  The Cult of How Wonderful I Am Rob has destroyed the beauty of a televised game.

Ok, we know how terrific Harry and Whitey were.  What a team!  Their telecasts were joys to behold and we loved them both. I’ll even admit to enjoying Chris Wheeler’s commentary. No matter how horrid the Phillies were, no matter how incompetent the team, you could still enjoy watching even a lopsided, losing game.

But then Richie Ashburn died, and Larry Anderson took his spot.  “L.A.” was more than serviceable. He was a rookie who replaced an icon, but he was charming and had an easy rapport with Harry.  Watching a Phillies telecast was still a pleasure.

But the Cult of Rob couldn’t put up with Anderson. Apparently, Andy didn’t always pause to comment upon an on-screen graphic, or sometimes ignored a frivolous shot of an outfielder standing at rest, doing nothing. For these horrible sins, Andy was castaway and given play-by-play duties on the radio.  How dumb was that? Poor Anderson was ill equipped to handle the job and was made to seem incompetent to listeners.  But don’t blame Andy.  Error:  Brooks (1).

In a single move, Brooks castrated both the radio and television broadcasts – a wretched doubleheader if ever there was one.  With sublime ego and utter stupidity, Brooks replaced Anderson with Scott “The Vacuous Voice” Graham. Graham had two things going for him:  a great, if anonymous speaking voice, and the ability to speak very fast. That he didn’t have any sense of how to tell a baseball story was both obvious and irrelevant, at least to the Cult of Rob. Brooks fired him after one year. Error:  Brooks (2).

Then, Brooks hired the Sarge, Gary Matthews.  I was so excited.  I couldn’t wait to hear Matthews, remembering with happiness his flair for playing outfield for the Phillies from 1981-83. There’s an indelible picture in my mind of Matthews crossing the plate after a home run and pointing a long index finger skyward.  That was a signature moment all Phils fans loved.

So, with delicious anticipation, I tuned-in to the first inning of the first spring training telecast in 2007. After one sentence, I knew we’d been screwed.  Not only screwed, but pregnant with an unwanted child. Matthews was atrocious.  Really, the worst, most feeble excuse for a television color man in history. Indisputably.  It was painful to listen to him.  Was he really so stupid?  Was he really so incoherent, so incompetent, such a nincompoop?  The answers, sadly, were, and are, yes, yes, and yes.  Error:  Brooks (3).

But get this: Brooks foisted Matthews on us fans for the full 9 innings of every game. Nine  Innings!!!!!!!!! If you multiply 9 times 162 games in a season you get Sarged for 1458 innings.  My God, absoultely brutal!

But wait, there was more Brooksian cleverness underway.  He put three men in the booth:  Harry, Wheels and Matthews.  It was incoherent.  There was no rhythm.  All three tripped over each other. The beautiful pace of a baseball telecast was emasculated.  In its place was noise.  Even worse, when Harry was excused for innings 4, 5 and 6 (cigar break), that just meant more Matthews mutterings.  Pathetic.  Error:  Brooks (4).

So, Matthews, the Sarge, was demoted to Private for 2008.  Now he only gets 3 innings per game. (Praise the Lord for small blessings.) But still, the telecasts, to use a word I deplore, suck.  More Brooksian cleverness is in play.  Now, we have a disjointed telecast of another persuasion.  Once again the lovely cadences of a first rate baseball telecast is subservient to the Cult of Rob. Rob wants to show the world how smart he is.  What an innovator!  Yuck!

Now we have this:  Innings 1 and 2: Harry and Wheels.  Inning 3:  Harry and Matthews.  Innings 4 and 5: (newly hired) Tom McCarthy.  Inning 6 – McCarthy and Wheels.  Innings 7-8 and 9:  Harry and Wheels. The telecasts have been ruptured into 5 separate, disjointed parts, which means there is no continuity at all. Zero.

And worse, in a move to apparently placate McCarthy for getting only 3 TV innings, we now have “McCarthy Inserts” about 3 times per game.  Right in the middle of action, the camera cuts away to McCarthy standing in some faraway place in the ball yard, nuking the proceedings with yet another bunch of blather. Meanwhile the game goes on, and pitches are missed by the camera.  Or, if the camera cuts away to the action, McCarthy is still talking, obliterating the in-game commentary of Harry and Wheels. Error: Brooks (5).

It’s maddening.  During a recent home telecast, McCarthy was interviewing the Padres announcer, Jerry Coleman, in the bottom of the 8th inning.  That the interview was a senseless interruption- Coleman was dull and uncooperative – is a moot (mute) point.  Because at just that moment, Ryan Howard hit a majestic home run to right field to give the Phils a go-ahead run, which proved to be the game winner.

And what did we hear?  Another magical “Home-Run-It’s-Outta-Here” call by our beloved Harry? No, we heard McCarthy make a late, lame, parenthetical note that, oh, by the way, Howard had homered. And then he went back to his non-sensical mutterings with Coleman. The incompetence in astounding. I mean, it’s so stupid, so self-serving, so moronic.  Error:  Brooks (6).

If I could have three wishes for this 2008 Philies season, it would be as follows:  1.  The Phils win the World Series.  2.  Matthews is fired.  3.  Brooks is fired and winds up in a similar position with the Mets. Or, to put it another way:  Six errors and you’re OUTTA HERE!!!!!

P.S.  I’m going CRAZY!  I’m ready to vomit. It’s May 14th and the Phils are, at this moment, playing the Braves.  Tom McCarthy (“T-Mac” – as if) has already intruded on the first inning with his in-game report. McCarthy has informed us that Mark Teixeira, who is batting for the Braves in the first inning, told him before the game that his “back was better,” and that he intended to play tonight.  Well, Duh.  Thanks, Tom, for that fantastically worthless piece of obviousness. Yes, Mark is, indeed, “better,” as evidenced by the fact that he’s now batting, and, therefore, is IN THE GAME!

But there’s more and it’s worse.  It’s the top of the second inning now, and McCarthy has still another intrusion, this time an interview with Phils GM, Pat Gillick.  No matter that the first batter of the inning goes to five pitches before making out, while Harry Kalas remains mute. THEN, the next batter, Kelly Johnson hits a 400+ foot home run, again during a useless interview.  Once more, Harry is muted, while McCarthy, parenthetically, tosses in an oh, by the way, just in case you might be interested, you stupid fans, Kelly Johnson just hit a home run.  Now let’s get back to my vacuous and completely worthless interview. Screw the game. And screw all of you who tuned-in.

Is this not preposterous? Does it not make you sick? This is once again the work of Rob (The Game Doesn’t Matter) Brooks, game rupturer. What an incredible moron! He is off his Rocker, and I DO mean John. How much longer will he be allowed to castrate these telecasts? Isn’t anyone paying attention? And, oh, if you didn’t watch you might not believe this, but one of the between innings commercials was for a funeral home! The colossal stupidity!! The utter idiocy!!! Oh, the horror!!!!

How much more crap must we take? 

 

 

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.

Leslie Gudel – A Pain in the Ears

Posted in Uncategorized by phillymediasports on May 9, 2008

Have you ever – ever! – heard a more grating TV voice than Comcast Sportsnet’s Leslie Gudel’s?  The mute button was invented for this woman.  She SHRIEKS!!!! Really, I’m not a meany. But it’s painful to listen to her. Her every word blisters my mind. Even if you turn the sound way down, that pain-in-the-ears voice remains abrasive. She makes scratching a blackboard sound like a lullaby. There is no relief, other than muting her, or just switching stations. 

Oh, one more thing.  On those rare occasions when I listen to a slice of her broadcast, she always makes at least one speaking error, ususally more. I mean, shouldn’t a minimum requirement for the job be that a newsreader speak without misspeaking?  It you can stand it, just listen to her next broadcast and see if I’m right.  I am.

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.