Philly Media Sports’s (PMS) Weblog

We Love Our Teams, But What About the VOICES WHO REPORT?

Posted in Uncategorized by phillymediasports on April 25, 2011

Preface  I haven’t posted a word in over two years.  It became a second job I didn’t need.  But my mind has been leaking out opinions and judgments recently and I just have to get them out of my head and into sports space.

Philadelphia Sports fans are lucky to root for our teams.  Win or lose, the players and coaches are almost always worth loving or loathing.  They are hardly ever dull.  But those mouths that report, comment upon, broadcast or otherwise pontificate upon our teams are, mostly, world class wonderful or dumpster horrid.  Let me tell you what I think.

Phillies Announcers

Back in the day when the Phillies were hopelessly rotten, we’d tune in to the games just to enjoy the repartee between Harry and Whitey.  Oh, how much fun they were.  Listening to them made you (almost) Von Hayes, Juan Bell, or Steve Jeltz.  Now that the Fightin’s have the hammer, now that the home town boys are a powerful, cohesive team, a team we can love, the broadcasting is mostly hideous.  Here’s my take on those voices:

Tom McCarthy   Average.  Competent.  But just doesn’t have the juice to make me care.  He’s not quite on key.  He makes occasional, silly, factual mistakes.  Small errors, but mistakes unworthy of a true lead #1 announcer. For instance, he reported that Ryan Howard was “6’6″, 260 pounds.”  It’s an insignificantly wrong statement, but it bothers me.  Still, it’s clear he’s done his homework (as opposed to Gary Matthews who never resorts to such frivolous stuff as “facts”), but it’s hard to fall in love with him.  Probably his greatest accomplishment is spoon-feeding Matthews for 3 innings every game, or for nearly 500 innings over the course of a(regular) season.  “Hey Sarge,” he’ll ask, “what do you think about growing onions on your bunions?” Just listen to the difference between how McCarthy runs a game when he works with Chris Wheeler or Matthews.  In the first case, he’s an announcer calling a game.  in the second, he is a high paid baby sitter.

Gary Matthews   Rotten.  Just horrible.  The most apt adjective for his painful mutterings:  ponderous! His mouth was made for mute.  I grudgingly admit he’s gotten better over his four years on the air.  He has almost dropped his “As well’s” completely, and I’d guess his “Actually’s” have been reduced by a full 50%. But, Lordy, he remains dense.  His grasp of the obvious is so obvious that he puts “obvious” in a chokehold.  He belabors, no crushes, the most obvious plays or situations, just sits on top of them and destroys them with his endless, idiotic ramblings.  Has Matthews ever studied his craft?  The evidence is “obvious” – he has not.  The fool.

WAIT! FLASH!! THIS JUST IN!!! Last night (Sat., May 7 v. Braves) Matthews proved for all time that he is the dumbest of the dumb.  Here are two quotes proving my thesis beyond any Einsteinian doubt … are you ready?  Here they are:  “It’s no fun watching games when you’re wet.  You’d rather be dry.”  Oh my God, this is so unbelievable. Next:  “They’ve got different sized umbrellas.  Some of  them are smaller than others.”  Do you realize how smart this makes Yogi Berra look?  Maybe we need to appoint Matthews to the post of United Nations Ambassador.  He’d be our ace in the hole on the Security Council.  All those wise heads would nod in unanimous agreement that no, you cannot dispute the wisdom, the insight of Ambassador Mathews.

My Name is JJ and I’m a Matthews Junkie  My God, I just realized I’m a Matthews junkie.  Oh, please help me. I try  really really hard NOT to watch the middle three Matthews innings on TV.  Every now and then my resolve weakens, and I’ll turn-on the sound.  The latest bit of idiocy concerns a Matthews statement he knew to be without merit.  It’s like when a little kid tells a lie.  We know he’s lying.  The kid even knows he’s lying.  He just hopes we adults won’t notice.  So get this.  It’s the day game following Wilson Valdez’ et al amazing 19 inning victory.  Both managers have replaced some of their everyday players for the day game.  For the locals, Michael Martinez took shortstop for J-Roll.  For the visiting Reds, Miguel Cairo replaced Scott (Booooo!) Rolen at third.  When Tom McCarthy tossed yet another softball Matthews’ way, asking, “Sarge, how does a manager decide who to rest after such a long night game?”  Well, the keenly observant Matthews reported that “Cairo replaced Rolen because Cairo’s younger.”  Sure, that’s the reason.  No doubt.  Except that Cairo is OLDER than Rolen.  What’s so sickeningly obvious is you could tell Matthews knew he was guessing.  He was so clearly hoping and praying no one would notice that he was clueless. But in a way, this represents an upgrade for the Ignorant One.  This time he KNEW he was full of crap.  That’s a clear signal of growth, because typically, he has no idea that he’s so ridiculously, so relentlessly, stupid.  HOW DOES HE KEEP HIS JOB??

Whoops – Just have to add a new one.  “Reporting” on Ryan Howard swinging at bad pitches, the grand orator said, “When he learns to not swing at balls that are balls, he’ll do better.”  Oh, my.  Where is the Rhodes Scholar committee?

Chris Wheeler   It’s well know that many folks despise him.  I like him.  He’s into the game and reports with insight and passion.  He’s also fun.  You know how very much he loves our home town boys and that makes Wheeler one of us.

Scott Franske and Larry Andersen   This pair is this millennium’s Harry and Whitey.  These guys know how to tell a story and how to make it entertaining at the same time. Franske’s pacing is, to me, reminiscent of Vin Skully’s. In fact, to my ears, he sounds a little like the Dodgers’ beloved broadcaster.  As for L.A., there is no better wit sitting in any broadcasting booth in Philadelphia.  Best of all is the genuine rapport, even affection, they share.  Just listen to how they needle each other.  They’re sharp and fun and should be on television.  By the way, do you know why L.A. was bumped from the TV booth?  I have it on good authority that he didn’t always refer to the graphics on screen. Sometimes, he’d simply ignore them.  For shame, Larry. Bad Boy.

Jim Jackson   No, not the splendid play-by-play Flyers announcer, but the middle three innings baseball broadcaster.   He does not belong in the booth.  Yes, he is a competent professional, but it’s an insult to have Jackson announcing Phillies games.  He’s a carpetbagger.  He’s an outsider.  He’s a part-timer.  He doesn’t hang with the team.  He doesn’t dream, eat, or sleep Phillies baseball. How could he?  He’s the Flyers play-by-play announcer. Counting pre- and post-season he broadcasts in the realm of 100 games per season.  From October through most of June, he’s at his real job.  Everyday.  With the Flyers.  That’s his gig.  We trust him. He’s good at it.  But put him in our radio booth and he instantly loses any credibility. When he’s got time off from hockey, here he comes to ruin the game.  Oh, he is just awful.  He’s even got his very own trademark home run call.  I mean, wow. ” It’s outta here. Goodbye.”  I have to pause now because I’m shivering with excitement.  But the problem runs deeper than Jackson.  It’s not his fault that was offered a second pay check.  Whoever is in charge of broadcasting decisions is incompetent.   Shoving the maddening mutterings of Matthews down our throats is merely bad judgment.  But destroying the rhythms of Franske and Andersen is a felony offense against all of us who follow the team.  I mean, here the Phils finally have a duo worthy of succeeding Harry and Whitey.  Instead, they shove the banal, white bread reporting of JJ down our throats.  It makes me gag.  It makes me sad.  In fact, it’s infuriating.   Someone should be fired for that decision.

MICHAEL BARKANN   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 AIN’T 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. HE’S MICHAEL BARKANNBARKANNBARKANN LOOK AT ME I’M MICHAEL BARKANNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNN!!!!!!! SAY IT AGAIN: BARKANNBARKANNBARKANNNNN LOOK AT ME I’M MICHAEL BARKANNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNN!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

HEY, EVERYBODY, LOOK: YES,  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?

Amy Fadool  The questions must be asked:  Has Amy Fadool ever gotten through one segment of a telecast without getting lost, getting stuck, or mispronouncing a word?  Has Amy Fadool ever gotten through a segment without the need of a translator, having “marble-mouthed” her way through the English language with a machete?  Huh?  What?  Really, if you can’t get a United Nations official translator to interpret her garbled narration, you could be cruel, and hire a lip reader. Imagine the psychological damage you could do?  I mean, folks, just how did Fadool get this gig?  Did she win a middle-school sports readers tournament?  Did she win a “cone-to-work-with your mom/dad day?”  Is she Barkann’s love child? Actually, what’s unfathomable is not HOW she got the job, but how she KEEPS the job?  And please, please, spare me the cutie-cuteness.  Arrgh.

Lisa Hillary   Finally, a substantial new reporter was recently added to the Comcast Sports crew.   Lisa Hillary knows her Flyers, reports with authority and without affectation.  And, not only can I actually understand her verbiage, I want to listen to her reporting.  She knows her stuff.

Ron Burke   I really like Ron Burke.  Why isn’t he in the mix more often?   Maybe he’s not cute enough?  Maybe he’s not enough of a self-promoter.  A lot more Burke and a lot less Barkann, Fadool, et al, would brighten the Comcast sports landscape significantly.  Burke is affable, well-informd, not stuck on himself and can be relied on for solid reporting …. all with a twinkle in his eye.  He doesn’t make himself the center of all things glorious and wonderful.

….. which reminds me of Barkan …. again   I’ve written Barkann a number of times, telling him how his blatant self-promotion, self-pretention, self-glorification is particularly odorous, and I signed by name to each mail.  Well, the GREAT BARKANN must have been particularly affected by my (witty, stinging) barbs that he Googled me, made a few unpleasant remarks in return, and wrote, “You really must like me to write so often.”  I replied, “NO, Barkann, you’re the price I pay for liking Philly sports.”  It’s so rewarding when your TV icons turn out to be exactly as they pretend to be on air.

John Clark – NBC10  He’s got the doofus market cornered.  A rah-rah, sophomoric jock sniffer, I still grudgingly admire him because he seems to outwork every other pretty-faced TV sports announcer.  He’ll stake out Philly International all day long waiting for some high profile sports figure to touch down. Still, when he reports, more than once, with a straight face that he’s learned “Placido” Polanco’s first name is actually pronounced, PLACEEEEDO, and not “PLAH-cee-doh” as is de rigueur, well, you just can’t take the boy seriously now, can you?

Howard Eskin WIP    The man has lost his mojo and has been weighted-down with a weak sidekick (Ike Reese).  Sadly, for me, anyway, Eskin’s become a bit of a caricature of himself. Still, I admit that in some very real ways, I admire him more than any of the sports talking head fraternity.  He get’s down in the trenches.  He goes into locker rooms to get the word.  He seems to have great contacts in every of the major professional sports teams’ front offices; he breaks many a a story before any of his competitors.  And get this:  he actually goes to games, to press conferences and generally does the kind of stuff an actual reporter would do.  The King is dead.  Long live the King!

Marc Zumoff  You do understand, don’t you, the labor Zumoff puts in thinking up his dozens of “spontaneous” sayings, and then his protracted practice in making them sound authentic in front of a mirror?  Marv Albert is happy with one catch-saying,” YES!”  And Dick Enberg has two, “Oh, my!”  But the faux extemporaneously clever Zumoff has more than “doubled up” their paltry numbers.  Zu has sayings for all occasions.  He’s “turning gold into garbage” all the time.  He’s taking his cleverness to “the weight room” and “lacing” three from deep.  By the way, when’s the last time they made basketballs with laces?  Last year he was fond of calling jams by the term, “heaving it down,” until he realized that heaves go UP not down.  Maybe it’s just a case of “double vision.”  Or maybe Zumoff is “just having his way” with us.  Or perhaps he expects us to “pick-up the change” for him.  But still, you have to say “he’s working hard for the money,” even as he “locks horns” with his listeners.

A player never scores a basket and has 17 points, no.  Instead, he either “drops” or Zu will “give him 17.”  And when Zumoff is on a homemade cliche roll, he is “putting the pedal to the metal.”  Uh oh, wait just a minute. We can’t credit him for that one. Nope, that’s not a Zumoffism.  That’s taken from the mouths of hundreds of other sportscasters. All we can do is “T him up.”  And here’s the thing:  the 76ers have never led a game all year.  They might be ahead by 10 points, but they’re not “leading.”  No, they’re “holding” 10.  Imagine if they were ahead by 25 and how heavy it would be to “hold” all 25.

In the end, while Zumoff is super sharp-witted and astonishingly astute, while Zumoff is so fastidiously “busting a move,” we, the listeners, are busting our eardrums.  Yesssssssssssss, oh Yessssssssssssssssss he is!!!!!

Dei Lynam and Kate Fagan The two sharpest basektball commentaors in town.  Love listening to the first and love reading the second.  They obviously know the game, respect the game, and can translate the game for their audience. And oh, Bob Cooney needs to sharpen-up his game. But I fear ‘ordinary’ is as high as he’ll fly.  He gets out-scooped regularly by Fagan.

Anthony Gargano  The loudest voice with the most blustery laugh on WIP radio.  Not just loud and often obnoxious, Gargano  steals the show from Glen Macnow for five hours every day.  IOt should be called the Gargano show, with Glen Macnow now and then.  If you’d dare to compare, just listen to the easy repartee shared between Glen and Ray Didinger on Saturdays.  There is a shared broadcast, a wonderful rapport that simply swifts through the airways.

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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.

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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. 

 

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!!”