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.

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

Posted in Uncategorized by phillymediasports on September 2, 2009

The Top Nine Most Annoying Philadelphia Sports Personalities

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

#1 – Barkann, Michael.  Comcast SportsNet

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

#2 – Fadool, Amy. Comcast SportsNet

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

#3 – Matthews, Gary. Comcast SportsNet

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

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

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

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

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

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

#4 – Gudel, Leslie. Comcast SportsNet

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

#5 – Missanelli, Mike. ESPN Radio

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

#6 – Charry, Rob.  WIP Radio

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

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

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

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

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

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

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