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.
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
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
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.