Results tagged ‘ Gary Matthews ’

Schmidt Won’t Be in Camp this Spring

Mike Schmidt, Charlie ManuelThe Phillies are bringing several former players to Spring Training next month as guest instructors, but they will be without Mike Schmidt in Clearwater, Fla., for the first time in more than a decade.

The Phillies announced today that five former Phillies will be in camp: Roy Halladay, who retired in December; Brad Lidge, who recorded the final out of the 2008 World Series; Gary Matthews, the former TV broadcaster and outfielder for the 1983 National League championship team; Larry Andersen, the current radio broadcaster and pitcher for the 1983 and 1993 NL championship teams; and Dave Hollins, the current scout and former third baseman for the 1993 team.

Schmidt had been in Clearwater every year since 2002, mostly as a guest instructor.

“Mike is treating a health issue that requires him to remain near his doctors, and he will be unable to attend Spring Training as a field instructor this year,” a Phillies spokesman said in a statement. “Mike plans to visit camp in the middle of March as part of his marketing relationship with the Phillies and continue his normal visits to Philadelphia throughout the summer.”

It seemed a certainty Halladay would be in camp, based on what he said in December at the Winter Meetings.

“Baseball has been so great to me,” he said. “My goal is to try and leave baseball better than what I found it, and I’ve tried to do that in my career. I’ve tried to be respectful to the game and do things the right way. I’ve tried to do that to the best of my ability, and moving forward, I’d like to do the same.”

Phillies manager Ryne Sandberg extended an open invitation to Halladay at that time.

Lidge and Andersen will be able to offer advice and perspective to the organization’s young relievers, who need to step up this season to give the team a chance to win. Andersen has been interested in coaching again after working as pitching coach with Double-A Reading (1995-96) and Triple-A Scranton (1997).

“It’s my passion, working with guys in the bullpen,” he said. “It’s all about making the team better. That’s the bottom line.”

Matthews has coaching experience, serving as hitting coach for the Blue Jays, Brewers and Cubs. Hollins served as a hitting coach in the Mets organization from 2004-05.

The Broadcaster Search Begins

wheels and sargeEverybody wants to know who the next Phillies color commentator is going to be.

Here are a few names in a story I wrote today.

Two of Comcast’s top choices said no or aren’t interested: Brad Lidge and Dan Plesac. Either would be fantastic, in my opinion. Both are incredibly smart and likeable. Lidge has been impressive on SiriusXM. Plesac is fantastic on MLB Network. But both have reasons for not joining Tom McCarthy in the booth. Lidge told the Daily News the timing isn’t right. And Plesac has a truly excellent gig at MLB Network.

Names I have heard a lot include Doug Glanville, who works with ESPN; Buck Martinez, who broadcasts with the Blue Jays; Kevin Stocker, who has received high marks for his work with the Pac-12 and CBS Sports networks; and Mickey Morandini, who is a coach with Triple-A Lehigh Valley. Jamie Moyer‘s name has been mentioned, although I’m not certain of the interest either way. Ricky Bottalico and Ben Davis already work with Comcast, so they could be in the mix.

Who else is out there? Who do you want?

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Bad news: Phillies pitching prospects Adam Morgan and Shane Watson are going to miss most of 2014 following shoulder surgeries.

Wheels, Sarge Out of Broadcast Booth

Big changes continue with the Phillies on TV.

Last week they signed a 25-year contract with Comcast SportsNet worth a reported $2.5 billion. Then today the team announced broadcasters Chris Wheeler and Gary Matthews will not return to the TV booth. Multiple sources said Comcast requested the changes during contract negotiations, which Wheeler essentially confirmed in a statement.

“It’s been an honor and a privilege to be a part of the Phillies broadcast team for 37 years,” Wheeler said. “I certainly respect the decision that was made and I look forward to my new role in the Phillies organization.”

Both Wheeler, 68, and Matthews, 63, will remain in the organization in some capacity, although what specific roles are unclear.

Tom McCarthy, who does play-by-play on TV, has four years remaining on his contract. He will return to the TV booth. Gregg Murphy will return as TV’s field reporter. Scott Franzke and Larry Andersen will return and remain in the radio booth.

“That’s where I want to be,” Franzke said. “I like doing what I’m doing.”

Sources said Comcast is looking for one color commentator to replace Wheeler and Matthews. In the past, broadcasters have been Phillies employees, but the new broadcaster will be a Comcast employee.

Comcast also has final say over who it hires, but the Phillies and Comcast just entered a 25-year business partnership, so the Phillies will be consulted on the short list. If they strongly object to a candidate the network will listen.

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Continued Continued Success?

Who will wish the Phillies “continued success” when they win this season?

The Phillies made an addition to their broadcast team this year, bringing aboard Gregg Murphy as their field reporter. He will be handling postgame interviews, a role Gary Matthews held the past few seasons.

Unless you’ve been under a rock — or don’t get Phillies broadcasts (in that case, my sincere apologies) — Matthews ended every interview by wishing the player, “Continued success.” Matthews said he can’t pinpoint how, why or when he started wishing players continued success, but he soon realized it caught on. He got letters and e-mails and had random fans stopping him and wishing him “continued success.”

“I got to where I really started to enjoy it and look forward to it,” Matthews said of the postgame interviews. “But I’m for whatever makes the broadcast better. It’s cool. I’ll still do my pregame stuff on the radio and broadcast on TV.”

Matthews is aware of “Continued Success” t-shirts for sale.

“I don’t have one, but I’m going to get one,” he said. “And hopefully with Murph, ‘Continued success.’”

Murphy said he has answered hundreds of questions about how he plans to handle postgame interviews.

“I do plan on paying homage to him, but probably not until Opening Day,” Murphy sad. “Definitely a tip of the cap to him.”

Or a tip of the fedora, as fellow broadcaster Scott Franzke correctly pointed out.

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Jim Salisbury and I co-authored the book The Rotation, which is now available. Check it out here!

Game 3, and Its Magic Numbers

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A few things about last night’s 11-0 victory over the Dodgers in Game 3 of the NLCS:

  • Ryan Howard has a hit and RBI in every playoff game this year (seven games, 10 hits and 12 RBIs). He is the Phillies’ all-time RBI leader in the postseason (22 RBIs in 24 games) and has reached base safely in 16 consecutive playoff games (22 hits and 10 walks).
  • Howard’s seven consecutive playoff games with an RBI established a MLB single-season playoff record. Lou Gehrig had eight consecutive games with an RBI from 1928-32.
  • Chase Utley singled in the first inning to reach base safely in 23 consecutive playoff games (22 hits and 21 walks), which dates to Game 2 of the 2007 NLDS. Utley’s streak is tied for second all-time in playoff history with Gehrig. Boog Powell holds the all-time record with 25 consecutive playoff games reaching base safely.
  • Cliff Lee struck out 10 batters, tying a Phillies postseason record for strikeouts in a game with Steve Carlton (Game 1 of the 1980 World Series) and Curt Schilling (Game 1 of the 1993 NLCS).
  • Jayson Werth hit a two-run homer in the first inning. It was his third homer of the 2009 postseason and seventh of his postseason career. It was his fifth postseason homer with the Phillies, tying him for second on the all-time franchise list with Howard, Greg Luzinski and Gary Matthews. Lenny Dykstra holds the franchise record with six. Werth also became the Phillies’ all-time leader in postseason extra-base hits (14 in 82 at-bats), passing Mike Schmidt who had 13 in 140 at bats.
  • Shane Victorino moved passed Schmidt on the team’s all-time postseason RBI list, when he hit a three-run homer in the eighth. Victorino has 18 RBIs and trails only Howard.
  • Carlos Ruiz has reached base safely in 12 straight playoff games (15 hits and nine walks). He is hitting .625 (5-for-8 with one homer and three RBIs) this series.
  • Last night’s victory marked the largest margin of victory for the Phillies in a playoff game.
  • In NLCS history, 20 of 29 teams who led the series 2-1 went on to win the series

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The Zo Zone is on Facebook and Twitter.

Random Stuff

I’m into intro music. I’m not sure why, but I tend to notice when the Phillies change their intro music, etc. So I noticed Wednesday that the Phillies did not play Brad Lidge‘s intro music until after he left the bullpen, ran to the mound, got the ball from Charlie Manuel and started his warm ups.

Then – finally – we heard Drowning Pool’s Soldiers.

Before that? The Phillies had a bobblehead race on Phanavision, which featured some carnival-like music. Huh?

Lidge noticed, too.

“I was coming in to some circus music,” Lidge said. “That’s about right.”

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Ryan Howard got a few “Watch Out, Bro” t-shirts yesterday. Watch Out, Bro?

Here is an explanation.

Here are the t-shirts.

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Gary Matthews‘ hat collection is available at the Majestic Clubhouse Store, but I told him yesterday that I could not pull off the Sarge hat look. I just don’t think I have the cool factor to do it. Sarge assured me that I did, which I thought was nice of him to say.

But then I remembered he’s trying to sell hats. Why I oughta (shaking my fist in the air) …

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The Zo Zone is on Facebook and Twitter.

Game Postponed, A Look at the HK Patch

hkpatch.jpgTonight’s Phillies game against the Nationals at Nationals Park has been postponed because of rain.

The makeup date will be announced in the coming days.

Phillies right-hander Joe Blanton will pitch tomorrow night in the series finale against the Nationals, meaning left-hander Cole Hamels, who had been scheduled to pitch tomorrow, will pitch Friday night against the San Diego Padres at Citizens Bank Park. Right-hander Shairon Martis will pitch for the Nationals.

Phillies catcher Lou Marson had been scheduled to catch tonight. It would have been his first start of the season and second of his career.

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People have been asking how the broadcast schedule will work without Kalas. Here is what it looks like at the moment: Scott Franzke and Larry Andersen will be broadcasting all nine innings on the radio. Tom McCarthy will be doing play-by-play for all nine innings on TV. Chris Wheeler will provide color commentary for innings 1-3 and 6-9, and Gary Matthews will provide color commentary for innings 4-6.

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The Zo Zone is on Facebook and Twitter.

The Sarge's Inspiration

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Apparently I’m not the only one that has found Alyssa Milano inspirational.

Gary Matthews (aka The Sarge) is famous for his hats. In fact, he is so famous for them that he is coming out with his own hat line. New Era designs them. The Sarge approves them. People buy them.

The Sarge said they will be available at Citizens Bank Park and presumably online.

“Alyssa Milano inspired me,” he said Saturday.

Milano has her own baseball-inspired clothing line, and The Sarge had the chance to interview her last year during a Phillies broadcast. And as last season progressed, the Phillies started receiving more and more calls and e-mails about them. Apparently a light bulb went off.

Thumbnail image for Thumbnail image for sarge's autograph.jpg“I’ve been wearing hats all my life,” The Sarge said. “You’ve got to remember, long ago when the Negro League players were playing and they were coming in they always had a nice hat on. After the game, you always saw them with a nice hat. A lot of them to this day when you see them they have a hat on. I’ve always been a hat guy, really. The only difficult time was when I had the afro. Then I laid it on top of my head. It was hard.”

The Sarge is selling both men’s and women’s hats, so the ladies won’t be left out. Each hat also has The Sarge’s signature, which is pretty cool.

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It seems everybody is inspired these days. Ryan Howard almost decapitated two Phillies PR men a couple weeks ago when he laced a foul ball into the press box. The ball put a hole in the dry wall about 20 feet in the back of the press box. Howard eventually signed his handy work, and a t-shirt was born.

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