They let the wrong man go. Chris Wheeler, 37-year veteran of the Philadelphia Phillies broadcasts, took a step back from the mic and ‘stepped down’ today. Gary ‘Sarge’ Matthews also was given the unceremonious boot. ‘Tis a sad day for unintentional comedy fans. At first, this blog hated Chris Wheeler. We marveled at his oft repeated phrasesand wondered how bad Sarge would be. But, time came and went, the Phillies won the World Series, and our cold, black hearts melted a little for ol’ Chris. He danced for joy. He loved him some Phillies. He was a fan that got lucky enough to get paid to broadcast for his favorite team. He’ll never be mistaken for a great broadcaster, and will eventually be forgotten by most of the fan base, but he was a great fan. He had fun out there. And there isn’t much more this blog can ask for someone.
And fuck you Tom McCarthy.
Hey Wheels, you said it, not me!
Stop lying to us, Chris. Why do you want to keep your tweeting from Twitter Nation?
If not, you should be. The real Chris Wheeler is now twitting up a storm over on Twitter. Come for the insight, stay for the lovable goof that is THE_REAL_WHEELS.
You have to love him, you just have to:
Doesn’t everyone love him and his hair? Thanks 1.
First, the greatest vid ever: LINKAGE
Tom G from Balls, Sticks & Stuff!!! He guessed that our favorite announcer Chris Wheeler would mention the size of Petco Park during the final 3 games of the Phillies-Padres about 9 times. I counted 10 times throughout the 3 games, putting Tom almost spot on! Congrats Tom, and I hope you like the shirt. And everyone else go get their favorites, courtesy of the Chris Wheeler Glossary and Cole Hamels Facts.com.
During yesterday’s game against the San Diego Padres were all treated to multiple mentions of the size of Petco Park by our main man behind the mic Chris Wheeler. In the interest of fun and just a little bit of malice, I am going to run a guessing game. So fellow fans, how many times will Wheels mention the size of the ballpark? “This ballpark is huge’ , ‘look at the size of this ballpark’, ‘you don’t hit many homers in this field’, or some facsimile of this phrase. Also acceptable are patent-pending Wheels chuckles or guffaws at deep flyouts being caught on the warning track. However, if he does a guffaw then a phrase, that is still only one mention. Each mention must be on a different play or plate appearance.
The fan closest to the actual number, over or under, will win a HUGE (like Safeco) T-Shirt courtesy of this blog (other fine Wheels T-Shirts are available at Chris Wheeler Glossary.com). Make sure to leave a real email address in the comments section of this post so I can contact you. And if this is a complete failure, well I’ll just keep the freaking shirt!
- Friday 10:05 pm
- Saturday 10:05 pm
- Sunday 4:05 pm
And don’t forget to play BINGO!
With Scott Graham out, and former Phillies outfielder Gary Matthews in, the announcer’s booth is going to look mighty different in 2007. Harry Kalas, Chris Wheeler, Larry Andersen, and Scott Franzke will return. What does all of this mean? More Wheels! More play-by-play for all us Wheels aficiandos out there. More laughing, more banter, and more Wheels-isms. The updates coming in to the Chris Wheeler Glossary are going to overload their email system.
The jury’s still out on Gary Matthews. We don’t know whether he could actually bring something to the theoretical table, so why assume he won’t? Still, it would be great if he just plain sucked. It would give a lot of blogs a lot of cheap and easy material (which I live on).
Whitey’s up for the following (vote here):
The fans who remember Ashburn as “Whitey” the broadcaster — the long-time colorful color man to Hall of Famer Harry Kalas — are still waiting for that day. That day could come in July 2007, as the late broadcaster — along with veteran announcer Chris Wheeler…
Yeah, so everyone go vote for Richie…what???? Chris Wheeler’s on the ballot?!?! WHEELS?! Let me keep reading to make sure I’m dreaming…it’s gotta be a joke.
and former broadcaster Andy Musser
Man oh man, the guy who would get into his home run call for popups to the shortstop. Now I’m sure they’re joking. Still…
– are among the nearly 200 names on the preliminary ballot for the annual Ford C. Frick Award.
WHEW! We dodged a bullet there. So almost 200 announcers are going to be on the ballot. And there’s only 30 teams, so legendary broadcasters such as Buck Martinez, Joe Morgan(UGH) and Steve Lyons appear on the list. What a crew. It looks to me like appearing on this ballot is MLBs equivalent of the attendance record:
Voters are asked to base their selections on the following criteria: longevity, continuity with a club, honors — including national assignments such as the World Series and All-Star Games — and popularity with fans. Paper ballots will be cast by voting members in January, and the final results will be announced by the Hall of Fame in February.
Two of the criteria involve simply showing up to work day after day.
Anyway: Harry Kalas, By Saam, Whitey Ashburn, Chris Wheeler, Andy Musser. Which two don’t belong?
First came the Chris Wheeler Glossary. It was a compiling of the infamous Phillies broadcaster’s favorite sayings. Here’s an excerpt:
- He’s All Class – Any person with substantial time in baseball, even if he’s a horse’s rear
- He’s A Ballplayer – see He Plays The Game The Right Way
- He’s A Great Baseball Man – He won’t talk to me
- He’s Just Trying So Hard To Make A Play Out There – A Guy Who Plays The Game The Right Way has attempted and failed at making a boneheaded play
So, Wheels isn’t well-liked, that much we established. Then came Wheels Bingo, with two different cards which are playable during games!
And now? Fox Trot cartoons about Wheels’ strange opinions on baseball. An unfunny comic is turned hilarious due to the talents of the poster Woody on philliesphans.com. Enjoy (click to enlarge):
The Phils released their broadcasting schedule, and Larry Andersen has been given only 3 innings on TV. Scott Graham is slowly being integrated into the TV broadcast, but the guy should be flogged for his horrible Scott Graham ice cream commercial. Hairpiece gets his usual 6 innings of TV time.
TV Squad talks about the return of Chef on South Park, and another thinly-veiled assault on Scientology. Xenu is going to get them.
Bob Huggins loves chances…extreme chances. 19 former players/recruits have been put up on criminal charges, and Bobby himself may get another coaching job. Gotta love the win first attitude.
Jay Mohr sucks at comedy, at acting, and now at writing about sports. Deadspin has the linkage.
Finally, fear and xenophobia rule in New Jersey, with stupid concerns about an Arab-American man running for office that could be 'sympathetic' to terrorists.
Marc Narducci, the guy who defended Wheels(as he is known), still doesn’t get it. He’s still defending Wheels, for some reason. This despite no fans liking Chris Wheeler, this despite the ever-growing Chris Wheeler Glossary, and the this despite his obvious cherry-picking of which emails he talked about in his article. I’ve read emails written by many level-headed fans who dissected why Wheels sucks so much, but Narducci doesn’t talk about those ones for some reason. He insists on giving Wheeler a promotion because he gets a reaction….well that reaction isn’t a good one!!! Yes, people aren’t going to stop watching because of Wheels, but that is because they are baseball fans watching baseball. Why annoy the fans while they attempt to basically give the Phillies business? Why would Narducci even say this?? To become the Inky’s Wheels lover, I guess. Oh well, we all know Wheels sucks. But here’s the final dig at the fans:
No matter what people say, the fact that Wheeler never played professional baseball grates on many of the fans who feel he shouldn’t be telling them what is going on. That is total nonsense.
Well, no. The only other announcer that’s a former professional baseball player is Larry Andersen. None of the others were, and through ESPN we’ve seen the terrible outcome of giving any former player a gig. Ryne Sandberg and Joe Morgan are two of the worst announcers to ever grace the booth, and were both former players. They are also universally disliked as announcers, from every person I’ve talked to on the matter. People don’t care if you were a baseball player or you were selling hot dogs for a living, they want to be entertained, and not talked down to while watching a game. Wheels does neither.