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Bombshell: Chris Wheeler and Sarge Matthews out of Phillies broadcast

Jan 8, 2014, 1:16 PM EDT

source:  It’ll never be Cadillac Time again.

In a rather shocking development, longtime Phillies broadcaster Chris Wheeler is out from the television broadcasts after decades in the booth. Sarge Matthews’ time in the booth has also come to an end as well.

That’s just goofy.

The AP first reported the news.

Both will move to different roles in the Phillies organization according to the team’s statement:

“As the longest-tenured member of the Phillies broadcasting team, Chris Wheeler will return to his club roots after stepping down from his role as a Phillies broadcaster.   With 37 years of broadcasting experience, combined with his front office background where he began his Phillies career, ‘Wheels’ will take on a new role allowing the organization to continue to benefit from his knowledge, experience and dedication to the game.  Additionally, Gary Matthews will continue to work with the Phillies bringing his exceptional background as a major league ballplayer, broadcaster and commentator to new roles at the Phillies.”

And Chris Wheeler’s statement:

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

Fan opinions on Wheels and Sarge where obviously mixed, but I think we can all agree Wheels’ reaction to the 2008 World Series was totally awesome.

It’s certainly going to be a bit strange watching a Phillies telecast without Wheelerisms flying at us every couple of pitches.

No words yet on a replacement. You’d think Scott Franzke and Larry Andersen would be in the mix? Although Todd Zolecki reports they’ll stay on the radio side of things.

  1. mike - Jan 8, 2014 at 1:21 PM

    even if wheels was annoying at times, he didnt deserve this. greed and $ over loyalty. so much for that “family” theme the phils had going a few years ago.

    • docdeath20 - Jan 8, 2014 at 1:26 PM

      Wheels is and always was an idiot, he talked as if he was a 400 hitter and a 500 game winner. He was a rat and reported back to management what Harry and Richie were doing etc. Sarge was another idiot talked as if he had a pole stuck up his ass I am elated over this, now the other idiot Tom M needs to go as well. Bring in Kruck and Mitch and Dutch when healthy.

      • 2sentz - Jan 8, 2014 at 1:38 PM

        I’ll miss Wheels’ presumptuous cackle. Wait, no I won’t.

    • mike - Jan 8, 2014 at 3:14 PM

      you guys are all jerks.

      • Nive - Jan 8, 2014 at 4:40 PM

        The Phillies were overly loyal to him if anything. They kept him around for decades despite fans vocally hating him and despite the fact that his highest level of baseball he played was the backup shortstop at Marple Newtown HS.

    • 33 - Jan 8, 2014 at 5:18 PM

      They gave him a pretty nice landing place after nearly four decades of steady work. It’s hard to find more loyalty in other businesses than you’ll see on both ends of that deal.

      • Leigh - Jan 8, 2014 at 9:20 PM

        For many years, the talk has been that the broadcasters were employed by the stations televising the games, not the Phillies. Although, Wheeler was always listed in the Media Guide as being in Public Relations with the Phils.
        The story I heard was that Comcast do not want Wheeler and Sarge (can’t blame them). The Phillies will keep them both in some role.

  2. They forgot someone - Jan 8, 2014 at 1:21 PM

    ughh, still have to listen to T-Mac though.

    • - Jan 8, 2014 at 1:46 PM

      He is insanely good at calling NFL games on the radio (did the Green Bay wildcard game this past weekend)… I wonder if he’d ever make it far enough up that ladder that he’d have to make a decision of which he would do full time.

    • Homer Simpson Head - Jan 9, 2014 at 9:44 AM

      yeah, i dread listening to that chucklehead t-mac.

      thankful wheels and his wig are gone but t-mac and his fat head are brutal.

  3. Sarges Hat - Jan 8, 2014 at 1:23 PM

    Now how will we know when the outfielders are in “no doubles-don’t hit it over my head” defense?

    • Marvin Monroe - Jan 8, 2014 at 1:39 PM

      Or why the Phillies are using the closer at home in the top of the ninth in a tie game?

      • jt - Jan 8, 2014 at 2:09 PM

        Or when a guy “just drops his bat head on the ball” as opposed to just hitting it?

  4. kevin b - Jan 8, 2014 at 1:26 PM

    best move by phils in years

  5. Tim - Jan 8, 2014 at 1:28 PM

    Bring back Scott Graham!

  6. willh888 - Jan 8, 2014 at 1:29 PM

    It’s fun to pile on certain guys because we’re sure it’s a popular opinion, but i liked Sarge. He seemed to love the Phils

    • mehhhhh1 - Jan 8, 2014 at 2:07 PM

      Unfortunately, his job was broadcaster not fan. Sergeant Obvious was awesome at talking for 5 minutes straight and never saying anything of value.

    • 2sentz - Jan 8, 2014 at 2:08 PM

      Finally, we disagree on something! I love the Phils too, but would not be an effective color analyst. Didn’t feel Sarge was, either.

    • willh888 - Jan 8, 2014 at 2:16 PM

      I know but I don’t need the game spelled out in braille. We crap on guys who over analyze the game too. All Larry Anderson does is passionately hate umpires, more umpires and Jose Reyes.. and most people seem to love him (duo’d with Franske). I liked Sarge for his repeated compact swing/short to the ball/slow feet reminders, as if he wants to hang glide down and shake a JMJ.

    • Taz2417 - Jan 10, 2014 at 9:10 AM

      I love the Phils too but that does not make me a qualified announcer

      • willh888 - Jan 10, 2014 at 9:28 AM

        But Gary Matthews knows galaxies more about baseball than you. What didn’t qualify him is his style, not lack of knowledge.

  7. lew - Jan 8, 2014 at 1:29 PM

    biiiggg mistake on wheels. guess the fact that he identified so well with the older more mature fans wasnt important enough to the powers to be. glad the dont run dodgers,they would get rid of vin scully

    • Eric - Jan 8, 2014 at 2:56 PM

      I am “older more mature” fan and I couldn’t take Wheels from day 1. I’m old enough to remember when he first started. Somewhere, Richie and Harry are smiling.

  8. Willie - Jan 8, 2014 at 1:29 PM

    Next please tell “Yuk a minute” Larry Anderson to look elsewhere. I’d rather listen to Siri call the games.

  9. 2sentz - Jan 8, 2014 at 1:36 PM

    Very good news for fans averse to enduring every second filled with droning monotone verbiage and every pitch over-analyzed like we’re 5-year olds.

    No more “As a hitter what you want to do is put the ball in play somehow.”?

  10. jt - Jan 8, 2014 at 1:42 PM

    Sources are confirming…. Ruben Amaro, Jr. has just signed Gary Matthews to a 7 year/$126 million contract to play LF. This will allow Domonic Brown to go back to RF.

    • Chris - Jan 8, 2014 at 5:45 PM

      Just a rumor, but I don’t buy it…Sarge is way too young to catch Amaro’s eye…

  11. SJDinAudubon - Jan 8, 2014 at 1:48 PM

    Wheels got even worse when teamed with that drooling idiot McCarthy. If we get another “T-Mac” I am going to puke. The guy never shuts up – and is almost always wrong!

    • rkiz31 - Jan 8, 2014 at 3:07 PM

      Sooooo right! Tmac never shuts up, so friggin annoying. He’s the ONLY Phillies broadcaster I turn off

  12. willh888 - Jan 8, 2014 at 2:04 PM

    My guess is TMAC-Someone innings 1-3, Jim Jackson-Someone innings 3-6, TMAC/JJ innings 6-9. Just a hunch. Jackson said baseball was always his passion but he fell into hockey (and well).

    • willh888 - Jan 8, 2014 at 2:06 PM

      blarg, numbers fail but the point is.. Jim Jackson.

      • 2sentz - Jan 8, 2014 at 2:29 PM

        Agreed, I see JJ and Ricky Bo both in the mix. Maybe even Dutch if he stays healthy.

    • Jason R. - Jan 8, 2014 at 3:04 PM

      Why are there so many damn broadcasters? I get they can’t all be Vin Scully (and he taps out during some games), but do you really need a fourteen person rotation for radio and tv?

      • willh888 - Jan 8, 2014 at 4:29 PM

        their TV rotation didn’t seem all that sophisticated. 1 with 2, 2 with 3, 1 with 3

        It’s been like that since I can remember with Musser/Harry/Richie and Harry/Graham/Wheels. LA even had a short stint with play by play if i remember correctly.

    • Nanc - Jan 9, 2014 at 1:51 PM

      I like Jim calling the Flyers, his banter doesn’t quite work as well in the slower paced game of baseball. That said, I would take him over TMac any day. Hallelujah Wheels is finally gone!

  13. Eric - Jan 8, 2014 at 2:53 PM

    I never thought I would see the day that Wheels got booted. Decades overdue. I muted the TV or just listened to the radio broadcast. Usually it took only one or two batters for him to say something that had me talking back to the TV and reaching for the mute button or the radio. Wheels “actually” (to quote Sarge) talked more than the radio guys.

    • mehhhhh1 - Jan 8, 2014 at 3:25 PM

      “as well”

  14. Mike - Jan 8, 2014 at 3:45 PM

    This is a happy day.

  15. Will - Jan 8, 2014 at 4:15 PM

    Baseball games are supposed to have pauses to feel and hear the atmosphere at the game. Wheels never allowed that. Nonstop blathering.

    • 2sentz - Jan 9, 2014 at 8:00 AM

      Dead on, Will. Their lack of silence is the biggest reason for folks’ happiness at this news, with their grating sound a close second.

      Guys who know baseball and can speak English are a dime a dozen. You need a guy with a smooth voice who’s skilled at knowing exactly when and how to use it.

      Wait what? That sounded a little gay-

  16. death from above - Jan 8, 2014 at 4:25 PM

    Just another corporate decision to prove that with enough money you can put your bootheel on the neck of anything and anyone you please. Demographics and marketability trump loyalty and decency. It’s a damn shame and an indictment on the society we live in today. Just ask Glen Macnow.

    You got your $2,500,000,000.00 from Comcast and you’re alrededy starting to choke on it.


    • Tim - Jan 8, 2014 at 6:45 PM

      I think I am speaking for many when I say I thought you were dead, and I was happy!

      • death from above - Jan 8, 2014 at 7:02 PM

        All well and good.

        Next time, bring something to the table ,Timmy.

        Have a wonderful evening.

      • death from above - Jan 8, 2014 at 7:07 PM

        P.S. Timmy

        Maybe you could show me where anything I Posted above was out of line or wrong?…Have a wonderful day.

    • Tim - Jan 8, 2014 at 7:44 PM

      I never said you were out of line or wrong. I simply stated that you have not posted in long time, and I hoped you died.

      I know your story, your 42, make less than $40,000 a year and your wife is a pig


  17. r0tcod - Jan 8, 2014 at 4:43 PM

    Am I supposed to care about loyalty when I could never stand listening to him? After Harry and Richie, I liked Scott Graham and L.A..

    • Nive - Jan 8, 2014 at 4:58 PM

      No so coincidentally, all 4 of those guys have supposedly had beefs with wheels at one point or another

      • r0tcod - Jan 8, 2014 at 5:16 PM

        I always thought Wheels must have had compromising pictures of Harry somewhere that allowed him to keep his job.

  18. Ray - Jan 8, 2014 at 5:18 PM

    That reaction is the farthest thing from awesome. That weasel tried to steal Harry’s spotlight of finally being able to call the WS. I think this reaction is the beginning of when my hatred started for Wheels. F him. Wish T-Mac went too.

  19. BenE. - Jan 8, 2014 at 5:58 PM

    I will miss Wheeler always being wrong about what the next pitch is going to be.

  20. Hiccup - Jan 8, 2014 at 9:07 PM

    While I hate to see anyone lose a job/ position I certainly wouldn’t want an incompetent cook preparing my chicken dinner. It may be argued that wheels and sarge were good at what they did I found them annoying at best with wheels broken Christopher Walkmen syntax and sarges mouth full of food verbatim. Unlike some others I like TMac and LAnderson. It irked me when Larry went to radio but it seemed it wasn’t of his on tuition.

  21. Sean - Jan 8, 2014 at 10:15 PM

    Let’s hope the Eagles follow suit and oust Dave Spodaro; what a bozo.

  22. T-Mac is still here? - Jan 9, 2014 at 11:25 AM

    I wasn’t a big fan of Wheels but I dislike T-Mac more…he really needs to go.

  23. golfer726 - Jan 9, 2014 at 3:47 PM

    what?…. no more ” as opposed to “

  24. Bye Sam - Jan 10, 2014 at 4:44 AM

    T-Mac can take his Freeze Cam, his Tot cam and shove them. Oh wait, here comes than dumb Gregg Murphy to give a report that no one cares about and interrupts the game.

  25. Taz2417 - Jan 10, 2014 at 9:06 AM

    Christmas in January!!! Maybe some 6 or 7 year old fans might miss out on the lessons imparted by these two “know it alls” but for me, maybe now I can enjoy the game without having every pitch over analyzed!! I’m am so tired of hearing about how a multi-million dollar player who went from first to third on a ball hit to right field be effusively praised for being such a smart runner!! All the more reason to love Comcast!!


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