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How Wild Thing Mitch Williams Accidentally Became a TV Analyst

Feb 5, 2013, 3:04 PM EDT

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Mitch Williams was always my favorite player on the Phillies
growing up, which if we were to psycho-analyze that today, might explain why I
think the closer role is an important one in baseball. Mostly I probably just
thought he was funny with a flair for the dramatic.

It didn’t hurt he had a decent stint with the Phillies,
either – minus the whole Joe Carter thing.

Now Wild Thing is a television analyst for MLB Network, but
not surprisingly, he didn’t take a conventional path to get there. MLB.com’s Paul
Hagen took an in-depth peek into Williams’ climb to one of the top analysts on television,
which began right here in Philly for CSN.

The best part is how he became a part of the Phillies pre-
and post-game show in the first place: after a single appearance on DNL.

Williams had worked for a couple
casinos, MGM and Trump, in Atlantic City, N.J. He had tended his 3 & 2
ranch in Texas, then moved to New Jersey, where he managed a bowling alley and
bar. Williams sold a hot sauce of his own creation, Wild Thing Southpaw Salsa.
He was pitching coach and manager for the Atlantic City Surf of the independent
Atlantic League.

That all changed when Williams was
asked to make a one-time appearance on “Daily News Live,” a local
sports talk show on Comcast SportsNet.

“And when I walked out after
the show, they offered me the full-time pre- and postgame job there in Philly.
Just like that,” the 48-year-old said.

Williams also talks about his honest delivery, but how he
tries to keep all of his opinions in perspective because of his own playing
days on the diamond. Pretty good read for fans of the ’93 Phils or good TV
personalities.

>> Williams proving a ‘wild’ success in second career [MLB.com]