For the last few decades, I’ve counted myself among the, oh, 500 million or so Philadelphians who loathed Chris Wheeler’s broadcasting of Phillies games. Because, honestly, wasn’t there just so much to loathe? The droning. The whining. The tedious breakdown of why, on the road, with two outs and a runner on third and a left-handed Cuban refugee on the mound and your stepdaughter having missed her 11 p.m. curfew, you never want to throw the ball middle-in to a right-handed power hitter. If a guy talked like that while sitting next to you at the ballpark, you’d stick his nachos up his nose.
Delaware County Times Phillies beat writer and adorable puppy owner Dennis Deitch is reporting the Phillies have settled on new announcers to replace Chris Wheeler and Gary Matthews: Matt Stairs and Jamie Moyer.
Got word from a source that Stairs & Moyer will both be in the TV broadcast booth this year. Done deal.
— Dennis Deitch (@DennisDeitch) February 11, 2014
The Phillies got rid of Wheeler and Matthews last month after signing a new, valuable TV deal with Comcast SportsNet. The decisions were reportedly made by CSN after acquiring more editorial control of the broadcast in the new contract.
Early indications named former Phillies Brad Lidge, Chris Coste and Ricky Bottalico as possibilities, but MLB.com’s Todd Zolecki reported last week Stairs and Moyer were the favorites.
Moyer, 51, spent five years with the Phillies after coming over in a 2006 trade. He went 56-40 with a 4.55 ERA in his years with the club. He pitched 6 1/3 innings of 3-run ball in Game 3 of the 2008 World Series, which the Phillies won on Carlos Ruiz‘s single in the bottom of the ninth.
Stairs, 45, played two years with the Phillies, arriving in a trade on August 30 of 2008. He hit one of the most famous, most important home runs in Phillies history, a moonshot in Game 4 of the 2008 NLCS.
It’s unclear how the two ex-Phillies will split the announcing duties. Deitch writes the hirings became official this morning.