Chris Wheeler Did His Last Nine Phillies Games Knowing He Was Fired

"That was a little bit difficult."

Now that pitchers and catchers have reported, there’s still time for one last visit with Chris Wheeler, who won’t be broadcasting Phillies games for the first time since 1977. He gave an interview to the Daily News’ Ryan Lawrence, which included this astonishing tidbit:

First of all, (team president) Dave Montgomery told me on September 21 that I wasn’t going to be back to do the games. I did the last nine games knowing I was a lame duck. And that was a little difficult. It was difficult leaving that Sunday, the second game that I did. That Saturday night, it rained with the Mets. He told me before that game. So leaving the booth that Sunday, I caught myself looking around as I walked to the bus. We went to Miami and Atlanta, so I did the games down there. (Tom McCarthy had to go home for personal reasons) and  I wound up doing play-by-play for two or three games. Just me and Sarge, two lame ducks sitting there.

So that was a little bit difficult. But David and I started together in 1971. He said to me it was a very difficult thing for him to have to tell me but there were extenuating circumstances. You all know. It was Comcast’s decision. And he wanted me to know as soon as possible because he felt he owed me that because of our relationship for so many years and because I deserved that.

Wheels says he hadn’t missed a Phillies road trip since 1977. “That’s a lot of baseball,” he said. Read Tom McGrath’s take on the dismissal from Philly Mag’s February issue.