Even Harrisburg Is Turning Its Back on the Phillies

Local radio affiliate abandons the team in favor of the Washington Nationals.


Bryce Harper (left, Rena Schild / Shutterstock.com) and Ryan Howard (Jerry Zitterman / Shutterstock.com)

And the, er, hits just keep on comin’ for the Philadelphia Phillies, who start spring training in two weeks.

With some commentators predicting that the Phillies will be the worst team in Major League Baseball this season — and not too many people disagreeing with that notion — Cumulus Media Pennsylvania, which owns Harrisburg’s Sports Radio 96.5 FM, has announced that it will no longer broadcast Phillies games in the state’s capital.

And as if that’s not enough of an insult, the station will be picking up the Washington Nationals instead. The Nationals are, of course, a team that Phillies fans love to hate, and vice versa.

Here’s Cumulus regional vice-president Ron Giovanniello telling Penn Live about the company’s decision, which didn’t exactly sound like a difficult one:

Our agreement was up and we made the decision last week to part ways with the Phillies and flip to the Nationals. Nothing against the Phillies, but clearly the Nationals are a team on the rise. They won the NL East last year and are picked to win it again this year.

The Nationals have had their Double-A affiliate stationed in Harrisburg since 1991, but a recent New York Times infographic shows that Harrisburg is squarely a Phillies town, as Philadelphia sports reporter Matt Lombardo points out.

“Obviously [a winning team] helps in all ways,” said Giovanniello to Penn Live, referring to the Nats. “And they certainly will be a postseason contender that makes a deeper run in the playoffs this year. Unfortunately, I don’t see that in the Phillies’ immediate future.”

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