Ben Davis Is New Phillies’ Color Commentator
Ben Davis will be the Phillies’ new color commentator, Comcast SportsNet announced today.
The Malvern Prep graduate was a major leaguer from 1998 to 2004 with the Padres, Mariners and White Sox. He played until 2010 in the minor leagues, and has been a pre- and post-game analyst on CSN for Phillies games for the last four years. He’s also a regular commentator on 94 WIP.
— John Clark CSN (@JClarkCSN) February 19, 2015
Davis replaces Jamie Moyer, who left after one season. Matt Stairs will remain as a color commentator, along with play-by-play announcer Tom McCarthy and in-stadium reporter Gregg Murphy. Mike Schmidt will be a third analyst in the booth on selected games.
“Growing up a Philadelphia Phillies fan, this is a dream come true,” Davis said in a statement. Dave Buck, the Phillies’ senior VP of marketing, added this in a release: “His insight into the game, and his overall professional demeanor, are qualifications that helped in the selection process.”
It is the second shakeup in two offseason for Phillies’ broadcasters. After the 2013 season, the Phillies got rid of Chris Wheeler and Gary Matthews. Matthews was with the team for seven seasons; Wheeler joined the Phillies in 1971 and began announcing in 1977. (This move pissed off Keith Olbermann, for what it’s worth.)
The team’s new contract with Comcast SportsNet, signed last offseason, gave Comcast SportsNet more power to control the broadcast. Wheeler and Matthews were replaced by Stairs and Moyer. They were both members of the 2008 World Series championship team and the 2009 team that won the pennant. Stairs and Moyer alternated stretches of games in the booth. Schmidt, the best player in Phillies history, was a third analyst on 13 home Sunday games. Early last season, the team was ranked the fifth-worst broadcast team in baseball.
But Moyer told Comcast SportsNet in November he would be leaving after just one year. He said he wanted to spend more time with his family. “The geography presents unique challenges to the matter at hand… it’s very difficult to balance a bicoastal professional life with family life at home,” he told CSN.
Last offseason, Mitch Williams, Kevin Stocker and Mickey Morandini — all former Phillies — were finalists for the job. This time, MLB.com’s Todd Zolecki reported Stocker and Davis were the finalists for the job. Inquirer columnist Bob Ford wrote earlier this month Morandini would be best for the job. Morandini remains a coach for the Phillies’ AAA affiliate, the Lehigh Valley IronPigs.
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