Tom McCarthy, perhaps the best Phillies broadcaster since the slow and painful decline of Harry Kalas, is returning to Citizens Bank Park after two years with the Mets. He had spent five years with the Phillies doing pre- and post-game shows, along with radio play-by-play in his last few years with the Phillies.
First the Phillies, then the Mets, and now back to the Phillies. Which begs the question – why? Was he kicked out? Contract not renewed? Did he miss Philadelphia? Did he find New York’s nightlife boring? At least in Philadelphia, he’s in a place where he could become a star, since he is a much better play-by-play guy than anyone else on the Phillies’ broadcast team.
UPDATE: Todd Zolecki of the Philadelphia Inquirer and The ZoZone Blog writes that McCarthy received a five-year contract from the Phillies, likely grooming him to be the eventual front man for the Phillies broadcast team. McCarthy will take over for Harry Kalas whenever the 71 year-old Kalas retires (soon, please).
The only bad news is that he’s returning to Philadelphia to a crowded booth. The Phillies have six – SIX – guys broadcasting each game on radio and television. What results is a convoluted revolving door of announcers. Every two or three innings you’re hearing the game from a different person, a particularly bad situation for fans listening on the radio. Calling a baseball game is like telling a story. Changing the storyteller several times fails to do the story justice, and serves only to confuse the listener.
Regardless of their broadcasting situation . . . pitchers and catchers report to Clearwater on February 14! I can’t wait!