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A look at Phillies broadcasters: Tom McCarthy
by Scott Butler 6/29/09

With the passing of Harry Kalas, everyone now realizes how important baseball broadcasters can be to those of us sitting at home watching them. Therefore, we decided that now would be a great time to take a look at each of the announcers.

Now that Harry Kalas is gone, like it or not, Tom McCarthy has now taken over the television play-by-play in this town, probably on a permanent basis. Therefore, he is a voice we better get used to.

I will say it right now that I am not president of the Tom McCarthy fan club. To begin with, I do not like the way in which he came to the Phillies. As you might recall, he was the radio voice for the Phillies pre and post game shows and a few innings of play-by-play from 2001-2005 before joining the Mets. My biggest problem with T-Mac is that HE WORKED FOR THE METS. Sorry, but I have a very tough time swallowing the fact that while we were beating up the Mets in 2007, he was rooting AGAINST US. McCarthy grew up in New Jersey as a Mets fan, so there is a good chance he still roots for the Mets.

I also did not like the fact that Phillies basically fired Scott Graham in order to bring T-Mac back to Philadelphia. I liked Scott Graham, and it was a shame that the Phillies sent Scott packing. It sure seemed like the Phillies were grooming McCarthy to replace Harry Kalas and I don't know why. Tom also made it clear to the Phillies that he would only return if he was guaranteed to be exclusively on television. What, are you too good for radio?

He also talks too much. I didn't mind it so much when he was only doing a few innings, but after three hours I am about ready to hit the mute button.

Finally, he calls games like a national broadcaster. When you are the local announcer, fans like to know that their announcers feels the same emotions they do. We aren't looking for you to go crazy all the time, but it is nice to know that you care. Sometimes he almost seems excited when the opposing team hits a home run. (Since he might still be a Mets fan, maybe he is excited).

Enough with the negatives. There are plenty of positives with Tom McCarthy.

First of all, Tom McCarthy seems like a genuinely nice guy. That is important. I get the impression that he truly is a good person and it comes through in the way he calls a baseball game.

He also has a lot of baseball knowledge. I think he talks too much, but he seems to know and study the game of baseball more than many play-by-play announcers.

He is a technically perfect broadcaster. If you listen to him closely, you will notice that T-Mac changes his voice tone, inflection, and volume perfectly. Try calling an inning yourself and you will know what I mean.

His relationship with Sarge. He gets along so well with Gary Mathews and it makes for some entertaining innings. He somehow gets the best out of Sarge and they both clearly enjoy being with each other.

All in all, we could do much worse than Tom McCarthy. He is a good broadcaster, but not my favorite. If the Phillies are smart, they will limit T-Mac to three to six innings on TV like they did with Harry Kalas. He can spend the other innings roaming the stadium like he did before if he wants. Listening to him for nine innings is just too much.

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