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Ben Davis brings trademark nonthreatening demeanor to broadcast booth

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Jamie Moyer's replacement is a Comcast company man who once ruined Curt Schilling's afternoon.

Joseph Santoliquito

Matt Stairs, in theory, is a great choice for a Phillies commentator. He's friendly, he's personable, and he's got a seat in Philadelphia Baseball Valhalla waiting for him even though he only played on the team for two seasons of his monstrous career. His execution of the role is left to your personal tastes, but as far as selections go, his is delightful.

The next Phillies color commentator was pulled from the ranks of local legends, rather than Phillies lore. It's Ben Davis, the nice smiling, intelligent-sounding Phillies pundit often found sitting next to Marshall Harris or Ricky Bottalico in a studio within the hellish maw of Comcast's menacing spire.

Davis has provided analysis of Phillies baseball for years between the wailing and gnashing of teeth that is just part of the general atmosphere within any property owned by Comcast, but he is a local fellow, having been born in Chester, PA and graduating from Malvern Prep.

As a Malvern Friar, he had a somewhat more impressive high school athletic career than you, hitting .514 as a senior, playing against Lower Merion's Kobe Bryant in basketball, and being pinned by Baseball America as the second best prospect in the 1995 MLB Draft. His finest pro season was in 2002 with the Mariners, when he made it into 80 games and hit .259.

As a Padre in 2001, Davis stepped up to the plate against the Diamondbacks' Curt Schilling, who was throwing a perfect game in the eighth inning. With the score 2-0, Davis plucked a pitch with a drag bunt and skittered to first safely, ruining everything. It was a solid move, strategically, but for some reason Arizona manager Bob Brenly had a problem with it, waving around those infamous Unwritten Rules of baseball from the dugout (but since they are unwritten, he appeared to just be frantically waving his hand) and calling Davis a "chicken" after the game. Schilling, if you can believe this, also had some thoughts on the subject:

Schilling (8-1) said he was "a little stunned" that Davis would bunt so late in what could have been the 15th perfect game in modern history. He said he'd always heard that players should earn their way on base that late in a no-hitter or perfect game.

Some might argue that deciding to bunt and successfully pulling it off as a catcher late in a close game counts as "earning" your way on base, but those people have all been secretly killed.

While Matt Stairs and the Phillies were bashing their way to a World Series title in 2008, Davis was attempting to prolong his playing career by switching from catcher to pitcher, a move many experts have deemed "tricky" beyond the Junior Midget league level. Davis threw 21 innings for the Camden Riversharks, allowing seven earned runs and 17 hits while only walking two and striking out 10.

The next year he returned to the mound for Camden and actually threw well enough that the Reds signed him to a minor league deal. He struck out 14 guys in 11.2 innings, but then wounded himself, bringing an end to his season. In 2010 he tried to pitch one last time before deciding that was about enough of that and retired in April 2011.

Davis now inherits a seat in the Phillies booth at a time when people couldn't give less of a shit about Phillies baseball. He has the unenviable task of hanging out for a few hours every night this summer, watching a team that by all projections is supposed to be just a god awful mess, and trying to pull some silver lining out of Freddy Galvis grounding out to short.

Congratulations, Ben! You did the right thing with the bunt, I feel.