Today is a sad day, Phillies fans. If you watch the games on TV, you know that the only respite we get from Ben Davis and his color commentary dumbassery is beloved Phillies hero Matt Stairs. Stairs has been broadcasting Phillies games since 2014, but as of today, he will broadcast no more.
Phillies announce that Matt Stairs is the team’s new hitting coach.— Todd Zolecki (@ToddZolecki) November 2, 2016
WHY GOD, WHY?!
As you can tell, I have mixed feelings about this. Stairs was a tremendous hitter in his time, and undoubtedly has knowledge to share with the up-and-coming Phillies. That’s a great thing, and this feels like an excellent hire for the Phillies. But now that Stairs has been hired away from the TV broadcast, he’s presumably LEFT US WITH BEN DAVIS, THE BROADCAST EQUIVALENT OF A RANCID WET FART.
He is horrible. Listening to him on the broadcast is excruciating. My grandparents, faithful Phillies devotees for their entire lives, recently told me (completely unprompted!) that they can’t stand it when he calls games with Tom McCarthy. I have yet to find a single Phillies fan who likes Davis in the booth or thinks he provides anything positive or even remotely interesting to the broadcast. He sounds like a younger version of Chris Wheeler, but the words that come out of his mouth are so much worse. WORSE THAN CHRIS WHEELER. (I’ve softened on Wheels after having to listen to Ben Davis, which should tell you everything you need to know.)
Listen, I’m sure Davis is a nice guy and a decent human being. His performance on the broadcasts have no bearing on him personally. But it could not be clearer that this job is just really not his bag. So CSNPhilly? Find anyone else, please please please.
You know who’s awesome in the booth? Better than both McCarthy and Davis? Gregg Murphy. The guy has a lot of energy and insight, and he’s gamely trotted out to whatever remote part of any baseball stadium that CSN asks him to. “Hello, I’m here at the very top row of Turner Field to talk to the pigeons who make these seats their home. As you can see I’m wearing some protective gear, since the bird feces flies fast and thick up here.” For the love of God, stop making him do that and give him a job in the booth. Hasn’t the man earned it?
So congratulations to Matt Stairs on his new job, and God help those of us who have no choice but to listen to Ben Davis in the broadcast booth in 2017.
So the Phillies might already have someone in mind to replace Stairs.
I can think of better options, like Brad Lidge and Jimmy Rollins, but I can also think of worse ones, like having Ben Davis do all the broadcasts, or getting 162 root canals without novocaine. And since Lidge and Rollins haven’t shown any interest in this job, John Kruk isn’t a bad choice. (If that’s indeed who they choose.)