On Thursday, January 20, the Washington Nationals announced that Kevin Frandsen would be joining their television broadcast team as a color analyst. Frandsen was beloved by Phillies fans, and his presence in the booth will certainly be missed.
Phillies executive vice president Dave Buck told Todd Zolecki that the team is “looking at all of [their] options right now” to replace Frandsen next season, but they have not come to a decision yet.
Zolecki threw out some possibilities for broadcasters who could replace Frandsen, from Chris Wheeler or Dan Plesac to Jimmy Rollins or Brad Lidge. Those suggestions are all well and good, but personally, I think the Phillies can find a more creative solution than “experienced broadcasters” or “World Series heroes”. Here are my top picks to replace Kevin Frandsen on the Phillies’ radio broadcast in 2022.
Tony Gwynn Jr.
The last time the Phillies needed to replace Kevin Frandsen, they signed Tony Gwynn Jr. So why not try it again?
In 2013, Kevin Frandsen was the Phillies’ first bat off the bench, with a team-leading 61 pinch-hitting appearances. In 2014, it was Tony Gwynn Jr. who led the team with 42 pinch-hitting appearances.
Funnily enough, Gwynn is also a seasoned radio broadcaster now. It should be easy for the Phillies to pry him away from his job as a color analyst for the San Diego Padres. It’s not like Tony Gwynn Jr. would have an emotional connection to the Padres for any reason.
Nick Pivetta might be a harder get than Tony Gwynn Jr., considering that he still has a paying job as a major league baseball player. But hear me out.
In one of the most recent Philadelphia to Washington baseball moves, the Phillies sent their closer Jonathan Paplebon to the Nationals in exchange for Nick Pivetta. That trade worked out so well for the Phillies that it only makes sense to do the exact same thing again.
Would Pivetta be a good fit? Well, last year he said that he liked being a member of the Boston Red Sox because he “learned how to be a part of a baseball club that has an understanding of how to win.” It could be a nice change of pace to have someone in the radio booth who isn’t afraid to call the Phillies a bunch of losers every once in a while.
Oh, and if Pivetta doesn’t work out as a broadcaster, they can always just replace him with Brandon Workman and Heath Hembree next year.
Realmuto will turn 31 in a couple months. He keeps himself in great shape, but he has dealt with all kinds of injuries throughout his career. Unfortunately, catchers don’t usually get healthier in their thirties. Frequent, lingering injuries are just part of the position. So, what can the Phillies do? Change his position, of course.
Some have argued that left field makes the most sense, but I disagree. Players can still get injured in left field. Do you know where people almost never get injured? The radio booth.
He’s already used to doing everything for this team all by himself, might as well throw one more thing onto the pile.
He’s under contract with the team through 2022, and it’s anyone’s guess what job he’s actually doing. Why not throw him in the broadcast booth for games no one else wants to cover?
Pat Burrell Four Beers In
There’s an added bonus to this one – you get to play the fun game “who will mispronounce more players’ names, drunk Pat Burrell or sober Mike Schmidt?”
He tweeted this. Is he implying that he’s interested in the job, or is he just imitating the sound his washing machine makes? Only time will tell.
The Team Babies
Plenty of the Phillies have kids at the perfect age for them to say the darnedest things. What if they just give Krew Harper or Gracie Laine Realmuto the mic and see what happens?
The Entire 2008 World Series Team
Jimmy Rollins would be great. Brad Lidge would be great. But imagine the entire 2008 Phillies team crammed into the radio booth like a bunch of teenagers trying to cram themselves into a phone booth in the 1950s. The funniest part would be that it’s the radio, so we wouldn’t even get to see it.
Sure, he has no radio experience and probably knows nothing about the Phillies. But on the other hand, he’s famous and he almost married a pop star. Tough call.
For a more serious consideration of who the Phillies might choose to replace Kevin Frandsen, you can read Todd Zolecki’s piece for MLB.com or one of the several other pieces on the topic that is bound to come out in the next couple of days. In case you hadn’t heard, there’s a lockout going on right now, so there isn’t much news.
And as always, please voice your own thoughts in the comments below.