|2013 Phillies Team Issue 2|
By all accounts, the decision was made by Comcast as a result of the mega-deal just entered into between the media giant and the Phillies. Comcast felt that change was needed (and it probably was) and their new stake in the team's media revenue gave it the clout to make the call. In the pre-Comcast contract era, if the Phillies felt a change was needed in the broadcast booth, Wheeler would have been given the option to broadcast a final, farewell season and then gracefully ride into the sunset. He wasn't given that option, and it's kind of a shame.
Growing up, the adult voices I heard the most were my parents, my grandparents, a few adult family friends and then Harry, Whitey, Andy Musser and Wheels. There were some extra guys in there at times (Kent Tekulve, Jim Barniak and Todd Kalas to name a few) but the steady foursome of Harry, Whitey, Andy Musser and Wheels provided the soundtrack to my Millville and Sea Isle summer nights. The former three have since entered the great broadcast booth in the sky, and now Wheeler has had his microphone taken away.
Potential replacements for Wheeler are rumored to be Ricky Bottalico, Brad Lidge or Doug Glanville. Sarge won't be replaced and all of this won't affect the way I enjoy the games at home at all. Thankfully, the radio team of Scott Franzke, Larry Andersen and Jim Jackson will remain together and I'll continue to mute the TV and listen to that trio call the game.
So farewell to Chris Wheeler. He knew and respected the game and his departure marks yet another milestone on my personal journey to "Man am I getting old."