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The Philadelphia Phillies have finally made a splash this off-season, only it’s not with a big-time signing. Instead, the team let go of announcers Chris Wheeler and Gary Matthews.
According to CBS Philly, the Phillies announced Wednesday that broadcaster Wheeler is out after four decades with the team. Color analyst Matthews will also not be returning.
The Associated Press reported that the team signed a new TV deal with NBCUniversal and Comcast SportsNet that is worth $2.5 billion over 25 years.
Wheels and Sarge, as they are known to fans of the team, have called the games with fellow broadcaster Tom McCarthy for several years. There's no word yet if the booth shake-up will include McCarthy.
The network came down with the decision to replace the announcers, but say they will remain with the Phillies organization in some other roles.
“With 37 years of broadcasting experience, combined with his front office background where he began his Phillies career, ‘Wheels’ will take on a new role allowing the organization to continue to benefit from his knowledge, experience and dedication to the game,” the team said in a statement. “Additionally, Gary Matthews will continue to work with the Phillies in roles that are yet to be determined.”
“It’s been an honor and a privilege to be a part of the Phillies broadcast team for 37 years,” Chris Wheeler said in a statement. “I certainly respect the decision that was made and I look forward to my new role in the Phillies organization.”
image: Wikimedia Commons