Phillies announcers Chris Wheeler, Gary Matthews are out

January 8, 2014 10:12:07 AM PST
Longtime Philadelphia Phillies broadcaster Chris Wheeler is out after nearly four decades in the booth and Gary Matthews isn't returning as color analyst, the Phillies confirmed on Wednesday.

The team released the following statement:

"As the longest-tenured member of the Phillies broadcasting team, Chris Wheeler will return to his club roots after stepping down from his role as a Phillies broadcaster. 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. Additionally, Gary Matthews will continue to work with the Phillies bringing his exceptional background as a major league ballplayer, broadcaster and commenter to new roles at the Phillies."

The Phillies recently signed a new television contract with NBCUniversal and Comcast SportsNet that's reportedly worth $2.5 billion over 25 years.

The decision to replace Wheeler and Matthews came from the network, according to multiple AP sources.

The 68-year-old Wheeler started with the Phillies in 1971 and was the longest-tenured member of the broadcast team. "Wheels" did play-by-play and color analysis on television and radio, and for years was teamed with Hall of Fame broadcaster Harry Kalas.

The 63-year-old Matthews was a television color analyst the past seven seasons and also worked on radio. Matthews played 16 seasons in the majors and was the 1973 NL Rookie of the Year with San Francisco and 1983 NLCS MVP with Philadelphia.


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