Jamie Moyer, Matt Stairs ready for new TV roles

Jamie Moyer, Matt Stairs ready for new TV roles
February 24, 2014, 2:45 pm
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Jamie Moyer (left) and Matt Stairs combined for 44 big-league seasons with 20 different teams. (AP)

CLEARWATER, Fla. -- Jamie Moyer still hears the voices of the Phillies' broadcasters he listened to as a kid growing up in suburban Philadelphia.

“Whitey, By Saam, Harry,” he said Monday.

Starting Wednesday afternoon, Moyer will get the chance to become the voice that today’s young Phillies fans will hear in their heads someday.

Moyer and fellow 2008 World Series winner Matt Stairs will be alongside play-by-play man Tom McCarthy in the television broadcast booth for Wednesday’s Grapefruit League opener against Toronto. Moyer and Stairs were hired earlier this month by Comcast SportsNet as the team’s new TV analysts.

Including spring training, Moyer will join McCarthy for 109 games. Stairs will do 108 games. At times, there will be overlap in a three-man broadcast. Other times, it will be a two-man booth.

Though both men have some broadcast experience -- Moyer in the studio with ESPN, and Stairs in the studio with the New England Sports Network -- this will be their first time calling games.

“I’m not going to be Harry Kalas,” Moyer said. “But I’d like to be a good broadcaster like Harry Kalas was.

“I believe it’s about being yourself. For me, it will be about trying to use my education and experience of the game and trying to expand that with the fan base and make it a positive experience not just for myself, but for the fans.”

Moyer is 51. Stairs turns 46 this week. Between them they played 44 big-league seasons for 20 teams. Moyer won 269 games. Stairs hit 23 regular-season pinch-hit home runs, a major-league record. He actually hit one more than that. His tie-breaking pinch homer against the Dodgers' Jonathan Broxton in Game 4 of the 2008 NLCS at Dodger Stadium is one of the iconic moments in Phillies and Philadelphia sports history.

Stairs on Monday joked that he would be with the Phillies in Cincinnati because Broxton is now with the Reds.

Moyer and Stairs were teammates with a number of current Phillies. Moyer was also a teammate of manager Ryne Sandberg with the Cubs. This raises the question: Will they be critical of former teammates if the situation calls for it?

“We both played with 1,300 or 1,400 players in our career,” Stairs said. “So we’ve been around. We know the game. That’s the biggest thing. We’re going to be ourselves, be positive, but we’re going to tell people what they want to here. If somebody messes up or doesn’t run the bases, we’ll call them out on it.

“I’m not going to embarrass a guy on the air, but Philly wants to hear the truth. They want to hear what’s going on and our opinion of the game. I don’t have problems with that.”

Neither does Moyer.

“It’s all about being honest,” he said. “I’m there to watch the game, to enjoy the game, and to try to expand on what happened. I’m excited about this opportunity.”