Michael Jack Schmidt was a guest on 97.5 the Fanatic on Thursday to talk about his new gig calling Sunday Phillies games alongside Tom McCarthy and either Jamie Moyer or Matt Stairs on the television broadcast. He hints that the broadcast may be a little different with some story telling be a welcomed addition.
He talks briefly about the skin cancer he's been dealing with over the past few months and adds that the prognosis is fantastic and that they caught it early. It'll be a battle he fights the rest of his life.
One of the more interesting things Schmidty talks about is the need for more technology in calling balls and strikes. Speed things up and make it more consistent.
“I think the umpire at home plate should not call balls and strikes," Schmidt said. "I think they should have a force field over home plate and if the pitcher throws and the ball touches the force field a little bell goes off and it’s a strike. That would expand the strike zone to the point where the hitters would now have to swing the bat more often, which would shorten the games. The umpire needs to be at home plate for the safe and out calls at home plate and foul balls and fair balls and basically to run the game but we’re going to see at some time – my guess is within the next 10 years – that you’ll see the balls and strikes being treated just like they treat the line calls in tennis. It sounds crazy. You’d think it would be something very easy to do with what they can do electronically in our world today.”
Do force fields really exist? I always thought that was some Star Wars type stuff.
Listen to the whole Schmidt interview here.
When Brett Brown agreed to become the Sixers' head coach, he knew he was embarking upon a unique challenge with a franchise that planned to be as methodical as possible in its rebuild.
One of the results was a career record for Brown of 47-199 entering this season, a record so lopsidedly poor that Brown may never break the .500 mark.
But the Sixers are finally showing real progress, with a star in Joel Embiid and young players who are turning out to be useful pieces. The Sixers have won seven of their last nine, and there's no one happier to see that than Brown's former boss and mentor, Gregg Popovich.
"It's one of my joys in life to watch them win basketball games because if there's any team that deserves it, it's those guys," Popovich told ESPN.
Brown and the Sixers aren't out of the woods yet. At 14-26, they're still closer to the bottom of the Eastern Conference, but the entire vibe around the team has changed.
"They've had it really tough for all the obvious reasons," said Popovich, who has been the Spurs' head coach since 1996 and worked with Brown from 2002-13.
"There's nobody in our business that is more positive, and more day-to-day upbeat and ready to teach and love than Brett Brown. He's a unique, unique guy."
Philadelphia Phillies fans likely don't know a ton about one of the team's most recent pitching acquisitions, former Red Sox right-hander Clay Buccholz, but it turns out he has a unique connection to the 45th President of the United States of America.
It was Donald Trump who first introduced him to his now wife, Lindsay Clubine, at an after party of a UFC fight following a game out in California back in the late aughts.
The Boston Globe wrote about the encounter early last year.
“It was ‘Affliction: Banned’ fighting, and [Trump] owned the whole circuit," Buchholz told the Globe. "My wife knew him prior, from ‘Deal or No Deal’ when he came on the show as a celebrity banker."
“She was helping him host this event in Anaheim. So when we all walked in, he was there, and he saw us and he introduced Lindsey to me.”
Trump, of course, also has ties to a more formative New England athlete in Tom Brady who allegedly called Donald on Thursday to congratulate him on his coming inauguration.
As for Buchholz opinion on Trump? He was a big supporter during the campaign and is a fan of the former " The Apprentice" host.
“He says what a lot of people think and don’t say,” Buchholz told the Globe. “I like that part of him."
Phillies fans tend to say what they think, so he'll probably be a fan of them as well, right?
Here are some shots of the couple from their social media accounts: