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.
Sixers head coach Brett Brown is in Australia this week, where he has accused longtime friend and former Australian men's national team assistant coach Shane Heal of defrauding him of $750,000, according to the Australian Associated Press.
Brown invested $250,000 into each of three companies for which Heal was the sole director. Brown wasn't given a legal title regarding the companies and didn't know the specifics of how the money would be used.
"I assumed that the money was going to be used for what Shane told me it was going to be used for," Brown said. "Because it was a friend that I had for 25 years."
Heal was charged last year by the Australian Securities and Investments Commission following an investigation relating to alleged misconduct in 2008, 2009 and 2010, according to the AAP.
The sides return to court in Brisbane on July 20.
Heal played in the NBA for the Minnesota Timberwolves in 1996-97 and was with the San Antonio Spurs in 2003.
A day after going 0 for 5 with five strikeouts, Odubel Herrera is leading off for the Phillies in their series opener Friday night against the Reds (see game notes).
It's the first time Herrera is leading off since last Aug. 19, a span of 84 games.
Cesar Hernandez gets the night off. He's been dealing with a groin pull for 10 days, manager Pete Mackanin said Friday.
Andres Blanco bats second and plays second.
Maikel Franco is back in the six-hole after going 1 for 5 with two strikeouts in the cleanup spot Thursday. Tommy Joseph bats fourth and Michael Saunders fifth.
Cameron Rupp, who walked three times in Thursday's win over the Rockies, catches Aaron Nola and bats seventh.
1. Odubel Herrera, CF
2. Andres Blanco, 2B
3. Aaron Altherr, LF
4. Tommy Joseph, 1B
5. Michael Saunders, RF
6. Maikel Franco, 3B
7. Cameron Rupp, C
8. Freddy Galvis, SS
9. Aaron Nola, P