CLEARWATER, Fla. — Jamie Moyer and Matt Stairs were introduced on Monday as Comcast SportsNet’s new color commentary team for Phillies television broadcasts.
But they aren’t the only voices being added to the network for the 2014 season. Consider them the table setters for the Hall of Fame cleanup hitter set to join the broadcast.
Mike Schmidt will join CSN’s broadcast team this season for all 13 Sunday home games at Citizens Bank Park, the Philadelphia Daily News has learned.
Schmidt, a 12-time All-Star with the Phillies, will join play-by-play man Tom McCarthy and either Stairs or Moyer in a three-man booth for the home Sunday broadcasts. The entire broadcast team will work all nine innings.
Unlike Moyer and Stairs, Schmidt has previous work as a member of the Phillies broadcast team: Schmidt worked as an in-game analyst for the cable network PRISM in 1990, his first year after retiring from his playing career.
The “Sundays with Schmidt” for the 2014 season could begin next month: Schmidt is scheduled to visit Clearwater in mid-March and is likely to jump into the broadcast for a game while in town.
Schmidt, Moyer and Stairs are replacing Chris Wheeler and Gary Matthews in the broadcast booth this season. Wheeler and Matthews were dismissed from their jobs as analysts in a mutual decision between the network and the team after completion of a $2.5 billion local TV rights agreement between the parties.
While Schmidt is set to work in all 13 Sunday home games, Moyer will broadcast 109 games (including spring training), while Stairs will be on the air for 108 total games. Moyer and Stairs will work together for 30 games; none of those 30 games will occur on home Sundays, meaning the network will never employ a four-man booth in 2014.
Schmidt, 64, a fixture as a guest instructor for more than a decade, has been absent from Phillies camp for the first time in 13 years while dealing with an undisclosed health issue. Last month, the Phillies said in a statement that Schmidt had to “to remain near his doctors.”
It’s encouraging, then, that Schmidt’s health isn’t preventing him from joining the broadcast team.
Schmidt was elected to the National Baseball Hall of Fame in 1995, the same year another former Phillies great-turned-broadcaster entered Cooperstown: Richie Ashburn.