You can stop rubbing your eyes now; yes, I am talking about Gary “Sarge” Matthews and new co-author of the book, “Phillies Confidential: The Untold Story of the 2008 Championship Season.” Has your jaw hit the floor yet? No? Well then perhaps you are not familiar with the dulcet tones of Matthews’ voice or his eloquent game commentary? You all know I love the Sarge, but his announcing sometimes sounds like a young child trying to articulate the proper rules for a game of tag that has gone horribly wrong. Matthews is, after all, the same guy who brought us such witty and wonderful baseball Sarge-isms like “A Good Athlete” and the “Courtesy Turn” (when an outfielder turns to look at a home run leave the park, even if he knows immediately that he has no shot at catching it).
But seriously, the Sarge has improved his game calling skills throughout this past year while under the tutelage of the great Hall of Famer, Harry Kalas. At the beginning of the year, he had difficulty pronouncing some of the last names of the Phillies players; and though I found it hysterical, that does seem to have improved and he became much more comfortable in front of the microphone as the year progressed. His Sarge-isms and occasional slips of the tongue have made him extremely entertaining to listen to, so I can only imagine what is in store for us beneath the pages of this new book. Personally, I cannot wait to read it.
Matthews began writing the book in Spring Training, having no idea that the Phillies would become World Champions that very same year. The Sarge also says he was careful not to reveal too much inside-clubhouse information for fear of alienating anyone, but that the book still gives a comprehensive and behind-the-scenes look at the 2008 Phillies season. I hope he did not hold back too much because I really, really wanted to know what color and style undies Chase Utley prefers. I will be sorely disappointed if there are no “undercover” underwear revelations. And will he answer the question about how long Greg Dobbs really spends on his hair? Inquiring minds want to know! Of course, I am joking, although part of me still wonders….
Sorry for the temporary hormonal interruption… back on topic now: Matthews does cover in the book how he cautioned Brad Lidge in Spring Training about the finicky Philly fans and about how he believes Jimmy Rollins grew into a leader. He also discusses the importance of role players like Dobbs, Carlos Ruiz, Chad Durbin and Pedro Feliz. The book is 192 pages long and co-written with Scott Lauber, who is beat-writer for the News Journal. The book should be flying off a store shelf somewhere near you this week. I will write a review at some point once I get my hands on it. Happy Reading!
And for the football fans, I have also started a Miami Dolphins page, The Dolphin Pod! All Dol-Fans, and anyone else who wants to say hello is welcome!
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