The Scully Series 2021: Phillies & Mets

A modern exploration of local broadcasters for all 30 MLB teams.

Welcome back to another edition of ‘The Scully Series’! After a successful relaunch on opening week, I received some terrific feedback from you, the readers, with some opinions on Twitter. When I started this series, my main goal was to expand the conversation on what brings out the emotional aspects of baseball. It’s terrific to hear others share memorable moments they’ve cherished throughout their lives that have come by listening to a game.

REFRESH* Oh, the good old days of listening to baseball broadcasts on your local radio station. As a fan, you’re partial to your hometown crew because of familiarity. As almost an extension of your family or a longtime friend, some of the greatest MLB broadcasters have a unique place in the hearts of millions of baseball fans. Are you one of the people that have the misfortune of being in a market that has a substandard color team? But here’s a thought! Have you ever said to yourself, “I wonder what other teams’ broadcast booths sound like?”

With an MLB.TV subscription, we have the capability to listen, rate, and rank every team’s broadcasters. With an homage to the best to ever do it, we have nicknamed this “The Scully Series.”  The best part is that you can do this as well along with us from the comfort of your home. Let us dive in…


Philadelphia Phillies


Announcers: Tom McCarthy & John Kruk (NBCP)




For every one of the Phillies’ struggles this season, Tom McCarthy & John Kruk have been there to get fans through all of the frustrating moments – and boy has there been a lot of them. The flow between this pairing, who have been working together for years, is extremely natural and conversational. McCarthy is one of the best play-by-play announcers in professional sports, as he also is the radio voice for Westwood One NFL coverage. Kruk is able to fill the color role beautifully, at least in my perspective because of his uncanny ability to be real and straight with the fans. If he spots something that looks off, there is no hesitation to call the player/manager out publicly. Rating: A


Storytelling, Modern Adaptations, History


When it comes to entertainment, John Kruk is the man that you’re going to turn to when it’s needed most. Even after listening to Kruk for years, it seems as though I’m still hearing new stories, and if they do happen to be repeated, it’s like listening to your Grandfather at a family gathering; such a good storyteller that you may pick up on something new on the third listen. McCarthy does a great job reeling Kruk in when necessary and is able to feed off of the energy and laughter. Not too many modern uses of StatCast data or advanced analytics, but that is to be expected with the throwback nature of Kruk wanting the game played in an old-school format. Rating: B+


Likeability / Ease of Listening Rating 


Growing up in the Philadelphia area, these are two voices that I have the utmost familiarity with. Kruk and T-Mac bring Phillies’ fans a sense of joy remembering the World Series title back in 2008. McCarthy has been with the organization for years in a variety of roles and fans can relate to his growth throughout the system. Pairing with just Kruk, after failing with a three-man booth in years past,  was a perfect choice. A fan favorite on the ’93 Phillies team that reached the World Series, Kurk is almost a voice of the people. Not always saying what “should” be said, but always saying what “needs to be said.”  Rating: B+


Signature Calls


There are no signature calls for specific plays for McCarthy, but here is an example of one of his best – Roy Halladay’s perfect game against the Marlins  Rating: C


New York Mets


Announcers: Gary Cohen & Ron Darling (SNY)




The first thing that I noticed during listening to a few Mets’ games was that there are a few moments every inning when things just seem to get dry. Gary Cohen is a solid play-caller, but Ron Darling doesn’t have the juice that Kruk has for Philadelphia, but he gets the job done adequately. Cohen is able to flow between play-calling and his ad reads spectacularly well, but I just wish that his conversation with Darling was as easy. Some things just seem forced, but overall, I like the highs of Cohen during a bang-bang play or massively timed home run. Rating: B


Storytelling, Modern Adaptations, History


I will say that when he wants to, Ron Darling is able to convey some pretty interesting stories. He likes to talk pitch types and seems like someone that tries to get better at his craft. I noticed more of an emphasis on advanced analytics for the Mets than I did with the Phillies – although that could be due to the fact one of the games I studied for this article was started by none other than the GOAT, Jacob deGrom. It wouldn’t make sense to just use rational stats to tell fans just how lucky they are with deGrom, but I appreciate the effort to highlight him and really dive into what makes him great as a player. Rating: B 


Likeability / Ease of Listening Rating 


Just seeming to sound like a true New Yorker, Cohen is a perfect fit for the Mets job. He seems to understand the Mets’ fandom and reliability for some of the Met fans that I’ve asked around about. Like I said previously when there is an exciting moment in the game, Cohen can be extraordinary, but the other times when it seems like conversation lags or just seems to ramble about unrelated things leaves a lot to be desired.  Rating: B-


Signature Calls


Honestly, the most memorable call for me is Cohen & Darling calling one of our favorite moments as baseball fans. Bartolo Colon’s first career home run in San Diego. The energy was electric and gave the moment life that it so obviously needed. That was a great listen! Rating: A


Since this is an exploratory series that will be continued throughout the season. let me know in the comments if you’d like to see other categories or concepts discussed. I’d love input to incorporate into future team reviews. Hope to have your eyes and ears throughout the 2021 season.


Illustration and image by J.R. Caines (@JRCainesDesign on Twitter and @caines_design on Instagram)

Collin Carlone

Collin is somehow a fan of the Phillies & Dodgers simultaneously; although Matt Stairs had some thoughts about that back in ‘08. In his spare time, he plays disc golf like a pitcher in hopes to defy physics enough to be featured by Pitching Ninja.

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