Scott Franzke and Larry Andersen won't, as many fans have long asked for, announce games on television in 2018. In fact, Andersen won't even be Franzke's full-time partner on the radio after the conclusion of this season.
In a feature piece done by Matt Gelb of The Philadelphia Inquirer, Andersen announced that he will scale back his role in the broadcast booth in 2018:
Andersen, after this season, will no longer work full time alongside Scott Franzke. The radio duo gained a cult following through strings of both good and bad Phillies seasons. But Andersen, 64, is in the final stages of negotiating a contract that will significantly reduce his time in the booth.
It was his decision.
“It doesn’t matter if this team was going to the World Series or was going to finish in last,” Andersen said Wednesday. “It had nothing to do with the baseball aspect of it. It was more just a personal decision that, in my waning years, I wanted to do some things while I was above ground.”
Gelb said that Andersen will still probably be in the booth for 81 games in 2018, suggesting that those are likely to come while the Phillies are playing at Citizens Bank Park.
Who will be paired with Franzke when Andersen is off? As Gelb noted in his article, the team has had Doug Glanville, Kevin Stocker, Kevin Jordan, J.C. Romero and Ben Davis all announce games with Franzke during the 2017 season.
Former closer Brad Lidge, who works for MLB Network, may be an interesting fit. Another name that's well connected to Lidge and played for the Phillies is Billy Wagner. I have no idea if he would be interested, but he joined me on the 80-08 Podcast over the summer, and despite a spotty phone connection, blew me away with his knowledge of the game as a whole and ability to recall specific games in his 16-year big league career.
Tommy Greene and Marlon Anderson, both of whom currently work for Comcast SportsNet Philadelphia's pre and post game coverage, could be names to watch as well. Davis, who is paired with McCarthy on television, was on CSN prior to becoming an announcer (and still makes some appearances when he's not announcing).
Davis, with John Kruk being paired with McCarthy for more than half of the games on television, seems like a simple solution for the games when he isn't on television. What would happen the rest of the games is unclear, because Franzke probably doesn't want to announce games by himself, as Sixers radio announcer Tom McGinnis does.
While the Phillies television booth, which Andersen used to be a part of, has undergone quite a few changes over the past decade, the radio booth has been pretty steady. Save for days that Jim Jackson spells Franzke, Andersen has been paired with Franzke since the team's 2007 National League East title season.