Ron Costello

Saturday, October 6, 2018

It started in the PhillyVoice, the online news source not influenced by the Philadelphia Chamber of Commerce and Comcast. 

Angelo Cataldi, WIP-FM talk show host, and columnist for the PhillyVoice wrote a column on Phillies GM Matt Klentak entitled, 'Phillies GM Matt Klentak is Incompetent.'

Couldn't have said it better. He also called Mr. Klentak a "double talker," which made me laugh. 

Double talking is right. And Mr. Klentak speaks the obvious, like this beauty: "Some of the areas a few weeks ago that were obvious areas for an upgrade may not be obvious anymore. That doesn't mean we won't address them." What?

Or, "If I'd bet, I'd think we're going to make a move between now and July 31. But, it's not as clear as it was a month ago." Huh?

Mr. Cataldi is a Philadelphia folk hero. Why? Because he's at the end of a long list of sportswriters who weren't afraid to speak out and criticize the Phillies; criticize hell, Cataldi kicks them in the ass.

Bill Conlin, Sandy Grady, Bill Lyon, Frank Dolson, Stan Hockman, Bill Campbell, and Paul Hagen — any of them or all of them would have taken Andy MacPhail, Matt Klentak, and the analytical manager to the woodshed for the nonsense that went on this season.

What I would give to have lunch with Larry Bowa! Please God, I won't swear ever again.

Mr. Cataldi has more balls than a brass monkey. He's what this city needs in the era of a paper tiger newspapers, the two that nearly everybody doesn't read. I bet I get more reads and comments on this independent online post than the Inquirer receives on its sports page. 

In the Philadelphia subway trains and city buses — which I ride frequently — people read the free Philadelphia Metro. It has a broader distribution than the Inquirer and Daily News combined. Now that's sad.

Mr. Cataldi also had the manager Gabe Kapler on his show, and they exchanged blows there, too.

I happen to agree with Mr. Cataldi on this one, but there are many times I don't. I didn't agree with him on Charlie Manuel and Chris Wheeler. It doesn't matter, what matters is he is not afraid to speak out. 

On August 7 the Phillies held a slim lead over Atlanta and were 15 games over .500. Klentak destroyed the team chemistry by bringing in veterans Asdrubal Cabrera, Justin Bour, Wilson Ramos, and 37-year-old Jose Bautista.

The team crashed and burned. Wholly overlooked were the left-handers Cole Hamels and J.A. Happ. Acquiring either one might have meant a postseason appearance. Besides, the two veteran pitchers might've helped the young, struggling pitchers Vince Velasquez, Zach Eflin, and Nick Pivetta.

How was that overlooked? 

Mr. Cataldi was right about something else, too. The Faithful did not support the first place Phillies. 

The reasons? Mr. Cataldi said it: Incompetency  I'll add another, shoving analytics down the Faithful's throats with a manager who is getting on the job training. 

The Phillies are losing its fan base, and for that, they should be ashamed.

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