Next season was starting to look like such a promising year for the Philadelphia Phillies and their fans. A young core of players is finally emerging and beginning to excite on a nightly basis. But fans have already been dealt an early blow with news that Larry Andersen will call fewer games in 2018.
The move has reportedly been in the works for some time as L.A.'s desire to travel so often has decreased at the ripe young age of 64.
Exactly how many games he will miss in 2018 remains to be seen, but MLB.com's Todd Zolecki says there is still the potential Andersen only calls games at Citizens Bank Park.
"I really, as much as I love the game, I love the Phillies, I love being out here at the park," Andersen said on CSN's Philly Sports Talk, "I want to be able to do some things in the summer with my wife, with my kids, out west and I guess it was just time.
"I found myself getting a little grumpier on the road when things weren't going well and even with stuff not necessarily pertaining to the game. It got to be kind of a wear on me, but you know, I'm going to be 65 next May — don't tell anybody — and I just … now is a good time.
"Have some days off in the summer, where I can go do the things I want to do. I haven't had any significant time off in the summer in 48 years."
Regular listeners to Phillies radio broadcasts may have noticed some other familiar names and voices pop up during games this season. Doug Glanville, J.C. Romero, Kevin Stocker and Kevin Jordan have all been given a shot to call games, presumably in some sort of tryout-for-the-future capacity.
"It'll be the first time I'll have significant time off in the summer in 48 years," Andersen told MLB.com on Wednesday. "I'm just really getting tired of the travel. More than anything, I catch myself letting little things bother me on the road, even the game. You want to be home. Honestly, I find myself getting grumpy and I don't want to do that. It's not fair to the fans. It's not fair to the organization. I don't like being that way. It's my form of taking a chill pill, really."
L.A. letting little things bother him? Heck, isn't that half the reason many fans tune in to listen to his banter with Franzke in the first place?
Glanville has been praised for his insight on television and in print. But can he read a Home Run Payoff Inning promo with the sardonic beauty of L.A.?
Tune in in 2018 to find out.