"Wild Thing" Relieves Marzano on CSN
by Laura Nachman
Bucks County Courier Times
March 30, 2007

Mitch “Wild Thing” Williams has parlayed a one-time appearance on Comcast SportsNet's “Daily News Live” into a regular gig on “Phillies Post Game Live” this season.

“I did a show around a month ago, they liked what I had to say and asked if I'd be interested in doing this more,” Williams said in a phone interview.

Fortunately for Williams, a job opened when John Marzano, who was scheduled to be the analyst for all 101 CSN games, took a position with mlb.com two weeks ago and could only commit to 30 games. Williams will “relieve” Marzano for 40 games, and former major leaguer Dave Gallagher will pick up the other 30 games.

Williams and his family sold their “3-and-2 Ranch” in Texas and moved back to the Philadelphia area in 2001.

“I had no choice,” Williams said. “My wife [Irene] is from around here.”

Although Williams, 42, is the father of four sons and a daughter, he said he didn't want to coach them in Little League.

“I don't like dealing with parents,” he said. “They complain about everything”

The former closer, who took plenty of criticism when he was a player, never hid from the media when things went wrong.

“Athletes are spoiled rotten,” Williams said. “If you are willing to stand there when you do well, you should be willing to stand there when you do bad. I've never made excuses.”

Williams keeps in touch with former Phillies teammate John Kruk, who is a successful baseball analyst on ESPN.

“He's given me some advice,” Williams said. “He said be yourself.”

Williams makes his debut after the Phillies' season opener Monday.

Opener on CBS3

It will be a different form of “The Young and the Restless” and “The Bold and the Beautiful” when the Phillies host the Atlanta Braves on CBS3 at 1 p.m. Monday at Citizens Bank Park.

CBS3 sports director Beasley Reece will join the regular Phillies broadcast team to provide reports from the field. The CBS3 starting nine of Reece, Larry Mendte, Alycia Lane, Kathy Orr, Susan Barnett, Jim Donovan, Stephanie Stahl, Maria La Rosa and Bob Kelly will be hanging out at the third-base gate to say hello to fans.

Broadcast questions

Here are some questions about the broadcasting team going into Opening Day:

* Will fans miss Scott Graham, whose contract wasn't renewed this year?

* How will Scott Franzke perform in his new play-by-play role?

* Will Flyers announcer Jim Jackson succeed as the pre-game and post-game host?

* Will Gary Matthews succeed in his first year as a Phillies announcer?

* Will 71-year-old Harry Kalas be able to keep up his skills without slipping?

* Will we be able to tell if the feud between Harry and Chris Wheeler is continuing?

E-mail: lauranachman@verizon.net

March 30, 2007 5:27 AM