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Phillies fans will need Peacock and Apple+ this season, but they’ll get less A-Rod

Good luck keeping track of the Phillies this season, with games airing across multiple networks and a couple of streaming platforms.

Phillies broadcasters Tom McCarthy, left and John Kruk are calling todays game with the Pirates at BayCare Ballpark in Clearwater, FL, Tuesday, April 5, 2022. The Phillies beat the Pirates 5-1.
Phillies broadcasters Tom McCarthy, left and John Kruk are calling todays game with the Pirates at BayCare Ballpark in Clearwater, FL, Tuesday, April 5, 2022. The Phillies beat the Pirates 5-1.Read moreSTEVEN M. FALK / Staff Photographer

For the first time in almost a decade, Larry Andersen is excited about the Phillies.

Like everyone else in Philadelphia, Andersen – the team’s longtime radio announcer and a former pitcher – can’t wait to see if the addition of Kyle Schwarber and Nick Castellanos helps push the Phillies into the playoffs for the first time since 2011.

“I can’t say I expect to see a whole lot of 2-1 or 3-2 games,” Andersen said. “I wouldn’t be surprised if a lot of opposing pitchers looking at this lineup and come up with stiff necks, a little tenderness, and decide they can’t make that start.”

» READ MORE: Phillies 2022 season preview: Biggest storylines, predictions, roster outlook and more

Phillies opening day on Friday against the Oakland A’s at Citizens Bank Park will air at 3:05 p.m. on NBC10, with Tom McCarthy, John Kruk, and Ruben Amaro Jr. in the booth. As of now, 12 Phillies games this season are scheduled to air on NBC10, including four Friday night matchups in August.

NBC Sports Philadelphia will televise 137 of the Phillies’ 162 games this season with five on NBC Sports Philadelphia+, though that could change as the season goes on — especially if the Phillies are as good as everyone expects.

McCarthy is back for his 13th season as the team’s play-by-play voice on television (he spent five years on the radio), and will be joined most nights by Kruk. Amaro, or Ben Davis. Jimmy Rollins will also call games this season on NBC Sports Philadelphia, and Hall of Famer Mike Schmidt will be back for Sunday home games.

» READ MORE: Ruben Amaro Jr.’s new job; Joe Buck’s awkward final Fox appearance

The biggest change will be on the radio, where Andersen will be calling only 40 games this season alongside play-by-play voice Scott Franzke, who enters his 17th year with the Phillies. With Kevin Frandsen calling games in Washington, D.C. this season, the remaining 122 games will be split by a rotation of four former Phillies players — Michael Bourn, Chad Durbin, Erik Kratz, and Kevin Stocker.

But just because Andersen is calling fewer games, don’t expect him to be any less blunt or honest than he’s been during his tenure with the team. His willingness to call out the team and its players — including last year’s MVP, Bryce Harper — has become a trademark of his analysis, a tendency he traces back to one player.

» READ MORE: Phillies announcer Larry Andersen to call fewer games: ‘This was not an easy decision’

“One of my biggest problems I think I have with today’s game, versus 15 years ago, is I watched Chase Utley,” Andersen said. “That’s hurt me, because I expect every good baseball player to play that way. ... Watching him as much as I did and appreciating the way he played, it’s hard for me not to expect that from everybody.”

While Andersen is reducing his role, former NBCSP reporter Gregg Murphy will see his on-air time expand this season. Murphy will handle the pre- and postgame radio coverage for all 162 games (and more if they make the playoffs), and will be available to fill in for Franzke when needed.

ESPN is going the Manning route with A-Rod

Although ESPN is cutting its schedule back from 90 games last season down to 29, the Phillies are scheduled to appear on Sunday Night Baseball at least four times this season, beginning with the April 24 matchup against the Milwaukee Brewers.

This year, Phillies fans won’t have nearly as many opportunities to mock Alex Rodriguez and his awkward references to Philadelphia cheese sandwiches. ESPN’s new Sunday Night Baseball booth features Karl Ravech, David Cone, and Eduardo Perez, with Buster Onley back to handle reporting from the stands.

Instead, ESPN has gone the Manning route and moved A-Rod into his own alternative telecast on ESPN2 alongside longtime New York Yankees announcer Michael Kay, which the network is calling Sunday Night Baseball with Kay-Rod.

The pair will debut this Sunday for Red Sox-Yankees and will offer their alternative telecast during at least two Phillies games — May 1 against the Mets, and July 3 against the Cardinals.

Fox also returns with its Saturday package, featuring a mix of afternoon and evening games. The network will reportedly turn to Joe Davis, the television voice of the Los Angeles Dodgers, to replace Joe Buck as the voice of the World Series. Buck, of course, left Fox last month along with Troy Aikman to call Monday Night Football for ESPN.

The Phillies are scheduled to appear on Fox or FS1 four times this season, beginning April 30 against the New York Mets.

» READ MORE: Former first-round picks Bryson Stott, Alec Bohm and Mickey Moniak make Phillies’ opening-day roster

Phillies games will also stream exclusively on Peacock and Apple+

In addition to paying for a cable subscription (or a streaming service that carries both Fox and NBC Sports Philadelphia), Phillies fans will also need to log on to both Apple+ and Peacock to watch a handful of games this season.

Peacock will show two Phillies games as part of its new Sunday morning package – June 19 against the Washington Nationals and July 24 against the Chicago Cubs. Those games will be exclusive to Peacock, where a subscription to its pay tier will set you back $9.99 a month. Fortunately, if you’re a Comcast Xfinity subscriber, you can get Peacock for free. Anyone else will have to pay.

» READ MORE: Setting the line on Phillies’ win total in 2022, Bryce Harper’s MVP chances, and more

Apple+ will also show a couple of Phillies games, according to sources at the MLB Network, which is producing the telecasts. So far, the streaming service has announced only the first half of its 12-week Friday Night Baseball doubleheader schedule, which premieres Friday. But it’s unclear who will be calling games on Apple+, or what they’ll do during commercial breaks.

The good news for fans is the games will be free to watch this season, though you’ll still have to download and set up an Apple+ account.