The “10 questions with…“ series finds me interviewing various individuals with some connection to the Philadelphia Phillies.
The interviews take place in a Q&A format where I ask 10 questions of each participant. The questions involve their lives and careers as well as their history with the ball club. I also try to gain their insight on the current Phillies team.
The respondents are always asked to be as long or as short as they like with their responses, so the content length differs with each interview. You can find a link to prior installments in the series in the drop-down box at the “Phillies” section of our website toolbar.
Next up is Joe Giglio, the evening show host broadcasting weekdays from 6-10 p.m. at 94.1 SportsRadio WIP. Joe is also one of the hosts for the WIP podcast “The Art of the Take” and a writer with NJ.com on the Phillies and other local sports.
10 Questions: Joe Giglio
1. Can you give readers a little bio background: where born and raised, schooling, where you are living now, and family life?
JG: I grew up in Monmouth County, NJ. Went to high school in Ocean County. Basically lived in Central NJ (it exists!) as a kid before going to school in the Lehigh Valley. My wife and I (we got married a few years after college) have lived in South Jersey, Baltimore, Ocean County, NJ and now reside in Bucks County with our two kids and dog.
2. Your WIP bio says that you wanted to be a big-league general manager at one point, but that you lost interest. Was it the time and work of law or business school that dissuaded you, or did you simply decide an MLB front office role wasn’t for you?
JG: Probably a bit of everything. Law school and time wasn’t for me. Plus, I took a radio class my senior year of college and started to have the itch to try a different track.
3. That WIP bio talks about a “break” with a Fantasy Phenom contest run by New York’s WFAN radio station back in 2012. Can you expand on that a bit? What was involved, and how would it be characterized as a “break” within the broadcasting industry?
JG: WFAN ran a yearly contest (for about four years) in which the winner would get a once-per-week show (Sat, 1-3 am). Think of it like American Idol for sports talk. Get on a stage, do a quick rant and try to impress the judges. Then move on. I won in 2012.
4. How did you get turned on to the opportunity with WIP and how did you feel once notified that you were getting the big 6-10 PM evenings gig?
JG: WIP is a sister station of WFAN. The program director in NY helped me land a part time role with WIP in October 2013. I was part time until November 2017 when our afternoon host, Chris Carlin, went back up to WFAN to take a show there. Jon Marks moved from nights to afternoon, and I was offered the full time night show.
5. WIP is frequently accused of being an “Eagles” station. There is no doubt that Philly has become a town where the Birds are first in the hearts of many fans. Do you feel that it is important for hosts to direct the conversation on-air towards other sports at times?
JG: I don’t. I think it’s important for us to talk about what the pulse of the fans is each day. In Philadelphia, that often means Eagles. But one of my favorite stretches in the run of my show was the Bryce Harper chase. Fans were hanging on every rumor and nugget, so we talked about it all. It felt like baseball talk for a month straight in the middle of winter. I loved it.
6. Ours is a Phillies site, so moving on to that topic over the rest of the way. What is your take on the J.T. Realmuto contract situation?
JG: The Phillies are in a really tough spot with Realmuto, and now it’s made tougher by the delay of this season. The longer it goes (or if it’s lost all together), the more likely Realmuto is to rebuff contract offers and just wait for the open market and a bidding war. He’s a wonderful player, and someone they should keep. But catchers age in dog years. Something like a five-year, $130M deal will certainly end poorly for the team.
7. Phillies pitching has been an issue for years now. It was my opinion that the club needed to add two new experienced starting pitchers over this past off-season in order to become legitimate 2020 contenders. They added one in Zack Wheeler. What is your take on the ability of the team to contend with the current rotation, assuming we do play this summer?
JG: I’m very skeptical of the rotation. They paid big for what Wheeler can be, not what he has been. Jake Arrieta is cooked. I am not bullish on Zach Eflin, and have stopped dreaming on Nick Pivetta and Vince Velasquez. Aaron Nola is obviously excellent. The key to it all will be how quickly Spencer Howard can arrive. I think he’s the real deal and difference maker.
8. Roman Quinn is talented but constantly injured. Adam Haseley young and unproven. Scott Kingery clearly belongs at second base. Andrew McCutchen is a corner outfielder at this stage of his career. And then…Odubel Herrera? Doesn’t look like Mickey Moniak will end up as the answer, even though he has improved the last couple of years. Do you think the club is going to have to find an answer outside the organization, or do you feel any of these guys can be that answer?
JG: I think the outfield will be fine. The delay will only help McCutchen, and his late-career offensive profile (walks, power) isn’t reliant on speed and athleticism. Bryce Harper will be Bryce Harper: A Jim Thome-ish offensive player, and more than adequate in the field. I really like Haseley and think there’s a pro there. Quinn can be a very good platoon guy, if healthy. And Jay Bruce is solid.
9. What is your opinion of the jobs being done by club president Andy MacPhail and general manager Matt Klentak overall in their time in those roles, and over the last year or so as the organization attempts to transition from rebuilding to contending? Is this a make-or-break year for their tenure?
JG: Both should be on the hot seat. This rebuild wasn’t done as well as it could have or many hoped. It’s a slightly above average, expensive team with little depth in the farm system.
10. Can you share one “insider” moment/memory that perhaps hasn’t been shared previously on-air? Some moment from behind the scenes that involves a Phillies game you worked?
JG: I won’t give away names, but will give this nugget: Behind-the-scenes stories shared off the air of player-coach-manager relationships often aren’t what’s generally perceived. Also (and this is separate from the above comment), I’ve believed from the jump that Sean Rodriguez was speaking in defense of a teammate, and not for himself, when calling out fans last year. He took the brunt, but I think that was a veteran doing what a veteran felt he had to do for someone who hasn’t been in the big-leagues as long.