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Q&A with Doug Greenwald: Part One

April 29, 2011

Recently Doug Greenwald, someone whose voice is certainly familiar to the Giants faithful, was kind enough to answer some questions for us.  We hope you enjoy it as much as we did, and a huge thank you to Doug for being so very kind and obliging to do this for us.  Doug gave us so much great information we’ve decided to split it up into two posts, so enjoy part one tonight, and check back tomorrow for part two.

  • Tell us about your gameday routine.

At home I prep for about 90 minutes.  I scour the internet for major league game notes and pull tid-bits from various teams.  It might be an obscure stat about how many straight days a team has had a double or a guy having an RBI in a certain amount of consecutive games.  Obviously anything Giant-related I read about and use for the broadcast.  The prep continues in the car, I always have the baseball channel on XM or have a ballgame on.  If I find something interesting in that a broadcaster says I’ll apply it to my broadcast.  We’re all in the business to share information.  When I get to the ballpark usually about three hours before gametime I check in with our manager Steve Decker to see if anything new is going on with the team or might ask him about a play from the night before.  The learning never stops and I love picking the brain of people who have played the game.  I’ll go on the field during batting practice and just causally chit-chat with the players.  If a player is from a certain town and we’re facing a pitcher who is also from his town I’ll ask if they have faced each other in high school.  Things you can’t find in a media guide.  My gameday also consists of a five-to-ten minute taped pre-game interview.  There are so many people that are involved in this game.  I might interview a scout, a player, a manager, a coach, for Easter I interviewed our Team Chaplain and he talked about what it’s like to work with players who are away from home during certain holidays.  So many people have so many roles that are involved at the ballpark, I like to include all facets of the game on the interviews.  From the field it’s up to the booth where I’ll go over stats for each team, write in the lineups, and then normally I’ll have dinner in our press lounge with the other broadcaster and we’ll share information about our clubs.  There’s a lot that goes into gameday and I love doing the prep.

  • How do you handle the frequency of changes in a AAA roster?  Do you follow the other teams closely or mostly learn on the fly as guys come and go?

You know every year at AAA that guys come-and-go frequently.  It is tough to define the word “team” at this level.  Guy gets hurt at the big league level, next thing you know a guy is gone from the AAA squad.  Being that I’m around the Giants in spring training I see a lot of the players who are going to be sent to AA or A to begin the year so I do get a feel for who might come to AAA.  But that’s where I ask our coaches or manager who have seen these guys, they know their tendencies and sometimes I’ll ask a player who might have played with a newcomer at another level.

  • Does it feel to you like there’s a sense of loss as guys move on and off the roster, or is it just taken as absolutely a part of the nature of the game?

Nature of the game.  I don’t want to see any of these guys in AAA for long.  My goal, like their’s is to get to the big leagues.  It’s not easy seeing a guy come back to AAA, I will often say, “sorry to see you back but let’s hope you’re not here long.”

  • Is there a current prospect that doesn’t get as much attention from the fans as you think they deserve?

Tyler Graham.  A guy who has hit very well in his two years at AAA.  He comes from a winning college program at Oregon State.  He plays the game hard, makes solid contact, can play all three outfield positions well, and is a smart player.  He puts a lot of energy out on the field.

  • How do you maintain enthusiasm for the game when it’s a total blowout or you’re just not having the best day on a personal level?

I’m always excited coming to the ballpark.  Yes we all have our good and bad days personally, sure you might not hang out with everyone you see at the ballpark but you’re all there for the reason of loving baseball.  If the game is a total blowout, I’ll go back to your first question–your preparation.  You have to prepare for each game as if it’s going to be the worst game you’re ever going to see.  I have been taught that in baseball you have to carry the broadcast, other sports that are time driven, they carry you.  Basketball and football if it’s a blowout you can have the clock as your best friend.  Not the case with baseball.  If it’s a blowout, I break out a lot of stories, have those trivial pieces of information available that I pull from game notes.  That’s what I love about baseball, you don’t know what kind of game you’re going to see from night to night.

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