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Q&A with Doug Greenwald: Part Two

May 2, 2011

Part Two of our Q&A with Doug Greenwald, in which we talk Spring Training, J.T. Snow, and great radio calls.

  • Do you approach games you’re broadcasting differently depending on who is playing and at what level?  How different is Spring Training from regular season?

Spring training is different because you see a different team everyday.  I mean that in two ways:  a) your opponent is different every day, it’s not a series of games against one team and b) the people on your team are different.  Buster Posey generally isn’t catching back-to-back games in spring training.  Aaron Rowand might play every other day.  Plus it’s two games within one.  Brian Wilson pitches the fifth inning since the regulars on the opposition are still in there.  After the fifth innings it’s mostly reserves or players who you know are going to start the year in the minor leagues.  Spring training for the most part is about getting your work in, and not worrying about the strategy.  Also you have to keep up on the subs, guys go in-and-out so often and wear numbers 83, and 84 and sometimes there might be players who have the same number on the same team.  A non-roster invitee could be number 83 but if a player is summoned from minor league camp he might have that same number.  This year in spring training, the Giants had number 83 at the plate, and number 83 was on deck.

As for approaching games differently on who is playing, the prep generally is the same but again since the pitcher is different every game I’ll do research on him and look to see if there’s a connection he has with players on the opposing teams:  past history, maybe they played against each other in college, same hometown, that sort of thing.

  • Did you have a favorite player growing up?

Way too many from whom to choose.  But I always loved the way Dan Gladden played the game, played it hard and took the approach that every game was the seventh game of the World Series.

  • The Giants have some great radio calls in their history (including the ’89 NL pennant call, which was a childhood favorite around here).  Do you have a particular  call that is a favorite?

For selfish and team reasons that call is number one.  But if I had to choose another call, even though I was nowhere in sight in 1951, tough to top Russ Hodges call of Bobby Thomson’s home run to win the pennant.  That call symbolized a team that was 13 games back of the Dodgers in August.  A microcosm of that whole race.  The Giants had to fight-and-fight to comeback specifically that ninth inning.

  • A much less serious question because Britt is a former Fresno resident, what’s your favorite place in Fresno?

Chukchansi Park.

  • What was it like calling those games last summer while Miller and Flemming were away?  And given the name of our blog, I think we’re obligated to ask what it was like working with J.T. Snow?

I felt like I learned more about baseball in three days working with J.T. since he played the game at the highest level so well and for so long.  He’d explain why the first baseman was positioned at a certain angle with different batters up, why the outfield was aligned the way it was on one count but if the count changed the defensive rotation changed.  It was a crash course of the game, the game within the game working with him.  We were both very prepared and much like (go back to the top question) had our gameday routine.  I’d go and listen to Kirk Gibson’s press conference and then meet with along with the Giants media with Bruce Bochy and ask him questions.  J.T. would talk to certain coaches and players, and I’d talk to various coaches and players.  We’d meet in the booth before gametime and exchange notes I got from whom I talked and vice-versa.

But calling the games were great.  The Giants went 3-0 over the course of those contests, no question very appreciative of the opportunity provided by the Giants.  Aside from the art of calling the game, it was fun to see so many of those players for whom I called games while they were in Fresno:  Posey, Bumgarner, Lincecum, J. Sanchez, Schierholtz, Velez, Wilson who all played in that series.

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