Editor’s note: Former big leaguer and Padres’ pitcher Mark Grant, who is now the color commentator for the Friars, recently took some time during and after the All-Star break to answer some questions from site co-editor Billy Brost and the Friars On Base staff. The former Padres’ hurler addressed everything from his own career, to his favorite Padres players, to Bud Black‘s future with the team. We certainly wish to thank Mark for his time. ~BB
Billy Brost: Was there a moment where you realized you had transitioned successfully as a broadcaster – not a player-turned-broadcaster – and what was it?
Mark Grant: The moment I thought I transitioned into a broadcaster, was when I was about in my 5th or 6th year. I feel it took me a while, because there was so much to learn. I am still learning. I can’t pinpoint one specific moment, or game, but it was a point where I knew the mechanics of what to do, and what not to do, when I hit the air.
BB: What has kept you in the Padres’ organization, and why do you like working with this team so much?
MG: During my career, I played here the most. I played parts of 4 seasons here in San Diego. When I was traded in 1987 from the Giants to the Padres, I remained here even when I went on to Atlanta, Seattle, Houston, and Colorado. I don’t want to live anywhere else. I know there have been more lean years than good ones, but I want to be here when they turn it around and become perennial contenders.
BB: The Padres have had a few bad teams during your tenure, and this year, a lot of Padres fans are quite frustrated with the team. How do you maintain your positive attitude during broadcasts when the team is going through a really bad stretch?
MG: I try and stay positive because, it’s just baseball. We all need a diversion from our everyday lives, and I think baseball gives us that diversion. That doesn’t mean that I don’t take my job seriously. I do, very much, but it’s only baseball. And I get frustrated at times, because I want them to win. Although, there is a lot of things I can’t control, and that is what happens with the team. I can’t worry about what moves they make/not make.
BB: How do you prepare for the pregame show?
MG: Everyday we have a conference call at 10:00 a.m. to discuss topics with our producers on the subjects we are going to talk about that evening. After we get our topics, I start doing research.
BB: How does this ownership compare to the previous ones in regards to bringing a championship to San Diego?
MG: I think this ownership is in it for the long haul.
BB: The pitching staff is strong, but what does this team need to do to get an offensive bat into this lineup? What direction do you see ownership taking in producing a better ball club?
MG: I would love to see the Padres keep all their pitching. Who wouldn’t? I think they only need like 2 or 3 bats to make a difference.
BB: What’s it like working with a legend like Dick Enberg?
Mark Grant and Dick Enberg. Mandatory Credit: bigsled.com
MG: Working with Dick Enberg is awesome! He is a true pro, who is very prepared at his craft. He’s fun to be around, and loves his work, and loves the game of baseball.
BB: Who are your favorite Padres to watch and who would like for them to build around for the future?
BB: Have you ever thought about coaching? If so in what capacity?
MG: I thought about coaching, but I don’t have the make-up to be a coach. The time that these coaches put in is unbelievable! They are the first one’s at the park, and the last one’s to leave.
BB: With the trading deadline approaching in a couple of weeks, who do you think will be a former member of the team come August 1st?
MG: Huston Street was the first to go, and I was disappointed. I was disappointed because I got to know him as a friend, but also because he’s a very good pitcher with great numbers. Again, like I said earlier, this is something I can’t control.
BB: In you opinion, is Bud Black’s job in jeopardy and if so, how much of the blame for this season is on the players, the manager, former GM Josh Byrnes, and hitting coach Phil Plantier?
MG: I don’t think Bud’s job is in jeopardy. He was given a group of players that have under performed. He does everything in his power to have these players prepared for every game. All the coaches have these guys prepared. Sometimes they just don’t match up equally to the opposition.