Never one to be afraid of voicing my displeasure regarding things, I guess I'll finally jump on the "I'm not a huge fan of the Dick Enberg experiment (SO FAR) and I'm going to write about it on my blog" train. Our good buddy Mike at Avenging Jack Murphy has been keeping up on Enberg all season. The readers of Gaslamp Ball have let it be known in numerous Fan Shots. Even Daniel from Friar Forecast has complained that there are to many Padres announcers and that they should consolidate and form into one giant "Super Announcer". But I kept holding off on writing about it....TIL NOW!!! Now before I start off, I'd like to say that I have the utmost respect for Mr. Enberg. He's hands down a legend in broadcasting and I'm not calling for his head on a platter here. I just have some issues with the situation as a whole and wanted to voice my concern.
Here's the thing with Enberg..... Yes, he's a broadcasting icon. Yes, I have to admit the first week when I watched Padres games on TV it almost had a playoff type vibe to it and I thought it was pretty cool. Yes, I also thought the Ted Williams stories he told were amazing. But there are some things that get to me. On the subject of his hiring, a Padres insider told me that Steve Quis actually found out about Enberg's hiring (not to mention basically Quis being out of a job) by reading it in the newspaper. Ouch....talk about being handled poorly. If Quis was in that boat then I almost have to assume that the same happened to Mark Neely. I know it's a business and all, but shouldn't they have at least informed the other announcers that they were looking to go in another direction? A misconception that people have been having a lot lately, is they assume Enberg is here for only 1 year. I personally have read it so many times on various blogs that I began to think that was the case too. But I started thinking about it and swore he signed a multi-year deal. I looked back and he did indeed sign a multi-year (3) deal. Rumor has it that it was for a whopping 1.4 million over those 3 years too. That's roughly 467,000 per year. To put that amount into perspective: that's more than Kyle Blanks, Everth Cabrera, Sean Gallagher, Luke Gregerson, Tony Gwynn Jr., Chase Headley, Nick Hundley, Mat Latos, Edward Mujica, Cesar Ramos, Clayton Richard, Oscar Salazar, Tim Stauffer, Joe Thatcher & Will Venable are making this season. Yes, one of our broadcasters is making more this season than 60% of the opening day roster. Oh my??
Now for all the people swearing off Channel 4 for hiring Enberg let me tell you this....Channel 4 had very little, if anything, to do with his hiring. Padres President Tom Garfinkel orchestrated this whole thing. Being a guy who never thinks inside the box, Garfinkel shot for the moon while having breakfast with Enberg one fine day in San Diego and asked him if he'd be interested in joining the Padres booth. I like where he was going with this idea, but much like Beerfest it has fallen far short of expectations. Padres fans are angry with Enberg for "rooting" for other teams. I personally think years and years of working for a network has killed any hometown bias he ever had. He hasn't worked consistently for an MLB team since 1978 (he worked for the Angels from 1969-1978 & also in 1985 for one season). I'm perfectly OK with a non-biased announcer, but at the same time I think a lot of people mainly have a problem with him sounding excited when the other team hits a walk off or a crushing blow late in the game. You can be non-biased but you absolutely can't sound like you are rooting for the other team. One other big problem the fans are having is the constant name flubs. Being that he hasn't called an MLB game since 1982 and after missing all of Spring Training, perhaps this is still his Spring Training. But at the same time you can't be getting a players names wrong time and time again.....especially when they are a part of the team that you've been calling games for all season long. I've personally seen Ted Leitner, Jerry Coleman, Andy Masur & Mark Grant studying over media guides and rosters for the day, way before the gametime. I assume Enberg does this too, but how come he can't get the names right and everyone else can?
Like I said before, I'm not calling for his head on a platter and some of my issues regarding his hiring have very little to do with him (IE:hiring process). But at the same time when things aren't up to par you look at fixing or improving those issues. Hopefully Enberg can make these adjustments to make the viewing more enjoyable for all the Padres fans. Oh yeah, also so us bloggers don't have to write anything negative about him anymore too.