Mark Grant reveals how broadcasters have had to adjust during MLB’s 2020 season
Much ink has been spilled this season on how Major League Baseball players have had to adjust to the realities of playing in empty stadiums, but it’s been just as big an adjustment for the broadcasters tasked with tracking their every move.
BetAmerica ambassador Glendon Rusch recently sat down with San Diego Padres color commentator Mark Grant to discuss baseball’s "new normal," and the veteran broadcaster was full of fascinating insights.
"The games are like a 'B' game in the morning at 10:00 a.m.," Grant freely admited. "That’s what I compare it to for the players. There’s no fans, but I think we’ve adjusted with music and with crowd noise."
Although the pumped-in sound effects have improved the experience for viewers at home, Grant is disappointed fans in San Diego haven’t been able to experience the Padres' first playoff appearance since 2006 in person.
"It’s a shame with San Diego and with the year that they’re having," Grant said. "45,000 people in Petco Park with the season they’re having, that’s what I miss."
One of the biggest adjustments for Grant, who is now in his 25th season covering the team, has been staying at home when the Padres hit the road.
"For the remote games on the road we go to Petco Park, so we’re essentially doing games off TV monitors," he explained. "We have maybe nine to ten monitors with different views in our booth to call the games on the road."
The arrangement has taken some getting used to, but Grant has been pleased with the end product. "I can see where it can be tough for play-by-play guys, but for me, I’m talking about the replay, so I get a second chance to see it and talk about it. The biggest compliment I think we get from fans is, 'Hey, you guys were traveling right? You guys were in Colorado, you guys were in Oakland.' I say, 'No, no, we’re doing it in San Diego,’ and they’re like, 'Oh wow, we couldn’t even tell.' So that’s a compliment itself, but it is a challenge."
Speaking of challenges, the Padres are currently down 2-0 in their best-of-five National League Division Series with the Los Angeles Dodgers. Game 3 is scheduled for Thursday at 9:08 p.m. ET.
Listen to Glendon’s full conversation with Mark Grant on The Rusch Hour here.