Tony Gwynn: Q&A
The Hall of Famer and TBS broadcaster on broadcasting and getting hazed by Johnny Bench
Posted: Thursday October 11, 2007 12:50PM; Updated: Thursday October 11, 2007 12:50PM
Last week SI writer Richard Deitsch interviewed Tony Gywnn for the magazine's Q&A. The Hall of Famer and San Diego State coach is a postseason baseball analyst for TBS. Here are additional excerpts from their conversation:
SI: Why do you enjoy broadcasting?
Gwynn: Simple. I love the game. What I enjoy is trying to see a situation develop before the fan does and relaying that. I like seeing the little tidbits in the game that maybe the average fan does not see and pointing that out. I liken it to being a hitter: You are standing in the box and facing someone you have not seen before. You're trying to figure out how to make something work. TV is kind of same thing. I'm scanning the entire field for things to talk about.
SI: Right now you are committed to just one year with TBS?
Gywnn: Just a year, and it's that way because I am coaching at San Diego State. That's my number one job right now. I really love that job. I would love to do more baseball, but right now I'm doing 30 Padres games. The playoffs work great for me because it's after the season is over. I'm going to miss just three weeks of school. We start practice right after the playoffs are over. We'll see how it goes. Hopefully, it will turn into repeat business, but I don't know. I'm just worried about being prepared and doing a good job.
SI: Runner on first and second, two outs, game tied in bottom of ninth. Who do you want up and why?
Gywnn: Chase Utley in the National League. I want a guy who is not afraid to hit the ball anywhere in the yard, and I want a guy who is not afraid to hit with one or two strikes. In the American League, I'll give you a guy no one would think of: Chone Figgins. He had a good year and flew under the radar. He's a good guy swinging the bat with strikes on him. He makes the pitchers throw him strikes and is willing to hit the ball anywhere in the yard. In that situation, I want someone who will hit a line drive..
SI: Is it odd seeing a 10-foot statue of yourself every time you go to Petco?
Gwynn: Yeah. It's nice that the Padres wanted to do that. They put a slogan on the back that my Dad used to tell me: Work hard and good things will happen. Every time I see it I get emotional. But what's really nice is I see Little League coaches out there with their teams pointing at that statue. It's good to know that people in this town felt like you did some things right.