The following is the first installment of a two-part interview with Miami Marlins radio broadcaster Glenn Geffner.
Happy weekend Miami Marlins fans! As part of our efforts to continue to bring you a unique look inside of Marlins baseball, I recently took the time to sit down with team radio broadcaster Glenn Geffner.
Alright, by sitting down I mean sat at my computer and wrote him an email. In fact, I might have been standing up. Had a sore back for awhile there. But I digress.
Glenn was kind enough to get back to me immediately, and was really anxious to provide answers as detailed as possible for the benefit of our readers. Questions range from the in the broadcast booth experience, to the on the field Marlins, and plenty of baseball in between. I hope some of the things I had to know you did as well, and that in your estimation we picked some winners.
And after it was over, as cool as I used to think teaching writing was, I have to say Mr. Geffner might have me beat here on the awesome job scale.
I’ll leave it to you to decide how your own profession measures up.
MM: Greetings and Salutations, Glenn. Thanks for taking the time to talk to us today. How are you, and where are you for that matter?
GG: I’m great, Sean. Thanks. As I answer this question, I’m on the Miami Marlins charter at about 35,000 feet, somewhere between Pittsburgh and Miami. I spend a lot of time in the air (almost as much as ON the air) between April and October, so I try to make good use of the time up here.
MM: First off, need to ask about what remains one of the season’s top highlights: on the weirdness scale, where did having to explain the actions of the Rally Cat rank for something you’ve had to do in the course of a broadcast?
GG: I know a lot of people got a good laugh out of the Rally Cat, but I’ll use the Rally Cat as an example of how different broadcasting a game on radio is than broadcasting a game on TV. When Rich and Holly do a game on TV, they have a producer, a director, a statistician, a stage manager, 12 people in the TV truck and 14 cameras covering every square inch of the ballpark.
When Dave and I do a game on the radio, we have our 4 eyes. And my eyes aren’t as good as they used to be! While TV is a visual medium, where you can be talking about anything you want during the game while fans see what’s happening on the field, radio is 100 percent reliant on Dave and me constantly describing what’s happening on the field during the game. If we don’t say it, it didn’t happen.
So while I mentioned the cat on the warning track between innings, climbing the wall and setting up shop on the Home Run Sculpture, we left it at that. The fan at home is watching whatever shot the director gives him or her. Dave and I have to be focused on the action on the field. And while we have monitors in our booth at home and on the road on which we can see the FS Florida telecast, I’ll speak for myself and say I rarely look at the monitor. I try to keep my eyes glued on the field.
The only time I turn to the monitor is to see an occasional replay of interest, the location of a border-line pitch, a close play on the bases, something like that. So, honestly, I had no idea how big a deal TV made of the Rally Cat until I saw some stuff on social media after the game. To us, the Rally Cat was merely one of 133 things we had to report on in the 6th inning of the game that night.