MM: Nice, definitely some common ground there. Petco is probably my favorite road stadium so far, love that green space around the Tony Gwynn statue. And no arguments on the PNC view either, it’s basically like stepping into a video game. Ballpark chasing and all the related fun is a passion of mine- 19 and counting after Safeco this April- so one more travel question.
Always have been curious just how much time you guys on the Miami Marlins broadcasting side get to check out the different cities on the road?
GG: First, because I’ve been to these cities so many times over 21 years in the majors, it’s not like I haven’t already seen or done virtually anything that’s of personal interest in most cities. Beyond that though, I think most people would be surprised how little downtime we have on the road.
The occasional off day in the right city can be a lot of fun. I love to see a show and get a great dinner in New York or wander aimlessly in Seattle, things like that. But without a day off, when you’re playing 6 games in 6 days on a typical trip, you’re getting back to the hotel around 11:30 or midnight after an average night game.
I usually have something to eat and work for a while, so I’m up pretty late. By the time I get a little sleep and get some more work done the next morning, I try to spend a little time at the gym most days and grab lunch before heading out to the park. There are certain cities and certain occasions where I may try to work ahead a little, sleep a little less, skip the gym and do something fun.
But that happens a lot less than many might think. The things we look forward to the most on the road are day games when you don’t have to travel after so we can get a great meal.
MM: Obviously you have a dream job to most fans. What’s the hardest part of it we’re not thinking of?
GG: The fact that I have a job that a lot of people think they’d like to have–and one that I dreamed about having as a kid–isn’t lost on me, so I try not to dwell on the drawbacks very much. The one thing I’d say though is I’ve got a wife and 3 children and am unavailable to them about 90 percent of the time between mid-February and October.
Because I’m traveling half the time and hardly in the house even when we’re at home, I miss a lot of family stuff. From games my kids have played, to dance recitals, school plays, parent-teacher conferences, trips to the emergency room, stuff like that. I’m just not able to be around.
So, to me, the biggest challenge is the personal challenge as a guy who really likes his wife and kids. That’s why I’ve made the decision not to do anything in the offseason. I know there are football and basketball games to call, but it’s really important to me to be all-in with my family in the offseason, to do my best to make up for lost time the rest of the year, especially with my kids at the ages they are now.
MM: And just the best part of it?
GG: The best part of it for me comes at 7:10 every night. I do this because I love baseball, so I enjoy the games. I enjoy the fact that no matter how many games you’ve seen, there’s a chance you may see something for the first time tonight, maybe something you’d never thought about.
Maybe even something historic. The prep work is the hard part. The hours are long day after day after day. But actually calling the game is easier than all the homework that goes into being ready. I remember Roger Clemens saying he worked so hard between starts that the day he pitched was actually his easy day. That’s how I feel about calling the games. That’s the fun part of the day for me.