But the start of Opening Day 2012 will truly be the end of an era for a Padre great. No, we are not talking about Tony Gwynn great, but John Weisbarth great.
Weisbarth never grabbed a bat or stood on the pitcher’s mound. He never had an influence on whether the Padres won or lost, but the always goofy Weisbarth was an integral part of the Padres broadcasting team on 4SD. It was up to him and his peers to provide the television entertainment 30 minutes before the start of a home game. He would also set-up fellow co-host and Bob Scanlan for his “Hey Scan” segment.
Due to the still-pending Fox Sports San Diego to televise the Padres over the next 20 years, Opening Day 2012 will mark the first time in 10 years that Weisbarth will not be the Padres television pregame host.
“It was awesome. It was the best 10 years ever. I absolutely loved it and there are memories that I will never forget, and I’m going to miss it for sure,” Weisbarth said, remembering his time with 4SD.
“But the way this business works is when a new station comes in and a new general manager, a new executive producer, they bring in their people. That’s how the game works. A lot like when a manager gets fired, usually the coaches who are on his staff go also and the new manager brings in his guys. That’s just how it works.”
Weisbarth said he has no ill feelings towards Fox Sports San Diego or the Padres. He understands sports broadcasting is a business and said the Padres would have been crazy to pass up a television deal ranging from $800 million to $1 billion. He even watched the first televised spring training game on the official-unofficial Fox Sports San Diego, which Weisbarth gave a good review.
Now that Weisbarth is no longer the Padres pregame host, he is using this opportunity to expand his career. He recently shot a pilot for a History channel show that is currently under review by a focus group. In the proposed show, he hosts a competitive realty show about taking things apart and putting them back together. He has also done some freelance television work for The Mountain West Sports Network, which broadcast San Diego State University athletics.
Weisbarth, who is a San Diego native, said that although he is no longer covering the Padres he will always root for his hometown team.
“I was a Padres fan before I started working with the team. I’ll be a Padres fan afterward,” he said.
He predicts the Padres will finish outside the top three in the National League West, but admits anything can happen. He said he would like to see Will Venable finally have a break-out year.
Weisbarth said during his time at 4SD the greatest thing he learned from a broadcast standpoint, was to keep his energy level up, which was something he picked up from watching Matt Vasgersian, a current MLB Network host and former Padres play-by-play announcer. Weisbarth said Vasgersian never got flat no matter what happened. And in this moment, Weisbarth is not flat. He is as calm as can be.