Sunday, December 23, 2007
Yesterday, I had the opportunity to talk with MLB.com talk show host Peter McCarthy. McCarthy has his own show, Under the Lights, which is everyday from 4:00 p.m.-6:00 p.m. CT on MLB.com. It is very interactive, so you will get all your questions answered. McCarthy was also one of the people I met from MLB.com while I was at the Winter Meetings in Nashville. I want to thank him again for doing this interview for me.
ELI: When do you get involved in broadcast journalism?
PETER: In high school. I worked for WLAK doing promotions. Once I got into college was when I got on air. I called over 100 games at Hofstra. And then during my junior year, I got a job at MLB.com where I am today.
ELI: How did you learn to call games while at Hofstra?
PETER: I learned from this man named Ed Ingles, he worked over at WCBS. He definitely had an effect on me and how I call games. I learned how to do play-by-play, sports updates- I gained a lot more experience working with him.
ELI: Would you say that gaining experience is the biggest thing in broadcasting?
PETER: Oh yeah, definitely. For my seventeenth birthday, my parents got me a recorder so I could record games and then replay them with my commentary.
ELI: So when did you get started at MLB.com?
PETER: I started in 2005 with something called MOBI, it was updates for your phone. The following season I got to do fast casts and got started with my show "Under the Lights," which is still going today.
ELI: Can you tell me a little bit about your show?
PETER: Yeah. It is a two-hour show where I talk about whatever is a hot topic in baseball. We have interviews, and we take phone calls. We try to make it very interactive. There is a chat room, IM, we take a lot of phone calls.
ELI: Now do you set up interviews?
PETER: Our produced sets up interviews with players and beat writers for certain teams in the news.
ELI: Who would you say was your best interview?
PETER: Probably Barry Zito. It was right after he signed that big contract with the Giants. But I have talked with some great players like Harmon Killebrew, Robin Roberts, Tony Pena too which was great.
ELI: I notice you have a computer at hand during your show. What would you say is usually on there.
PETER: I have the IM up talking to fans. If I need to look something up, like stats, I can do it quickly. Otherwise, I usually just keep refreshing MLB.com waiting for updates to give to you.
ELI: Your show is two hours long. How much time would you say you prep for that.
PETER: Probably about two hours. I'm trying to read up on everything, really get to know what I am talking about, and form opinions.
ELI: What would you say is the best game you have covered?
PETER: I wasn't covering this game, but I was at Fenway Park to see Clay Buchholz's no hitter. That was just incredible. Pedroia had that great play in the seventh, and I had never seen a no hitter before, so it was great.
ELI: Did you have a favorite team growing up?
PETER: The Mets.
ELI: How about a favorite player?
PETER: Probably David Cone. I was devastated when he was traded for Jeff Kent and Ryan Thompson. I really liked Jason Isringhausen, but when he was traded I didn't follow him as much.
ELI: Besides Buchholz's no hitter, what is the best game you have ever been to?
PETER: I would say a Mets, Braves game I went to. The Mets were getting killed, it was freezing, and I was still standing in the upper deck clapping. It was fireworks night, and the Mets were down 8-1, but you always stayed to the end to see the fireworks. In the bottom of the eighth, the Mets had fought back to 8-8 tie, and then Mike Piazza hit a lazer that I didn't even see for a homerun. The outfielder didn't even react before the crowd went wild.
ELI: Which teams would you say are the biggest winners this offseason?
PETER: For the NL, probably Cincinnati. They had a weak bullpen and they went out and signed Cordero. They desperately needed pitching and traded Josh Hamilton, to make room for Jay Bruce, while acquiring a very good pitcher in Edinson Volquez. In the AL, it has to be the Tigers. They made an unbelievable big trade, they acquired Edgar Renteria, Jacque Jones, which has put them in a position to make it to the playoffs next year.
ELI: Do you think the Nationals will have any trouble adjusting to their new stadium?
PETER: No. I think that they will benefit from a new stadium. It will give them new energy, being in a stadium that looks like a baseball stadium. I have never been to RFK, but it just seemed like a dry environment. You know, they get a beautiful, new stadium and they will be energized. I think it will help.
ELI: Which two teams do you think other teams should look out for next season?
PETER: In the NL, I'm going with the Reds. They improved their pitching, they have good players, and are in an average division. In the AL, I am going with Toronto. They have some good, young pitchers on the rise in McGowan, Litsch, and Marcum. And their bullpen is very good. They have Accardo, Wolfe, I think they will be pretty good.
ELI: Alright, now which two rookies will be the biggest surprise next season?
PETER: In the NL, Joey Votto of the Reds. I think people are already expecting a lot from Jay Bruce, but not from Votto. In the AL, I am going to say Daric Barton, whose on the Athletics.