Don Orsillo discusses Vin Scully's passing

Anyone successful in their career field had some sort of mentor teaching them the ropes as they started out. For San Diego Padres play-by-play broadcaster Don Orsillo, that was the legendary Joe Castiglione.

Orsillo interned under Castiglione when he was in college, and sat under the learning tree of the legendary Boston Red Sox broadcaster.

Working play-by-play on a local broadcast differs from a national broadcast, which Orsillo has been able to master both. While on Audacy’s Baseball Isn’t Boring podcast, Orsillo revealed what Castiglione taught him about the local side of broadcasting.

“Joe Castiglione said something to me when I first started that really helped me out,” Orsillo said. “He said ‘Put a caption underneath the picture, don’t be captain obvious.’ And it was great advice, number one. Number two, he said ‘Local TV is about wearability.’ I didn’t really understand the term but you can’t annoy people because you’re going to annoy people whether you want to or not because you’re on all summer in their living rooms for six months every day for three and a half – sometimes four – hours.”

“So wearability is not annoying people but just discussion, conversation. Let them get to know you. Show some personality. Don’t miss anything,” Orsillo continued. “The game is a thing – eyes on the field at all times. We never missed anything in Boston and we’re not missing anything here. Any major event that’s going to take place we’re going to be all over it. But it’s two guys … sitting at a bar watching a game together. That’s baseball. It’s fun. That’s local baseball in my point of view and it’s always worked out.”

Orsillo has a point. A great local broadcaster should be like a family member to the viewer/listener. If you’re going to be on the air for 100+ games throughout the season, you have to bring something more than just describing what you’re seeing on the field if local fans are going to embrace you.

One reason why the Padres crew ranks very high among local MLB broadcast teams is Orsillo understands the need to have a discussion when working on Padres broadcasts.

Orsillo also revealed that, given he’s called both games many times, The Padres-Dodgers rivalry is turning into Red Sox-Yankees. The Padres and the Dodgers should be two of the best teams in Major League Baseball, and Orsillo views the rivalry as similar to the Boston-New York feud because “the games are all four hours and they’re intense.”

[Audacy/Baseball Isn’t Boring]

About Phillip Bupp

Producer/editor of the Awful Announcing Podcast and Short and to the Point. News editor for The Comeback and Awful Announcing. Highlight consultant for Major League Soccer as well as a freelance writer for hire. Opinions are my own but feel free to agree with them.

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