Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Enberg and Padres

Dick Enberg rejoins 4SD tonight after broadcasting from Wimbledon one last time. By next year his repertoire of sports will have been pared to one -- Padres play-by-play on telecasts -- and that suits Enberg, 76. "I'll do the U.S.Open and that'll be it, so that next year I can concentrate full time on the Padres, and that's really what I want to do," Enberg told West Coast Bias before heading to England.

Enberg praised ESPN and the Padres for allowing him to work this final Wimbledon. Upshot: ESPN has a soul.

"There's the reputation that the networks have earned that it's big business and maybe less and less personal than when way back when I started, but a nice thing happened on the way to not going to Wimbledon," he said. "At the (U.S.) Open last year, I was talking to some of the folks with ESPN. My contract with ESPN concluded with the Australian Open this year, and I was just saying we'll see you at the Australian Open, and I said, 'I've been thinking about Wimbledon. It'd be nice to back one last time just to have some kind of closure.' And I said, 'Romantically, it's been since '79 that I've been going to Wimbledon, and as an event it's right there at the top of my list of all the things I've done.' 

"It was just kind of a casual conversation. Then a couple of months later I got a call and they said, 'You know, we've been thinking about it, and it would be a good idea for you to be able to have a goodbye Wimbledon.' "

Enberg said he "kind of hinted" to the Padres that his final Wimbledon would be in 2010. "The Padres were generous in saying that this is the right thing to do, for you to go back," he said. "The support all around has really been heartwarming. And if didn't work out, it's not as if I would have been sitting around moping that I'm doing baseball. It would've been OK. In fact, last year doing Wimbledon, I'm staying up late at night with my IPad listening to the games saying, "They're still in first place, I should be with the Padres.' "

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