[editor's note, by Dex] John Weisbarth is an Emmy winning reporter for Channel 4 Padres. He was kind enough to answer a few questions for Gaslamp Ball. Thanks, John! Good interview, jbox! High fives all around!
jbox: If my math is correct you are a "Padres Fan Since '76", Coronado Class of '94? Do you have any favorite Padres memories from your youth? My first and favorite Padres memory is puking on Beach Towel night after drinking a hot choclate in the 4th grade.
John Weisbarth: My favorite Padres memory has to be attending game 5 of the NLCS in 1984 with my Dad. I remember the night before, watching Garvey hit that homerun, I was so excited. After I had gone to bed my Dad came back into the room and told me we were going to the game the next day. I didn't sleep a wink...it was awesome!
jbox: Do you think the Padres will lock up Hernandez or will they try to go younger with Kotarras?
JW: In my opinion the Padres will lock up Hernandez for awhile. I think they like George Kotarras but Hernandez gives them something they haven't had for a long time...a catcher that is great with the staff AND can put up strong offensive numbers. The best part about Ramon is that he traditionally finishes stronger then he starts, amazing considering the wear-and-tear a major league catcher endures during the course of a season.
jbox: What's it like working with Argy? I have a small school boy crush on her, along with everybody else I know. Do you ever look over and be like "Damn, girl"?
JW: Argy is a beautiful young women...I mean that in every sense of the word. She is obviously very attractive, but as beautiful as she is on the outside, she's even more beautiful inside. I know that sounds cheesy as hell, but it really is true with her.
As far as my relationship with her is concerned, we are more like brother and sister then anything else - there isn't anything I wouldn't do for her, but boy does she frustrate me at times. I'm sure she would say the same thing.
jbox: Do you have Channel 4 groupies? I saw some girls at Petco that had T-Shirts on that said "I love Vasgersian" and there was a picture of him on there.
JW: Yes. Unfortunately they're all guys. The next cute young lady that stops me at a bar and says, "Hey aren't you that guy from Channel 4?" will be the first.
jbox: Do you ever feel like slipping Troy Johnson a sedative just to calm him down a little bit?
JW: I love Troy and I think what he does on "Outta Left Field" is really hard... it's not easy to host a live, one hour show by yourself. He definitely is excitable, but so am...that's why we get along so well.
jbox: Okay you gotta tell us about Treasure. "It was YOU that night with the pickaxe!" We just ordered the movie online for $1.19, so we'll give you a chance to explain before we post a review.
JW: See what I mean about "Channel 4 groupies".
As far as the Treasure goes, here's your review. A low budget take-off of the Goonies filmed entirely on location in San Diego. It was an awesome experience...but a bad movie. You'll definitely get a laugh out of it but I would be surprised if you can get all the way through it.
Here's some trivia though, the "Chili-Dog vendor" is my Dad.
jbox: Could you tell us your favorite story about a Padre since you began covering them in 2000?
JW: I did a story in 2002 about why players wear the numbers they do. It was pretty interesting and definitely a lot of fun to put together. We are actually going to run that piece again, along with a bunch of our other favorites, as part of Channel 4's build up to our 1,000th televised game.
jbox: Is Khalil Greene the hardest Padre to interview? He seems to show zero emotion in games and interviews. Is he a Vulcan? I'm not saying he is, I'm just saying it wouldn't suprise me.
JW: I think Khalil is without question the hardest Padre to interview...he is such an enigma. On the one hand he is probably the most interesting guy on the team, but he really is not comfortable with showing that to the public. He genuinely doesn't understand what the big deal is, he just wants to play baseball and keep his private life private. The guys on the team love him though.
jbox: Who would you say is the MVP of the Channel 4 team and why? There seems to be a love/hate relationship with Vasgersian and Padres fans. But everybody loves you, especially the ladies, what's your secret?
JW: This is two questions in one, so I'll answer them separately.
First the MVP question. In my mind it's the Executive Producer of Prime Time Padres (PTP), a guy named Jason Bott. He really is responsible for taking PTP from a bad minor league pre-game show to what it is today. Like the show or not, it is much better now then it was just two years ago and that's thanks in large part to Jason Bott.
As far as everybody loving me, YOU should know better then that Jbox. I learned awhile ago that when you put yourself out there sometimes people aren't going to like what they see. There's really not much you can do about so I just try to be real. If you don't like me on TV then you probably won't like me in real life...I'm pretty much the same guy.
jbox: From the outside looking in, it seems like Phil Nevin is a real angry guy, with a short temper. Can you tell us a little bit about the Phil that we don't see?
JW: A term you hear a lot with Phil is that he is a "lightening rod" for controversy. He can definitely rub you the wrong way sometimes but I like him because he is a competitor. Most of the tantrums you see him throw are because he's frustrated with how he, or the team is playing. He cares a lot, and I will say this, he has never refused an interview request. Whether things are going well or poorly, he'll answer your questions and he'll do it honestly.
He was also the first Padre to remember my name.
jbox: And Finally, Weisbarth is to channel 4 as _____ is to the Padres (fill in the blank)
JW: What is this, the SAT's? I guess I would have to fill in the blank with Dave Roberts.
We're both local guys, he's a "table setter" for the Padres just like I'm a "table setter" for the game telecast and we were both born in Japan. Okay, I was actually born in Florida, but close enough.