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Dick Enberg accepts "compliments" from critics

Scott Cunningham

Jay Posner asked Dick Enberg about the criticism that he's been receiving on the web.  The criticism being that he gets too excited when calling plays for the opponents of the Padres.

"Hmmm," Enberg said, "I find that a real compliment."

"I’m complimented that somebody feels that way," he said. "If you got 100 of those to one the other way, then I’m doing something wrong. But you have to balance it."

Isn't it a little bit disrespectful to accept someone's criticism as a compliment? The criticism obviously wasn't meant to be taken as a compliment.  To me, that sounds like you aren't taking their criticism seriously.  It comes off as condescending when you're telling a customer that you take pride in doing the exact opposite of what they want. Critics of his have not been respectful either with the number of unfunny dick jokes made at his expense on the web.

Personally I don't have a problem with Enberg.  I like the broadcast as a whole.  I think he and Mark Grant are pretty good together. 

To start the season Enberg was definitely rusty.  He barely paused long enough to let Grant chime in, he mispronounced player names and in some cases made the wrong call entirely.  I think you have to accept those things since he hasn't broadcast a baseball game in a few decades and he can't have the best eye sight at his age.  If you want the Grandfatherly charm and wisdom, you have to accept the times when ol' Granddad passes gas too.

I do think Enberg goes to the well a few times too many with the "Oh my!" and the antiquated "Touch 'Em All".  The old standbys and repetitive delivery don't express the same genuine emotion that might come from a fresh call for each great play.  Maybe that's why I'm not really bothered when he says "Touch 'Em All" for opposing teams.  I don't feel any connection to it as a Padres fan.  Not like Jerry Coleman's "Oh Doctor!"

The offensive moments to home team fans really only make up a small portion of the entire broadcast that's why I'm not too worried about it.

I'm not sure why Enberg is so concerned with the other teams fans.  They are the worst. If he wants to placate that small audience than good luck, because they are all watching the away feed on MLB On Demand anyway.

"They sell tickets, too," Enberg said, noting the presence of fans of many teams in San Diego. "A lot of people migrated to this beautiful part of the world. So if you ignore them you’re alienating a percentage of your audience. I’m also not trying to alienate the majority because I want San Diego fans to be happy.

RJ's Fro let's us know that Enberg is making $1.4m a year for the next three years which makes his salary larger than 72% of the opening day roster.  That is a big investment for a broadcaster but I imagine that's what it would take to get a nationally recognized broadcaster of his caliber. For me the money doesn't matter, it's not my money, I'm a fan.  It's the same reason that I didn't care that our opening day roster salary was under $40 million.  Just produce a good product that I'll enjoy and you can spend as much or as little as you want.  We don't go to movies and say Paranormal Activity should have had a Transformers 2 budget, why do we care for baseball teams?

With all that said, Enberg isn't going to change his broadcasting style anytime soon.  We have to accept the good with the bad and just keep complimenting him when he roots for the Dodgers.