For seven years, Matt Vasgersian charmed hearts and gave San Diegans plenty of laughs as a play-by-play voice of the Padres. After the 2008 season, he took his talents to MLB Network to be a studio host for MLB Tonight and seemingly every other program on the network.
Now Matty V can add yet another show to his resume as he joins Lauren Shehadi and Mark DeRosa in MLBN's new "Studio 21" to host the new morning show, MLB Central. You can catch it weekdays during baseball season at 7:00 am PT.
Gaslamp Ball recently got the chance to have a Q&A with Matty V and talk about the new show, this upcoming Padres season, and how much he misses GLB (not really). As expected, his answers did not disappoint. Enjoy!
GLB: MLB Central premieres on the morning of Opening Day and, for many, it will be the first baseball thing they watch that day. Those are some pretty high expectations. How will you live up to them? How will you prepare viewers for the return of baseball?
MV: We have a really cool new studio to show off starting on Opening Day. One of us will take viewers through a tour of some of the new toys on Monday or Tuesday. The beauty of MLB Central is that we have a 3-hour window to not only review the previous night, but to get out in front of the big matchups of the day. I honestly can't wait to get this thing started. Mark DeRosa is a fantastic analyst with a great sense of humor and plenty of respect in the clubhouse and Lauren Shehadi is going to be a huge star.
GLB: How do you and the rest of the MLB Central crew plan on using social media to interact with fans during the show? Will you be taking live questions? Scrolling tweets? Can you give Gaslamp Ball a shoutout, just like old times on Channel 4?
MV: We will have a daily segment called "Hashtagging Up" (clever eh? .. Just a taste of some of the clever word-play you'll be dazzled by all year) that will give us a chance to check Twitter and answer the ones that are either vanilla enough to not get hurt by or abstract and funny enough for one of us to say something regrettable in response. And I'll absolutely give Gaslamp Ball a plug now and then. Look for it in an inappropriate spot like in the midst of an Astros – Twins game highlight, or as a random pop during an interview with a Hall of Famer or something.
GLB: The Padres look like an entirely new organization from top to bottom this year. There are so many players to be excited about going into the regular season, but which ones are you least excited to watch?
MV: Hahaha, I'm too bullish on this year’s Pads to bite on that one.
GLB: Which Padres season was the most brutal to call? Most exciting?
MV: 2002 and 2003 were near 100 loss clunkers and pretty brutal to take past June. Petco Park had run into political delays and the team was still at Qualcomm as kind of a dead man walking. The front offices weren't even at the ballpark, but maybe that was a good thing as getting too close a look may have made someone sick. I'd say '03 was slightly worse because Trevor was out all year.
2004 was fun because it was the first year at Petco, but 2006 was a blast. Having veterans like Mike Piazza, Boomer Wells and Woody Williams made the team feel legit. In fact had it not been for some bad breaks against the Cardinals in the NLDS (notably the daytime start times that one series gets stuck with every year), I really believe that Pads team could have played deeper into the fall. Chris Young had an amazing year, Mike Cameron was amazing to watch, that team was a lot of fun.
GLB: You and Will Ferrell are roughly the same age. You also both went to USC and he studied Sports Broadcasting. Did you have any classes with him? Know him?
MV: I'd wish I had a great story about how Will Ferrell perfected some of his SNL characters while we were hanging out and killing chili fries at Manny's El Loco after class, but .. actually Will Ferrell perfected some of his SNL characters while we were hanging out and killing chili fries at Manny's El Loco after class. Let's go with that.
GLB: How did it feel to be back in the booth with Mudcat earlier this Spring? Just like home?
MV: It was awesome being back with Mudcat. He's the same short attention-span, flatulent Padres fan he was when we worked together, and for that viewers should all be happy. He's so much better at the daily grind than most. Fox Sports San Diego is lucky to have him.
GLB: What do you miss most about broadcasting that you can't get from being a host/analyst?
MV: I really miss being around the culture of the game. I've enjoyed the studio, but you really don't have a feel for the product the same way as you do when you are calling games. Come to think of it, the fact that I referred to it as a "product" means I'm losing my grip. Maybe it's time to get back to the ballpark for a while.
GLB: Do you get any royalties from that bottle opener that says "Santa Maria!" every time you pop a bottle?
MV: No, in fact I'm pretty sure those turds owe me money.
GLB: Remember that girl who proposed to you with a sign? Did you ever marry her?
MV: We wed in Cabo that fall in a small dove-release ceremony and it was marital nirvana for about a month. I then discovered she was running a Ponzi scheme out of a trailer Fallbrook that was bilking retirees out of their 401k money. I cooperated in a sting operation that nabbed her outside a Scott and BR tailgate after a Chargers game, and just last year testified in the Federal case against her. She's doing 15-20 on Rikers which is actually ok, because it's not too far from MLB Network, so I can check in on her every once in a while. Apparently she's hit the weights pretty hard and tattooed a picture of Coach John Kentera on her back. Hey, did I mention that Will Ferrell perfected some of his SNL characters while we were hanging out and killing chili fries at Manny's El Loco after class?
Now I feel bad about owning one of those bottle openers. Sorry, Matty V!
Make sure to catch the premiere of MLB Central on Opening Day tomorrow, April 6th, and every weekday after that to watch out for that Gaslamp Ball shoutout!