Giants broadcaster Dave Flemming often goes "on assignment," as they joke on the air, calling national baseball broadcasts for ESPN. He said it's a second job that comes with some irony, as his ESPN bosses often have him call Dodgers games since he's the only one of their main play-by-play guys who lives on the West Coast. Sometimes that can get tricky for someone who spends most of the season with a rival.
"I get the Dodgers for my ESPN stuff more than any other team," Flemming said on this week's Giants Talk Podcast. "I had them just the other day in spring training and we had this parade of Dodgers interviews and we're talking to Dave Roberts and I think Dave's talking to me like, 'Yeah, sure I'm going to tell you something. Uh-huh. Yeah, right.'"
In a pre-pandemic world, the manager would meet just about every day with the local broadcast team, and when a national team is in town they get the same courtesy. The managers are usually pretty forthcoming with national teams which often include a former player. For example, the ESPN Sunday Night team that would visit Bruce Bochy included Alex Rodriguez.
You can see why Roberts might be hesitant to speak too openly if Flemming is on the call and visiting, just as Gabe Kapler probably would if Dodgers' TV play-by-play man Joe Davis is in town and in his office with Fox Sports. Even if some information is withheld, Flemming said the second gig is helpful as he does radio calls for the Giants.
"I get to see teams and get access to those teams in a much different way than I do when the Giants face them, so it does give me a good perspective," he said. "It's good for me to talk to those managers. Let's say we go play the Cubs in the old days with Joe Maddon (and I'm there) with the Giants -- well Joe wasn't having me in his office before the game to have a chat.
"But when I go in with ESPN he does. He'll tell me all about the team and I can ask him about the other teams in the division, what do you think about them, what are their weaknesses. So you get a lot of good info."