Steve Granado is a "boy of summer." Yes, the 23-year-old is a young professional, but he has had his eye on fields of dreams since childhood. This summer, Granado is beginning to live those dreams—not on the baseball diamond, but in the broadcast booth as the voice of the Boise Hawks.
This year marks the first of Granado's professional broadcast career. He's had plenty of offers to work for other sports franchises, but said his goal has always been to get behind the microphone.
In the middle of a 19-day stretch of baseball—13 home games, six on the road and no days off—Granado took a break from the bustle to talk about the Hawks, his broadcast idol and being his own toughest critic.
You work for the Hawks but, as a broadcast journalist, you have a responsibility to the public. Can you speak to the delicate balance between your employer and your ethical compass?
My No. 1 priority at all times is to explain what's happening. That's not always going to make people happy. Look, I'm not going to trash someone; that's not my goal. But if someone makes a mistake, it has to be said.
Have you experienced pushback before?
Not in baseball, but I was calling a hockey game once and said that one of the players was acting like a jerk. I heard from his mom.
I'm presuming that was a defining moment.
I realized I had to tell it like it is. Athletes put their hearts and souls into their performances. I'm doing them an injustice if I'm babying them.
How can you tell if you've done a good broadcast?
I have a pretty high standard that I rarely live up to.
If you don't cut yourself some slack, impossible goals might eat you alive.
Every night I want to be better than the night before.
What's a common mistake in baseball broadcasts?
Mispronunciation. That's huge. You've got to come prepared.
Do you prefer broadcasting a pitchers' duel where no one has scored, or a slugfest where everybody is knocking it out of the park?
I love a mano a mano pitchers' duel but, when there's a slugfest, man oh man—it's a chore just keeping up with the scoring.
Drop some names for us from the Hawks' roster of players who we might see in the major leagues some day.
Jacob Bosiokovic [first base], Willie Abreu [outfielder] and Garrett Hampson [short stop]. All three of those guys are great and this is their first year here.
It's pretty incredible that, in a heartbeat, one of those guys could go from the meager living of a minor league baseball player to jaw-dropping salaries in the majors.
Their lives change in a second. But I must tell you, there's a lot of talent in this league [Class A-Short Season Northwest League].
I know that you, the players and coaches spend a lot of time on the bus, traveling to road games. When I was your age, I used to spend a lot of time on a bus, covering politics, and it...
Tell me about getting on that bus after a loss.
It really sucks. Dead silent.
Unfortunately, the Hawks have had more than a few losses so far this season. What's missing?
Right now, it's pitching. But our starting pitchers are pretty young.
Can you see a path where the Hawks turn this season around and make a run for the playoffs?
The second half of the season is a complete toss-up. We're really only a couple of games out of second or third place.
I'm presuming that you love all of this.
You have to love it, win or lose. I love baseball. But winning is better.