"Adrenaline is my life and death." The Dodgers' minor team Rancho Cucamonga Quakes is voiced by broadcaster Mike Lindskog.
Welcome to My L.A. Workday, a series that gives you a glimpse into the daily lives of some of themost fascinating people in the city. To ensure clarity and duration, interviews are edited.
The Rancho Cucamonga Quakes are the bottom team in the Los Angeles Dodgers' four-tier minor league baseball farm system. For 14 years, Mike Lindskog has served as both the team's public relations manager and "the Voice of the Quakes," announcing games on iHeart Radio and the TuneIn app.
Have you ever wondered what a baseball announcer does? Without the small army that makes a Major League Baseball broadcast possible, Lindskog, 49, says "everything," but that does not include the small army. Lindskog predicts that he will make the same amount in a season as major league broadcasters do in a few games.
I simply adore the game, Lindskog declared. "Adrenaline is my lifeblood, so getting up for these games is so very easy for me."
Recently, Dodgers veterans Will Smith and Gavin Lux both donned Quakes outfits, while pitching legend Clayton Kershaw has visited LoanMart Field on more than one occasion as part of his rehabilitation.
Lindskog writes and edits the program for fans on game day with the assistance of one helper. He prepares an information sheet for coaches that appears to have been written by a Wall Street expert. In a broadcast booth so close to the audience that fans call even in between innings, he serves as his own audio engineer.
7 a.m.: Crushing data and breakfast
I'm downstairs making my son's breakfast while at the computer crunching numbers and creating the daily stat packs for the coaches. I'm writing about the current game, how we play against the opposition, what happened in the previous game, which team members are performing well, and the starting pitchers for both teams today. You have all the information you require—stats, standings, etc.—and I send it on so that when team officials get out of bed, it's already waiting for them in their inbox.
8 a.m.: Getting ready for a special week
At eight in the morning, I drop my child off at school before returning home to get ready for the day. This week is noteworthy. It's the postseason. The 132 games we play in a season are challenging to get out of bed for. However, we were defeated in Game 1 of these playoffs, which are best of three. The Inland Empire 66ers baseball team is our opponent. It's a natural rivalry because it's a part of the Angels organization.
10 a.m.: You can’t tell the player without a program
There is some labor involved in organizing the team game day program because I am also in charge of it. That is a printed edition that takes some time and work to complete. Each and every home stand now has a fresh feature. Fans can read some biographical information about the players when they attend the game. The majority of the writing is really done by my assistant, but it's my job to put it all together, edit it, and physically send it to the printer. Therefore, all of that takes time.
1 p.m.: Getting to the ballpark
I check in with both coaches to make sure they are all set for any statistics matters and to see if they have any queries about the other squad, roster changes, or anything else of that sort. I'll go chat to the professional scout that is watching the game tonight. With the St. Louis Cardinals, he is Jeff Ishii. I first met him while I was a short-term employee of the Cardinals.
3 p.m.: Swinging by batting practice
Inevitably, I'll pass our batting practice. On a good day, if I have time, I might stop by the cage for a moment to check in with the team and perhaps offer someone on the Quakes a fist bump and a pat on the back for a job well done the night before. The players while we were in "High A" were all grown men. Now that they are 17, 18, and 19, we are in the "Low A" group. I felt more at ease conversing with the older men. Given that we are 30 years apart in age, it is more difficult for me to relate on this level. They also don't have to be concerned about the radio guy sticking around.
4 p.m.: Getting the scorecard ready
I'm completing my game scorecard right now. For a court reporter, the scorecard is similar to the minutes. I have my own abbreviation for this. You're curious about what transpired two innings ago. People who play baseball speak this language. When a batter grounds out 4-3, it signifies that the ball was hit to the second baseman, who then threw it to first base. enables me to immediately think back when the same batter comes up later in the game.
5 p.m.: Getting into game mode
I'm logging off and preparing to leave. We go live at 6:15, and then it's really just a matter of flipping a switch to start the game. I have a lot of energy and speak and think quickly. This game involves elimination. It seems very abrupt to me. Either the season is set to end abruptly, or we succeed and return to play tomorrow. So I'm saying, "See you tomorrow" in a meaningful way to everyone because of course we're going to win.
5:50 p.m.: Keeping the fans happy
There is a fan at the broadcast booth glass informing me that he is no longer receiving team emails 25 minutes before I go on the air. Why doesn't he have an email address? I advise him to submit me his email address so I can make sure the database has him. But he is angry. Because he has season tickets, he must repeat the entire process. He's going to feel better thanks to me.
6:10 p.m.: Sound check before airtime
As Lindskog prepares, the level of his voice doubles inside the neat broadcast booth. He leaves the window partially open to hear the game and experience the stadium directly. In a lonely corner of the booth, a Keurig coffee maker is unattended. Lindskog appears to have no need for caffeine.
Five minutes remain till the broadcast. I'm checking the quality of my sound. I use a common mixer. (4) It has four channels. For my microphone, dial #4. The crowd microphone comes in first place for ambient noise, ambiance, and other things. The spare microphone is number 2. 3. If I have a visitor in the booth. I'm a person who is active. I mean, it's clear that I'm not merely pacing around while saying, "The one-one pitch, that's outside, it's two and one." That's definitely not my speed, though it might not be for everyone.
8:46 p.m.: Down to the wire
Lindskog is no longer able to remain seated. He's standing up and occasionally bouncing. He has a red neck. There are no veins.
With two outs in the top of the ninth inning, the Quakes are clinging to a one-run lead (4-3) with two outs. The first baseman is the tying run. The hitter standing at the plate is the winning run. All the way to the backstop, the pitch is crazy. Running back advances to second. The Inland Empire only needs a hit right now. Another errant pitch that was so high and broad that it failed to register on the speedometer. Now at third place is the tying run. The bases are loaded after two more walks.
8:49 p.m.: Calling the final pitch
Lindskog is feeling the drama, thriving on it. Three balls are thrown in a row by the Quakes pitcher. A strike and a foul ball are the next two pitches that are called.
I guess this is it. At this time in LoanMart Field, nobody is seated. Three balls and two strikes make up the whole count. Quakes win 4-3. Trying to get to Game 3 on Friday night. a pitch. 3-2 coming up. Fastball. Batter was seen looking. The strike is in. Friday! Friday! Friday evening! Close the door. I will be here! You'll be present!
By a hair's breadth, the Quakes manage to hold on, 4-3! There is a one-all tie in the series! They struggled mightily until they succeeded in holding on. Game 3 on Friday night! We'll be there, and I sincerely hope you'll join us.
The Quakes defeated the Inland Empire 66ers the following day, Sept. 15, and went on to the Cal League Championship Series, where they were defeated by the Modesto Nuts in two games.