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Orsillo reflects on first season with Padres

MLB.com @AJCassavell

SAN DIEGO -- Padres broadcaster Don Orsillo spent 20 years calling games for the Red Sox organization -- five with Triple-A Pawtucket, 15 with the big league club -- before coming to San Diego this past offseason.

In advance of the Padres' series against Boston this week, MLB.com caught up with Orsillo to discuss his first season in his new home and his memories with his former club.

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SAN DIEGO -- Padres broadcaster Don Orsillo spent 20 years calling games for the Red Sox organization -- five with Triple-A Pawtucket, 15 with the big league club -- before coming to San Diego this past offseason.

In advance of the Padres' series against Boston this week, MLB.com caught up with Orsillo to discuss his first season in his new home and his memories with his former club.

View Full Game Coverage

MLB.com: What has your first year in San Diego been like?

It has been great, I've really enjoyed it. I didn't really know what to expect, having been on the East Coast for so long. But coming here, I absolutely love where I live, I love the people I work with. The group of announcers has been incredibly welcoming, and the front office has been tremendous. I've enjoyed it a great deal, being in the Padres organization and to get to know these guys.

MLB.com: What's been the biggest challenge for you?

Switching leagues. You have Interleague, but you still don't have the chance to see these teams as much as you'd like. There are players that I didn't realize how good they are -- like a Nolan Arenado or a Paul Goldschmidt. They weren't really on my radar before. Now they are. There are some really good players in the National League.

I'm also getting used to working at new ballparks on a regular basis. I've only worked at Dodger Stadium like three previous times. Now I've done three series there this year. I love going to San Francisco. And obviously I love coming to this home ballpark every day.

MLB.com: You've been doing a few more games on radio, how have you enjoyed that?

Yeah, that was a little different this year. I think I'll end up doing about 50 total. It'll be the first time since Triple-A [Pawtucket in 2000]. So it's been a while.

But I really felt like during Spring Training -- I did so many games during the spring -- that I really found my radio call again. I had done it for so long in the Minor Leagues, and it came back to me. I've enjoyed it. TV is definitely something I enjoy much more, but I enjoy radio, it's definitely different, and I really enjoy working with Jesse [Agler] and Ted [Leitner].

MLB.com: I see you've already ran into some old friends. What's it been like with the Red Sox in town, and how do you envision this series playing out in your mind?

It's weird. I was with that organization for 20 years -- five years at Triple-A and 15 years in the Majors. I went through a lot there, saw three world championships, and I enjoyed it. But I've enjoyed this new chapter so much.

I have a lot of friends over there, and I wish them well. But I feel very at home here. I feel like this is where I am now -- so it's not that weird. It's almost like just another team.

I've already seen a lot of those guys, seven or eight of them were here for the All-Star Game -- a lot of the guys that I had been around for years. So it's already done.

MLB.com: What are some of your favorite David Ortiz memories, and what will you remember most about him?

So much. He's one of the greatest ambassadors the game has, one of the great faces of the game. He's so important to the city of Boston, but as important to his home country of the Dominican Republic.

On the field, my greatest memories of him are the three world championships -- and the 500th home run, personally for me was the biggest. But in an off-the-field type thing, he spoke to Boston after the Boston bombings. Yes, he dropped an F-bomb in that speech, but he really made an incredible speech on behalf of the city of Boston.

He's someone who has become very close to me over the years and someone that I absolutely adore.

MLB.com: What's your favorite part about your new city?

I love the weather, I love the beach -- I spend a lot of my time at the beach -- and I love [Petco Park]. This park, USA Today billed it as the best, and I couldn't agree more. This is as good as it gets.

AJ Cassavell covers the Padres for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter @ajcassavell.

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