Randazzo had been a member of the New York Mets radio booth since 2015, calling games alongside Howie Rose. He's most known for calling Albert Pujols' 700th career home run for Apple TV+.
Randazzo still is scheduled to call games for Apple but is expected to call around 130 for the Angels with Patrick O'Neal and Matt Vasgergian picking up the rest. I had the honor of speaking with Wayne about the job and much more.
Can you tell us a little bit about your journey? What got you into broadcasting, how’d you get to where you are today?
It takes a while to get anywhere in this kind of industry. I'm from Chicago and started interning at WGN radio in 2005, that's what really kickstarted my whole career. For a long time, WGN was the Cubs radio flagship, it was just good to be a part of that. Working on the sports talk radio show they had at WGN guys like David Kaplan, moving onto the Cubs radio broadcast where I did things like cutting highlights and making sure they had what they needed for the postgame show and really just being a helping hand for all of that stuff. They were very encouraging about my on-air work at the time.
I was also doing some on-air work at my school, North Central College, a Division 3 School in the Chicago suburbs. Once school ended, I wanted to get into baseball as quickly as I could. I attended the Winter Meetings in 2007 looking for a baseball job and I got one at AA Mobile. My first year of professional baseball was 2008, I did a few years at Mobile, then moved back home and got a job at the local sports station in Chicago 670 The Score which was a big deal. I did sports updates and hosted some talk shows there. I got another minor league job in the Chicago area after that and then a few years later was fortunate enough to break in with the Mets.
I did pregame and postgame on the radio for them before getting the full-time play-by-play job there. It was a lot of work and I've been fortunate that it's worked out to this point.
What was appealing about the Angels job in particular?
Any TV job in Major League Baseball is an attractive job. There're only 30 of them available in the league and they're extremely difficult to get, so when the Angels tell you they want you to be the guy, that's a huge thing to hear. The way they pursued bringing me in, and my interest in such a high-profile job. It's the number two market in the country, and a great organization, they have Hall of Fame players including one of, if not the greatest talent in the history of the game in (Shohei) Ohtani. A team that's certainly thinking about playoffs this year.
Everyone says Mark Gubicza is the ultimate teammate and the greatest guy and someone that's amazing to work with. They just have the total package so from my standpoint I had tremendous interest and I'm just happy that it was mutual and that they had interest in me as well and made sure they told me so.
I have to ask. What was it like calling Albert Pujols' 700th home run?
It was thrilling. It was an all-time, historic moment. There're so few of those that happen in baseball and in your career. It might be the biggest moment I call, hopefully not, but it could be! It's one that's unforgettable. Going into that night at Dodger Stadium you sort of felt that Albert (Pujols) was going to put it to rest at some point during those games in LA, but I didn't know it was going to be that very first night. I didn't think it was going to be a situation where he was going to hit two in one game.
Going into the game we had a plan, we talked about it earlier in the day because he was only two away. At the very least you thought he'd hit one and have an at-bat or two for 700. It could've taken 30 at-bats to hit 700, it certainly took Aaron Judge a while to get from 61 to 62 so it easily could've been that situation.
Albert hits them both back-to-back and you just want to do the moment justice. You want to give it what it's worth, and you want to get out of the way, really. You want to let the moment speak for itself once you caption history. It was just very exciting, very thrilling, and I was very lucky to be sitting in Vin Scully's booth that night calling that historic moment.
Is that your favorite call on a broadcast? If not, is there one that sticks out?
I don't know if it was my favorite, but it's certainly the most historic. There're just a lot of good memories in the Mets radio booth. Watching them put together a 101-win season this past year was certainly something that will stay with me for a long time. I have such appreciation for the Mets fans and the organization. I've called a lot of good Mets moments having been on the air for a lot of good times for that team. Those will be some of my favorites too. Yoenis Cespedes hitting a huge home run in the first Citi Field home playoff game in 2015 sticks out. The place was loud that night, especially after the (Chase) Utley play, and when Yoenis hit the home run that was the icer of that game. That place lost its mind, and calling that home run was really exciting.
I know you called a game in Anaheim this past season against the Mets for Apple and presumably called the other games on the radio, but have you been another time? What're your impressions of Angel Stadium?
It's funny, that Apple game was the first time I had been to Angel Stadium and I really liked it. It's a cool older ballpark. There aren't many ballparks with that kind of history. You look across town at Dodger Stadium and realize that's one of the oldest ballparks in the country right now. Wrigley and Fenway are so much older than Dodger Stadium and Angel Stadium but even so, you just admire the history those two ballparks bring because they've been around. A ballpark that's been up since the sixties is tough to replicate right now. I really liked it, thought it was a nice place to watch a game in, and they draw well. It's a cool place to see a game and watch two of the best players in the game play every night.
It was a good one to check off, it was one of the last ones I had to go to. I actually got to 30 out of 30 when we went to Oakland at the end of the year. I'm glad to have seen all 30 teams play a game at home now. I still haven't been to the new Texas stadium but will certainly go there often this year. Angel Stadium seemed great and I'm excited to get to know it a lot better.
You've mentioned how excited you are to see players like Trout and Ohtani play every night but is there another player that sticks out who you're really looking forward to seeing on a daily basis?
I want to see what some of these younger guys can do. A guy like Taylor Ward is an exciting player who certainly had a very good year in 2022, can he come back and bring that same type of offense to the team? I watched Rendon pound the Mets for several years as a National. He hasn't done it yet as an Angel but it's certainly in him and I'd love to see him put a healthy and strong year together because that'd make the Angels a whole lot better. I want to see Patrick Sandoval continue to take a step forward in the starting rotation. He's a good young pitcher who had a nice year in 2022. Rengifo too I think is a solid younger player that seems like can help the team win. Looking forward to getting to know some of these guys and seeing how they perform on a regular basis.
Nothing matches watching the team play every day. When you get a sense of what a team is about and how they are. When you watch a team every day you really learn the ins and outs and I'm excited to do that.
What are your impressions of this Angels team? If you could make one more move for this team what would it be?
I'd really like to see them get another starting pitcher. I think Zack Greinke would be a great fit. I thought maybe they'd go after Kluber or Eovaldi but those guys signed. Cueto signed in Miami recently. I'd like to see them get one more starting pitcher to make the rotation a huge strength. I already think it's a pretty good rotation but with the Ohtani situation where you have a six-man rotation, I wouldn't mind seeing them lock it down with one really good starting pitcher.
They can probably upgrade at shortstop but they do have a good number of capable position players. I know David Fletcher was hurt, maybe he can that role there. If you get another starting pitcher, I just think starting pitching is so important. You're going to run through a lot of starting pitchers anyway so to just say this is one of the best things we have going would be really helpful for them.
This Angels team should be good. A lot of star power, and lots of young players on the rise. We're gonna have lots of fun in the booth and calling some wins would be the best thing.