PHILADELPHIA -- Padres broadcaster Dick Enberg returned to his hotel after Friday's game and, like so many people in sports, saw the news of John Wooden's passing and wept while watching the tributes to the legendary UCLA basketball coach.
One of the many stops in Enberg's legendary career was play-by-play broadcaster for Wooden's UCLA Bruins for nine years, including the run from 1967-73, when Wooden won an astounding seven consecutive national titles.
"Aside from my father, he was the greatest man I've ever known,'' Enberg said Saturday before the Padres-Phillies game. "To rub shoulders with that greatness for nine years was such a pleasure. His greatness was exceeded only by his goodness.
"God doesn't make them perfect, but he came pretty close with John Robert Wooden."
Enberg is featured on many of the tributes sports fans have seen. Every former player, it seemed, talked about the life lessons they learned from the coach.
"There was just tremendous respect,'' Enberg said. "He was a taskmaster, you know. Everyone obeyed the same rules or they didn't play. He always said the greatest discipline is the bench.
"There were a lot of very good players who at UCLA wound up being the 10th or 12th man on the bench. I remember a player named Andy Hill who used to feel like he didn't play enough, but later in life he realized the life lessons he'd learned and wrote a book called 'Be Quick, But Don't Hurry,' which, of course, was one of coach Wooden's great lines. And he eventually went back to thank coach Wooden and thank him. There were a lot of stories like that."
Wooden passed along the occasional life lesson to the broadcasters, too.
"We were on a bus trip to Spokane to play Washington State, and I was sitting in the back of the bus when I got the word: Wooden wants to see you,'' Enberg said. "And I thought, great. Two hours with John Wooden -- I'll have terrific stuff for the game on Monday night.
"So I walked up front, and he said, 'Dick, do you like poetry?' And I said, 'Sure.' He said, 'Do you like Edna St. Vincent Millay?' And I said, 'Oh, of course.' And he didn't mention basketball once in the entire two hours. He just talked poetry.
"Those two hours were a little lesson in what was really important in life -- and it wasn't the game on Monday night."
Offseason adjustments paying off for Gwynn
PHILADELPHIA -- Tony Gwynn has not figured it out.
"Oh, I hate that phrase,'' Gwynn said before Saturday's game against the Phillies. "That's a detrimental way of thinking. You never want to start thinking you've figured it out in this game."
Still, Gwynn is now 7-for-15 (.467) over his past six games after his two hits on Friday, and said the adjustments he made during the offseason in re-working his swing are indeed beginning to pay off.
"I'm definitely more comfortable,'' Gwynn said. "The changes I made were difficult early, because my swing was so new, my stance was so new, everything felt new.
"You'd like to have success right away, because that gives you confidence. You're more willing to stick with something if you're having success with it. Early on, I started to think: Do I need to make more changes? Is this right for me? Should I have changed at all? But I knew it's a long season and I just had to keep grinding."
Gwynn was out of the lineup on Saturday with Phillies lefty Jamie Moyer on the mound. During his early struggles, he relied on conversations with his dad, Hall of Famer Tony Gwynn, and Padres hitting coach Randy Ready, who both told him the same thing -- you're close, keep at it.
He also got some side coaching from teammate Matt Stairs.
"Spike is a great hitting coach, but he's the hitting coach for 25 guys -- he can't pour all his energy into me,'' Gwynn said. "Spike is really good about teammates helping each other out. Some coaches might feel threatened by that or take offense. He doesn't. Fortunately for me, everybody saw the same things.
"Having a veteran like Stairsy around is always beneficial for the young guys. I think that's part of the success we've had -- we have such a mix of young and veteran guys, there's so much knowledge in this clubhouse. And it's easy to gain that knowledge."
Venable out of lineup with neck injury
PHILADELPHIA -- Will Venable was out of the lineup on Saturday after leaving Friday's game with a neck injury.
"We'll try to stay away from him,'' Padres manager Bud Black said. "We'll see how he is tomorrow."
Venable, who leads the Padres with 12 steals, jammed his neck when he collided with Phillies third baseman Placido Polanco in the fifth inning on Friday. He stayed down for several minutes, but stayed in the game and later scored on a sacrifice fly. He left the game the next inning when his neck tightened up in the dugout.
Venable said he was still sore Saturday, but he and Black seemed optimistic this wouldn't be a long-term issue.
In other injury news, Evereth Cabrera (strained right hamstring) took ground balls on Saturday and has been running with more intensity, but isn't likely to return until after the Padres return home.
"He's eligible to come off [the disabled list], but I don't think he'll come off on this trip,'' Black said.
Torrealba in lineup over hot Hundley
PHILADELPHIA -- Yorvit Torrealba was back behind the plate Saturday, in his first start since returning from the disabled list on Friday. So far, Torrealba has more or less split time with Nick Hundley, and Padres manager Bud Black said that is still the plan even though Hundley has been terrific at the plate lately.
"The way he's swinging makes them a more formidable tandem,'' Black said.
Hundley has six multi-hit games in his past 11 starts, batted .311 in May and is 17-for-37 (.459) in his past 12 games with a .535 on-base percentage.
"He's using all fields,'' Black said. "He's taking that pitch away from him the other way, and not swinging at the pitch outside the zone."
Black not surprised by Moyer's success
PHILADELPHIA -- Phillies starter Jamie Moyer has defied the odds, and perhaps defied logic, by continuing to pitch in the Majors despite declining velocity and advancing age. Moyer this season became the oldest pitcher in Major League history to throw a shutout when he kept the Braves scoreless on May 7, and when he took the mound Saturday against the Padres, he was 47 years and 199 days old.
Still, Padres manager Bud Black says he isn't surprised.
"When I saw him in Seattle, when he really resurrected his career, it really doesn't surprise me that he's continued to pitch,'' said Black, who saw Moyer frequently as the pitching coach for the Angels when Moyer was with the Mariners.
"Just from watching him, his huge desire to compete. He hasn't lost the edge mentally, and a lot of veteran guys do, sometimes. They've had enough, and it's not there. But not him.
"Hitters are just not used to hitting pitches at those speeds. Everybody is so geared to hit [fastballs at more than 90 mph]. You see a pitcher who can throw pitches from 68 mph to 82? That's a different adjustment. Then he changes speeds off that, and before you know it, it's the sixth inning and he's beating you."
Kevin Roberts is a contributor to MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.