Wednesday, February 15, 2006


The Great Ones Locked Up

Yesterday announcers Duane Kuiper and Mike Krukow were given a five year extension to continue their work broadcasting Giants game on FSN and KNBR. I think it's safe to say, with Kruk, Kuip, Jon Miller, and even the fresh-faced Dave Fleming, Giants fans are incredibly spoiled when it comes to the guys calling the games for them. I may be biased when I say this, but Kruk and Kuip are the best. Bar none.

If there's one thing I love to listen to, it's Mike Krukow's commentary. It's obvious the guy lives and breathes the game, and his analysis of any given play is colorful and amazingly insightful. The thing I love about him is that even though he's a baseball old-timer, he's not one of these fussy pricks who think they know everything just because they played, like Tim McCarver. He's out there having a good time. When he talks about a batter bailing on his swing, or a fatigued pitcher throwing across his body, you listen. You constantly learn new stuff from Kruk. His comments always have substance; they're not cliched and brainless like McCarver or Joe Morgan.

Lest we forget, Krukow also popularized the term "stankeye", which I used for this blog's namesake. His "Krukisms", terms of his that describe otherwise run-of-the-mill plays and whatnot in colorful dugout terms, are another gem. Again, it's not just him trying to be clever, it's just Krukow talking.

Some of my favorite Krukisms:
-A few years ago, he dismissed Cardinal pitcher Juan Acevedo as a guy whose pitching philosophy was to "rear back, fill your pants and throw".

-Upon watching Kirt Manwaring chug home from second: "Here comes the beer truck heading home."

-Any hot liner into the Giants dugout is deemed an "ugly-finder" by Krukow.

-"Mooseman is a piece of work." If anybody remembers Mooseman, I'd love to hear about it. He stopped appearing at Giants games in 1996, but was a long time denizen of the right field pavilion, and naturally, a fave of Kruk's.

My personal favorite from 1999: Shawn Estes was facing Gary Sheffield with the bases loaded and two out. On a 2-0 count, Estes threw a fastball right down broadway. Sheffield hit a frozen rope to Bonds in left field to end the inning. Krukow, obviously shaking his head in disgust up in the broadcast booth, couldn't help but criticize Estes: "You have to spot your pitches in that situation. You can't just close your eyes and throw 'Help me, Jesus' fastballs and hope to get guys out."

If you have a personal favorite Krukism, please post it. I'm sure there are a ton of great one that I can't recall right now.

-Just to piss people off, here's John Sickels' prospect retro of A.J. Pierzynski on his blog Minor League Ball. Some Giants fans have weighed in on the comments section, and unsurprisingly have had some unflattering things to say. I've neglected to write anything, for fear of being run out of town on a rail, but if I did it'd probably be some sort of mindless defense of A.J. Not sure why I still like the guy, although it probably has something to do with my love of the '86 Mets, a team chock-full of fiery jerk players just like Pierzynski.

You gotta love Kruk. He's amazing, and the pairing of him with Kuip just makes for a good time listening to the game. We really are spoiled thanks to them, so much so that my entire family would rather listen to Joe Miller on the radio than have to listen to some crappy ESPN announcers.

What about "can of corn" and "grab some pine, meat"? Classics.
I like "shinburger" too.
Ahh, Bre, that's either Joe Morgan or Jon Miller, unless you were creatively crossing the two into a single voice. (Actually, I don't think Morgan does radio, does he?)

On the other hand, I +am+ Joe Miller and so was Denzel Washington in the movie "Philadelphia."

-- Joe

p.s. One of my recent favorite Krukisms has to be: "she's a pearl" or "you are ELIMINATED!"
Oh you better believe Joe Morgan does radio, and God help us all.
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