Friday, May 15, 2009

Know Your Role

Mike Krukow is a San Francisco Giants' broadcaster who does the majority of his games (on television) with former teammate Duane Kuiper. Kruk and Kuip have fun at the ball yard and don't hesitate to express themselves about a particular player. Whether that player is Barry Bonds, who was out of this world, or Brian "Help Me Rhonda" Wilson, ('cause you never know what you're getting with the Giant closer) Kruk and Kuip share their thoughts.

Last night, after the Mets 7-4 victory over the Giants, Krukow lambasted Brian Wilson, who came into the game in the 9th inning to hold a 4-4 tie. Krukow said Wilson completely forgot what his job as a pitcher is and that is: to keep the hitter off balance with an assortment of pitches to offset his timing and to change his sequence of deliveries so the baserunner isn't able to get into a rhythm with the pitcher's motion. In essence, what a pitcher must do with each and every batter he must also do with each and every baserunner.

Krukow's major league totals don't jump out at you and because he rarely let's the viewing audience watch the game without commenting on every little thing one might say Krukow must've been good when he played. Well, his career consisted of him playing for losing teams more often than not. His career record was 124W 117L with an ERA of 3.90. He had 1478 K's and 767 walks, 41-complete games, 1-save, and 10-Shutouts. Again, for being on teams that usually finished the season below .500 these are solid numbers. But you'd think a guy who has so much to say would have done a lot better, like won an award or something. He did win 20-games as a Giant in 1986 (after being traded by the Phillies with Mark Davis to the Giants for Al Holland and Joe Morgan in 1982).

Then again there is the understanding that sometimes the player who toiled around in the minors, for several years, who was able to absorb every morsel of information is the best candidate to manage a team because unlike the superstar (who may take for granted the natural abilities he had and expect them from others not so gifted) he won't be so demanding on athleticism as he would on fundamentals. The career minor leaguer will know how to manufacture runs and better yet how to implement the ballplayers to do it. Whether it be speed or ability to hit the long ball, the anti-superstar will have many options to make something happen where the superstar may just get frustrated that no one was able to do what he or another superstar did on-call.

Krukow said the other day, on the post-game Wrap, that he never wanted to come across as a former player who knew it all and I was abashed that those very words came from Kruk's lips.
Because since he's been on- the other side of the microphone- he's talked as if his game was infallible. Perhaps to those who know him he's just Mike but to listeners he's a know-it-all, who if he hushed up once in a while, would be heard as opposed to talked over.

I agree with his assessment of Brian Wilson, because the Mets just ran at will. It had to be a lack of concentration where Wilson just didn't pay attention to the runners and that is something that cost him the game every bit as much as his ball not getting past the hitter's bat. Fans of the Giants know that Wilson does get lapses like the one he got last night. And he will be instructed by the coaches so that the same scenario will not take place again.

I like an announcer who says it like it is, just give us listeners a break. We know something about the game, we don't need to be told about everything we are seeing. The nuances and intricacies of the game, things where the expertise of a player (who made it into the bigs) might lend to some insight are appreciated.

I'm listening because I hope to get an occasional tasty morsel vs. the repetitive hammering like the colorful yet annoying woodpecker.

Kevin Marquez