Oh, hello, easy-to-write post. It's a pleasure to see you on this off day. Let's just see what you're going to be about.
Fans encouraged to vote at facebook.com/baseballhall to place Duane Kuiper onto the Frick Award Ballot
Yep, yep. I can dig it. Duane Kuiper is up for the Ford C. Frick award, but first he needs to get on the ballot. In order for him to get on the ballot, you have to go to The Hall of Fame's Facebook page and like it. Then you can vote. Then the Hall of Fame has access to all of your baby pictures and creeps around your profile at three in the morning. The Hall of Fame is looking at my vacation pictures without its shirt on right now.
Kidding! I don't take vacations. But the ballot is filled with dozens of names -- from Ron Fairly to Rex Hudler to Thom Brennaman -- so the Hall hasn't exactly separated the wheat from the chaff just yet. That's the job of the fans, who can vote once every 24 hours. My goal for the next month is to vote every day using a Kuiper, Bill King, Kuiper, Hank Greenwald, Kuiper pattern.
Look at all these Philistines who don't appreciate Kuiper!
I guess (Krukow and Kuiper are) affable and familiar. The contrast with Jon Miller isn't flattering.
I do not think he is bad, just that he is average.
Duane Kuiper is a guy.
That last one is technically true. But those comments were all left by horrible people. Empirically horrible people.
Of course I'm biased because I listen to Kuiper more than any other play-by-play announcer. But I also listen to play-by-play announcers regularly for all 30 teams, so I'm not completely basing this off my own biases. If the baseball tools are hitting for average, hitting for power, speed, glove, and arm, maybe there are comparable tools for baseball announcers. A quick attempt:
The HOCDV scale, then. Or the HVCOD if you prefer. The important thing is that you pronounce it as a word, and not an initialism.
Humor can be replaced with "holds interest" if you prefer, because it's not like Vin Scully is a laugh-a-minute, but he's usually adding to the broadcast. Same goes with Kuiper, and he's often doing it with his dry humor. He's probably the funniest guy on a broadcast team with four funny announcers, and it takes a while to realize it. He's a solid 70 on the 20-to-80 scale.
Kuiper's a homer, but with the proper balance. He calls the opposing team's hits with excitement and respect. If it's an especially exciting play for the Giants, though, he'll reach another level. Solid 60.
Clarity? Kind of wishing I didn't include that because I have no idea how to evaluate it. I'm rarely wondering what's happening or what's important when Kuiper's calling a game. Gimme a 55.
Delivery is impeccable. It's smooth and detailed, and it's often impossible to believe he's a former player instead of a life-long broadcaster with a broadcasting degree from Northwestern. Easy 65.
Voice is golden. You sonorous bastard, you. It wasn't always like that, though. The gravitas of a badass voice is one of the few things age can give back to a person, and Kuiper's voice is getting better and better. This gets another 70.
There. A five-tool announcer in the unobjective categories I just cobbled together to reinforce an opinion I already had. But the tools don't make for an automatic Hall of Famer if there's no history.
"Swing and a miss! And that's it!"
"Bonds hits one high ... hits one deep ..."
All much easier to appreciate if you're a Giants fan, sure. But in the last 10 years, Kuiper has called a single-season home-run record, a career home-run record, a perfect game, two no-hitters, and two championships. He's in, dammit. He's in.
Of course, there's no sense electing him without Mike Krukow. The two could ride a tandem bike to the ceremony and finish each other's thoughts. Maybe they could introduce Lou Whitaker and Alan Trammell, too. But those two players are great examples of how the Hall of Fame isn't fair. So we'll have to make do and get Kuiper and Krukow in one at a time.
And Bill King if you get a chance. Hank Greenwald if you're hardcore. But mostly Kuiper.