You probably have a lot of things going on right now. Work or school. Obstacles in your personal or family life. It ain't easy, and now you have a holiday that's impossible to ignore. If you're taken, you might be stressing out over the execution of well-thought out plans. You might be trying to figure out a way to explain why there aren't plans, and doing it in a fashion that exonerates you completely. If you're single, you have a whole day to ponder the state of the non-union. It's a day to ponder subjects with some serious heft. Am I going to die alone? Is there someone out there for me? Hygiene: more important than I give it credit for?
So, on a day like this, it would be cruel and irresponsible to give you another thing to think about. It's Jeff Fassero's turn in the projection rotation, but I'll wait a day. That's just too much to take on right now. Forget I even brought it up. When things settle down, you'll probably be grateful to take a few hours to really dig into the subject of Jeff Fassero. Not now, though. We all understand it's not the time.
It would be more appropriate now to write a valentine of my one, albeit one of a platonic nature. The contracts of Duane Kuiper and Mike Krukow were extended for five years, which is just about the best news of the offseason. Anyone who has listened to other announcing teams around the league knows how fortunate we are. More than a few teams have some real duds calling 162 games for them.
Sure, Kruk can get a little overzealous with the eliminator pen. And, yes, there comes a time when we're more interested in a fourth-inning at-bat than the 45th kid with ice cream all over their face. But when it comes to the important parts of calling a baseball game, the combination has the art down. With an almost perfect balance of knowledge, humor, and familiarity, Kruk and Kuip are almost always entertaining to listen to, and they make the game better. That's really the only question to ask when evaluating announcing crews. Do they make the game more enjoyable to watch or listen to? The answer for Kruk and Kuip is a resounding "yes".
Every so often, though, Krukow would be the national color guy for a Fox game in San Francisco. Maybe there were some ideas kicking around in the brain of a weasely Fox executive, as he wondered how much it would take to steal Krukow away. And if you're Krukow, you have to wonder about the grass on the other side of the fence. It's only human, no matter how content he might be with the Giants. The contract extension takes away the chance of Krukow becoming the next Bob Brenly or Joe Morgan in the next five years. Krukow knows baseball, and he knows how to relate the knowledge without coming off as arrogant. He also drives fans of the A's and Dodgers up the wall, so he must be doing something right.
Kuiper already left once, cheating on us with the expansion Colorado Rockies in 1993. The experiment didn't last, mercifully, and Kuiper returned to announce real baseball. He's the best play-by-play man of any former player out there, and it isn't really close. Where most ex-jocks are content to sit on the sidelines of a broadcast, offering opinions when prompted, Kuiper sounds like he went to school to announce. He sounds like he was doing the same things as Jon Miller when he was younger, which was sitting in the upper deck of an empty stadium with a tape recorder, calling the game. Dude's smooth.
Oh, and we also have Jon Miller, who will certainly go down as one of the all-time great announcers in baseball history. Dave Flemming is a toolsy prospect, and the early returns are certainly positive. It's an embarrassing amount of depth, and the extensions guarantee we'll enjoy it for a while. Sometimes being Giants fan isn't all angst and black storm clouds....