Earlier, Henry Schulman of the Chronicle assured those of us who fear change that when it comes to most Giants broadcasts, one important part of it will remain unchanged:
A little broadcast-booth news. Mike Krukow, whose contract is up, is negotiating an extension. Kuiper is up next year. Don't read anything into the fact their contracts were staggered. It just worked out that way. #SFGiants— Henry Schulman (@hankschulman) September 30, 2019
Last year, Tim Kawakami asked Larry Baer if he’d begun the search for new broadcasters to replace Mike Krukow, Duane Kuiper, and Jon Miller. Baer didn’t want to contemplate any of those scenarios, but the cruel realty of time will soon compel the Giants to have to do exactly that.
In the meantime, we get to enjoy two friends just talking baseball for a little while longer. If you’re a radio-only Giants fan, then you know that’s Jon Miller’s domain, with Dave Flemming (signed through 2022) right there with him. Virtually irreplaceable. Giants telecasts are the Kruk and Kuip hangout, and it’s the same deal.
Krukow’s last extension came at the end of Spring Training 2017. Last season was their 25th in the booth together. Krukow’s inclusion-body myositis limited him to 120 games over the last few seasons, thought it felt like he broadcast fewer than that this year. He wasn’t traveling east of Denver as recently as 2018, but this year, he didn’t go to Coors.
Krukow, 67, and Kuiper, 69, are the soundtrack of Giants Baseball. I can’t imagine anyone else on a telecast, and I really don’t want to. There’s a decent chance that when the two retire next year — and, for now, I’m assuming from Schulman’s tweet that Krukow negotiated for one more year to coincide with the end of Kuiper’s current deal — they’ll be signing off as the Giants embark on their next phase of success.
All they’ve done is add to the joy of winning baseball, and I think we’d all like them to keep doing that for as long as they want.
If you didn’t know, both Kruk & Kuip have a podcast. About 30 minutes before first pitch, KNBR runs a Kruk & Kuip On Baseball show. They’re archived here. Some fans might not dig some of Krukow’s vocal ticks and idiosyncrasies or even care all that much about their in-game banter and interplay, but let me tell you this: if you want to hear how baseball players talk to each other and about the game and life, listen to the show.
They’re genuine, and when it comes to tracking a team for six months out of the year, genuine people and perspective are the only thing that can get you through the rough patches and the fastest way to loving the team. Thanks, guys, for fueling our love of this dumb, bad, incredible team.