The hole in the Sunday Night Baseball announcing lineup caused by Terry Francona leaving to manage the Cleveland Indians has been filled by current ESPN Baseball Tonight analyst John Kruk. Kruk will join the duo of Dan Shulman and Orel Hershiser as the third man in the booth, following in the footsteps of Bobby Valentine and Francona over the past two seasons.
This has the potential to be a disaster for ESPN. I don't think Kruk's loudmouthed approach will fit in well with the soft-spoken, intelligent pairing of Shulman and Hershiser. It seems to be a poor fit chemistry-wise. Analytically speaking, the downgrade from Francona to Kruk is a meteoric shift. Kruk has limited experience calling games and his analysis isn't exactly very thoughtful or compelling when sitting behind the desk on Baseball Tonight.
Sometimes, ESPN tries too hard to reinvent the wheel (SEE: Tony Kornheiser, Monday Night Football color commentator), and this is another example of trying to fix something that isn't broke. A two-man team of Shulman and Hershiser would have been a really good pairing that could be in contention for one of the best national teams going. Perhaps I'll be wrong and Kruk will be a surprise in a new environment. But ESPN's three man booth has been a revolving door for a few years now. With this latest move, I have a hard time seeing that end anytime soon.
I actually miss hearing Jon Miler on Sunday Night Baseball, but luckily for me i can still listen to his analysis on the radio during most San Francisco Giants radio broadcasts out here in Portland, Oregon!
Because we have had 1360 KUIK AM play between 100-110 of the 162 San Francisco Giants Regular Season game on the radio out here since the 1998 MLB Regular Season, although sadly they play between 40-45 of those games on Tape Delay though!
Anyone else so happy that it's no longer Jon Miller and Joe Morgan that they don't even care? Ha. Shulman/Hershiser are great. I agree that I expect Kruk to be a downgrade from Francona (who was great) but overall, I think the 3-man team will work. And did I mention it's way better than Jon Miller/Joe Morgan?!
Totally disagree. Kruk's irreverence was great in the booth for the Phillies working with the late, great Harry Kalas several years back in his first tv gig. His replacement was/is Gary "Sarge" Mathews... who truly personifies "his analysis isn't exactly very thoughtful or compelling..."