Tag Archives: Mike Krukow

Blame it on the Catcher!

Baseball nation is going nuts today over the brawl at the Giants and Nats game.  Actually the disagreement was between Bryce Harper and Hunter Strickland after Harper was hit by a pitch thrown by Strickland.  To be perfectly honest here, Bryce Harper has never been one of my favorite ball players.  In fact,  I don’t like much about the guy.  He’s an arrogant hot head that gives baseball a bad name.  Has anyone ever seen the guy crack even the smallest bit of a smile?  Didn’t think so.  But in fairness it sure looked like Strickland threw that pitch with intent to nail him, which I’m pretty sure he did.

But my words here are about the tweets, blogs and overall bad press Buster Posey is getting from his actions behind the plate.  I mean, he didn’t make any effort to step out from behind the plate to help his poor defenseless pitcher who found himself in a real bind as Harper went charging at him like a bull in a china closet.  The ESPN announcers kept bellowing about the fact that the Giants Catcher, Posey, did nothing to help his pitcher out ~ they’d just never seen anything like it, a catcher who didn’t jump in and join the fiasco.

Some thoughts about this, besides the fact Posey’s a leader so probably doesn’t feel a need to jump in the middle of the dogpile:

  1. Anyone who knows anything about baseball will remember the tragic injury Posey suffered a few years back that almost ended his playing career.  He was in rehab for a year trying to scratch and crawl his way back to the game to overcome the injuries he sustained from that incident.  I’m sure he’s been warned not to do anything stupid that might cause a relapse.  Just saying …….
  2. Looking at the play after the fact, it sure looks like Buster was calling for a fastball right down the middle of the plate.  And if a professional pitcher can’t throw one he’s in the wrong business, unless, of course, he was trying to throw the exact pitch he threw.  A little inside you say?  No kidding.
  3. Knowing the history of these two, Harper and Strickland, it’s possible there was a talk in the Giants locker room before the game that no retaliation pitches were to be thrown.  If that’s the case, Buster could easily been thinking, you want it?  You got it.
  4. This retaliation thing is rampant in the Majors.  Don’t believe me?  Just listen to Mike Krukow explain it during some of his color commentating.  It’s a thing to be proud of, according to Mike.  And no respectable pitcher would let an infraction go by without retaliating.

I mean, come on. Harper gets two home runs off Strickland two years ago and this is “pay back”?  Give me a break. Not wise since they’ll probably both get fined and worse, suspended, causing problems not just for themselves, but for the rest of the team.

And tomorrow it’s likely the players will be warned ~ no inside pitches, and/or no hit by a pitch from either side or the pitcher gets ejected.  What pitcher needs to play with that kind of pressure on him?  So even if he accidentally hits a batter, the pitcher gets ejected and the batter takes the base.

Get your smarts in order pitchers.   This is old school stupid stuff and has no place in today’s game.  In my humble opinion, of course.

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Giants broadcaster Mike Krukow has a degenerative muscle disease

Mike Krukow, on the left, and Duane Kuiper

Mike Krukow, on the left, and Duane Kuiper

This is sad news. I’ve been following baseball forever but I’ve learned more about the game from listening to Mike Krukow, the Giants color analyst, than from any other source. Mike has such a quick wit about him with his nightly “grab some pine meat!” and pitch-by-pitch comments. So much so it’s necessitated an actual “Kructionary” website. See Baseball Almanac‘s take on Kruk and his illuminary sayings.

HardballTalk

The diagnosis is not new — he was first diagnosed eight years ago — but Giants broadcaster and former big league pitcher Mike Krukow has publicly revealed that he has a non-fatal degenerative muscle disease. From the Chronicle:

Krukow, 62, has kept his condition a secret, but now he’s ready to reveal that he’s suffering from a degenerative muscle disease called inclusion-body myosotis. IBM causes progressive weakness in the muscles of the wrist and fingers, the front of the thigh, and the muscles that lift the front of the foot. There’s no cure and no solid theory for what causes it.

It has caused him to fall down and he now wears braces on his legs for support. He may need a walker or a scooter eventually.

The key takeaway here, and maybe a big part of why Krukow is now going public, is that he was in denial about…

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Clown shoes in Chicago: the Cubs grounds crew couldn’t get the tarp on the field

Ronni’s Comment: Yesterday during the Cubs -Giants game there was a torrential downpour. I mean the kind that monsoons are made of. It lasted probably 15-20 minutes. But when the grounds crew tried to put the tarp on the field it turned into a nightmare for the guys pulling the tarp for sure, but also for the Giants fans and, in particular, for Mike Krukow, commentator for the Giants

I’m not sure I agree with the official ruling, but Mike Krukow commented several times during the rain delay stating in his words to the effect that the field crew “intentionally” screwed up the laying of the tarp. That it was totally intentional. That it wouldn’t have happened if the Cubs had been behind.

And I say shame on you Mike Krukow. You know better. Just because the Giants have won a few championships doesn’t give us the right to belittle others. We (the Giants) have been playing pretty lousy lately but that’s not a reason to take it out on the grounds crews or the umpires.

I’ve heard other commentators say similar things when I’ve had to listen to them from the opponent’s perspective and I’ve always been glad we were blessed with our own special Kruk & Kuip. They are a class act, top of the game, and they know everything! So I’m hoping this was just a bad day for Mike and I’m hoping he’s hoping it doesn’t happen again. But that’s just me hoping.

I can’t wait to hear what they have to say tonight, about last night, and praying it doesn’t rain again!

HardballTalk

[nbcsports_video src=http://vplayer.nbcsports.com/p/BxmELC/nbcsportsembed/select/qchJ9Dm6PtkJ?autoPlay=false width=620 height=381]

The rains came. The rains lasted only fifteen minutes. The Chicago Cubs grounds crew, however, failed to do the one job it had in that situation:

The tarp was all crooked and so much of the field was left uncovered by it turing the downpour, that the infield was basically soaked. They took over four hours after the rain stopped to try to fix things, but it couldn’t be fixed. The field was too wet to play and the game — already official under the rules — was called. The Cubs win 2-0.

Not that this will end things. As Andrew Baggarly of CSNBayArea.com reports, the Giants are mulling a protest. For their part, the Cubs were willing to simply agree to call it a suspended, rather than an official game, but they can’t just do that because the rules don’t allow for it. Rule 4.12…

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Pitcher Makes Unassisted Triple Play! ~ Whodathunkit?

Well, okay.  Maybe it’s  not your ordinary triple play in the true sense of the word but you gotta admit it’s pretty darn unusual!  “Triple ka-thud” as Krukow puts it.

Cody Ross of the San Francisco Giants gets hit with a pitch thrown by Clayton Mortensen of the Rockies, and the ball pinballs off Ross’s arm, catcher Jose Morales’ helmet, and umpire Tim Tschida’s face mask. From the Giants-Rockies game May 16th, 2011.  SF Giants announcers Mike Krukow and Duane Kuiper on the broadcast.   YouTube Uploaded by “hat301” on May 17, 2011.

The Nationals Stephen Strasburg ~ Miracle or Mistake?

Baseball is the sport that cackles back at can’t-miss kids. Baseball humbles every player sooner or later. Baseball confers greatness stingily, in its own sweet time. At least that’s what the bow-tied essayists and sandlot scouts solemnly tell us.” – Johnette Howard in Sports Illustrated
 
Stephen Strasburg’s been on my mind a lot lately.   For some  reason I’ve been paying attention to the negotiations this year and was surprised when the Washington Nationals were able to secure Jason Werth.   This is huge!  When the Phillies were playing the Giants in the playoffs, my anxiety would surface when Werth was at the plate.  Not so anxious about their pitching staff, but definitely  Jason Werth.   He was that good.  So I’m happy Werth’s going to a team that really “needs” him and will appreciate his talents.  The Nationals finished last place in 2010 for the 3rd year in a row.    So when the scuttlebutt started this week about the Nationals being in the race to acquire Cliff Lee, after acquiring Werth, it was almost a heart-stopper!   All of this brought back a reminder of  my annual physical this year when I told my doctor I was taking an organized baseball tour and the first thing he asked was “Will you get to see the Nationals play?”   It was an odd question because who cares anything about the Nationals anyway?   But his daughter lives in Washington DC and she’d been talking about the new young pitcher who was causing a wave of near hysteria .   It didn’t take me long to figure out what all the fuss was about.   His name was Stephen Strasburg.
The Nationals selected Stephen Strasburg  as  the first pick in the 2009 MLB Draft for a record $15.1 Million, 4

Stephen Strasburg

year contract.  Strasburg was a 21 year old rookie who ESPN referred to as the most hyped pick in draft history and was the only college player selected for the 2008 Summer Olympic US Baseball team in Beijing.   On May 8, 2010, Stephen Strasburg made his much anticipated major-league debut against the Pittsburgh Pirates.    Sports Illustrated coined it the most hyped pitching debut the game had ever seen.   In the game, the young pitcher pitched 7 innings, struck out 14, walked -0- and allowed only two runs, earning him his first major league win.  In games two and three he struck out another 8 and 10 batters, respectively, setting a major league record for 32 strikeouts, the most  in any  pitcher’s first three  games.   And after only his second start, Sports Illustrated featured him in their cover story. I and thousands of others became an instant fan of the young Stephen Strasburg, the savior of those poor, downtrodden Washington Nationals.   But it was not to be. 

Strasburg’s Major league Debut

On August 27, 2010,  Stephen Strasburg was placed on the disabled list.  The Nationals announced Strasburg had a torn ulmar collateral ligament, requiring Tommy John surgery  and 12 to 18 months of rehabilitation.   He had been placed on the disabled list in July, 2010, with an inflamed right shoulder and returned to play, but was removed again with an apparent injury before being placed again on the disabled list, this time requiring the major surgery.   How did this happen?  Or more to the point, why did this have to happen?  

I keep reflecting on the number of times this year when rookie pitcher Madison Bumgarner was prematurely pulled from the game  for no apparent reason and how ticked off it made me.  After all, we were ahead and he was pitching superbly and then for no reason, the powers that be  bench him and go to the bullpen.  Ye gods man!  Let the kid pitch. 

Then Mike Krukow, one of  the best of the best, would announce and explain in detail why the kid was pulled, and it was usually because of the pitch count. Young kid, young arm.   Needed time to develop, to mature.  Makes sense to me.   

It doesn’t seeem possible to me this could be the reason for Strasburg’s predicament.  After all, these major league baseball teams have the best resources available to them and wouldn’t you think for sure they’d want to protect, not only the kid’s best interests, but the interests of their $15 Million investment?   Strasburg would most likely have been up front in the running for the Rookie of the Year, and even possibly the MVP and who knows how it would have affected the Nationals standing?   I don’t know, I’m just saying.   I read a lot of baseball stuff and I’ve never seen this in print.  No one’s talking about it. 

But if young Strasburg is in rehab, recovering from surgery because he was “overexposed” (34 strikeouts in 3 games with each pitch at or over 100 mph?) shame on the Washington Nationals and shame on major league baseball for allowing it to happen.  It could have been avoided.  

Miracle or mistake?   Does it matter?  Geez, I sure want to believe it was a freak of nature and not just a mistake in judgment by an overzealous manager, so I’ll cross my fingers and say a prayer that  hopefully Stephen Strasburg will return soon,  breaking new records and performing a few miracles with some really good guidance from the powers that be.   Hope to see you back on the mound soon kid!