A Phillies fan favorite will be moving form the studio to the broadcast booth at ESPN for coverage of Sunday Night Baseball this season. Phillies Wall of Famer John Kruk will be providing his commentary this season for ESPN, replacing former Phillies manager Terry Francona.
“It’s a real honor to work with Dan and Orel, and to be front and center on baseball’s biggest game of the week,” said Kruk. “When I was asked to join the team, I couldn’t have been happier.”
Of course, Phillies fans adore Kruk and his style but our friends over at Awful Announcing are not exactly warm to the idea of putting Kruk in the booth…
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.
Personally I have some mixed feelings on the broadcast move as well, but it is not as though Kruk has no experience in the broadcast booth. Phillies fans may remember Kruk's brief stint as a member of the Phillies broadcast team, sitting alongside Harry Kalas providing his personal opinions on the game and sharing his insight in a sometimes surprising manner.
The bottom line is, we know Kruk can be a bit of a goof at times, and he will surely be the one most likely to add a laugh to the broadcast for ESPN from time to time, but it really is all about the chemistry in the booth that makes a broadcast. three men in a booth has not generally worked all that well when it comes to baseball, but I still believe if you have the right blend of voices it can be something that works.
Whether this works or not remains to be seen, but here at Macho Row we will wish nothing but the best for Kruk.