Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Ode to the Voices of the Giants

This Spring is going well,a nd there's not much to comment on.  Early on we saw the vestiges of what might be, and now it looks like its going according to the plan that we hoped iut would.

Not much drama, very little injury, and everyone is even more in shape than they were last year.

The Giants look good.

So, I'd like to take a moment to talk about how much I appreciate the voices of the Giants.

Before Jon Miller, we still had Kruk and Kuip.  As a kid, Mike Krukow was my favorite pitcher, fo no other reason than I thought he looked like what a pitcher should look like: tall and gangly, sort of laid back -- and he also never shied away from an open microphone.

I never had the pleasure to watch Duane Kuiper play, I was too young by the time his carer had finished.  However, I did have a VHS of the Greatest Baseball Bloopers, and one of their segments was a tribute to Duane Kuiper's first major league home run in 1977 -- in his 4th season.....He played until 1985 and it would also be his last ding dong.

Still, in my first year in earnest with the Giants in 1988, Smooth was int he booth and I immediately associated his dulcet tones with the Giants.  A few years later, Kruk joined him.

In 1997, Jon Miller signed on.  I was at that season's opening day, where the future HoFer, dressed to the nines in a tuxedo, introduced the club.  I thought he ooked like Chansey from Pokemon, but he sounded like Zeus....'s third wife: the one with beautiful baritone voice that =baseball-on-the-radio.

Only a few years ago, Dave Flemming, a kid at the time, joined the fray.  Fleming, only a few years my senior, made an impact not only in baseball, but also does college baseketball play-by-play.  He is enthusiastic and interesting.

This powerful quartet of descriptive and mood-setting baseball-lotharios have made it difficult for me to imagine that any other team in the Majors could be as blessed as the Boys by the Bay.  If I wasn't so damned enthralled by Tim Lincecum's movement, I would have no problem listening to the games on the radio (of course, Kruk and Kuip do the TV work, but during national games the whole team rotates through the KNBR booth).

In down years, the broadcasters are the reason I look forward to the season.  In up years, they're the liaison between me and where I want to be nightly.  Our guys are most definitely homers, but like most if not all Giants' fans, they are realists and pragmatists.  They are rarely critical, yet willing to point out problems in the lineup.  They are in support of the home team, but always willing to extend a kudos to the bad guys when deserving.  I can't tell if they help Giants' fans to be enthusiatic and modest at once, or if they are simply reacting to our collective enthusiam and modesty, but the fact remains we (meaning the fans and the broadcasters) compliment one another.

So, as we stand on the precipice of a new season, a championship defense, and 25 weeks of gut wrenching, hoopla-filled, at times drunken and at time sobering torture, I tell the guys in the booth that I'm damn glad to see ya again. 
How was your vacation? 
How is the family? 
Did you get anything cool? 
Let me see your new Tommy Bahama shirts.

All right, now let's go out and get 'em.

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