As if getting to watch three games in arguably baseball’s most aesthetically-pleasing park wasn’t enough, Philadelphia Phillies and San Francisco Giants fans have been treated to the best national announcing booth in years during this weekend’s series broadcast on Peacock.
However you may feel about having had to download a new app to watch this weekend’s series, give NBC credit, the quartet of Jon Miller, Mike Krukow, John Kruk and Jimmy Rollins has been brilliant together.
Miller – one of the greatest play-by-play men in major league history – was the voice of ESPN‘s Sunday Night Baseball from 1990 to 2010, working with the late Joe Morgan. Miller was the 2010 Ford C. Frick Award winner, which led to his enshrinement in the Baseball Hall of Fame. It’s a fairly universally-held opinion that the product of Sunday Night Baseball has declined since Miller stopped voicing it, which has been reinforced this weekend.
Krukow is perhaps the greatest color commentator of his era. Fans of a certain age grew fond of Krukow for his work in the now-defunct EA Sports series MVP Baseball. The 69-year-old had a 14-year career as a major league pitcher, spent primarily with the Chicago Cubs and Giants.
He did spend the 1982 season with the Phillies, going 13-11 with a 3.12 ERA and seven complete games. That’s made him the perfect color analyst for this series to help bridge the four-man booth. For example, when Kruk and Rollins discussed the late-John Vukovich during Friday’s game, Krukow was able to contribute in a meaningful way to the conversation, having crossed paths with him during his decades in the sport.
As far as Kruk and Rollins, it goes without saying that Kruk is a superstar. He was as an analyst at ESPN, and he’s created tremendous chemistry with Tom McCarthy in the NBC Sports Philadelphia booth. Rollins – who Kruk said has a Hall of Fame-worthy resume as a player – is excellent in the booth as well. He won’t be part of Sunday’s broadcast as he celebrates Father’s Day, but he’s reminded you this weekend that if he ever decided to do media on a full-time basis, he’d be one of the best in the business.
There are small things that you could pick apart about the broadcasts from this weekend – in-game player and coach interviews distract from the game, rather than adding to it – but by and large, the booth of Miller, Krukow, Kruk and Rollins has been fabulous. It’s what a national broadcast booth should sound like.
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