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The announcing booth for Phillies-Giants has been perfect


Jon Miller and John Kruk have been part of this weekend’s announcing booth. (Icon Sportswire)

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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12 Comments

12 Comments

  1. Martin Handler

    June 20, 2021 at 7:17 pm

    Fire the pitvhing coach

  2. E

    June 20, 2021 at 7:27 pm

    Giants Fan here.

    I completely agree. Normally these ‘gimmick’ broadcasts suck but this weekend was a breath of fresh air. It all flowed like they do this everyday. Miller is amazing on play-by-play. Kruk and Krukow’s color commentating and story telling is fabulous and J-Rol held his own.

    Nice piece. I am glad this weekend’s work was acknowledged.

  3. Michael S.

    June 20, 2021 at 10:46 pm

    I’m not sure this guy listen to the Phillies broadcast. Kruk less than mediocre skills have declined over the years. It’s painful to listen to McCarthy lob him softballs then JK starts every sentence with “Yeah ya know”. He does not prepare with ZERO knowledge of the opposing team. He tells anecdotes that go nowhere. McCarthy is sharp, sarcastic and critical with Amaro, Davis, Rollins, Schmidt, Botallico. Not so with Kruk. He dumbs down his broadcast to grade school level so Kruk understands. On the National broadcast Kruk was rambling on while Hoskins slugged a homer. He is a like a fan with bad cliches you are stuck sitting next to at a game. You just want to get up and leave.

  4. Fred

    June 21, 2021 at 9:17 am

    I agree.
    I didn’t download the app, and missed the live broadcasts, but I watched the rebroadcast of Saturday’s game and was very impressed by the broadcasting crew assembled for the series.

  5. Craig W

    June 21, 2021 at 6:24 pm

    Speaking as a Giants fan watching the telecast in the Bay Area, I agree wholeheartedly with your analysis that the broadcasting team was excellent!

  6. Jeff Lindemuth

    June 22, 2021 at 5:59 am

    All the announcers are great. Four announcers in the booth is too many. Certainly on Friday they told stories and did not pay much attention to the game. When Luke Williams came up for the first time, they did not even mention his name.

  7. Prickly Pete Salmonella

    June 22, 2021 at 9:30 am

    Not supporting NBC’s peacock. Missed all three. Might skip a couple more to send my message to the Phils. Streaming coverage is annoying.

  8. Mike

    June 22, 2021 at 11:08 am

    I think Miller is over the hill, I listened to the last 2 games on radio, game 1’s peacock broadcast was bad. They say that Harry Kalas knew when to allow the game to speak for itself, didn’t fill ever minute with chatter. I wish today’s broadcasters would learn that idea. McCarthy does overkill with stats, nice guy, games become unwatchable. Check out the viewer’s EXIT VELOCITY!!

  9. Jim Samuel

    June 22, 2021 at 1:05 pm

    If you have Comcast, there is no need to download any app to watch Peacock. Just use the Comcast voice feature and say “Peacock.”

  10. Susan granato

    June 22, 2021 at 8:08 pm

    Not fair to pay comcast and have to also stream peacock for phils games. Maybe I should go back to dish.

  11. Ed

    June 23, 2021 at 1:47 pm

    Always liked Jon Miller a lot. Kruk too, with his dry sense of humor. I like Jimmy, but he talks entirely too much. Remember, Jimmy: less is more!

  12. Jimbo

    June 25, 2021 at 4:31 am

    Hopefully this sends a message to the continually-degrading radio broadcast. I used to love Scott Franzke and Larry Andersen, going as far as to compile all of their funny quotes into a now-defunct Phillies radio fan site. Today, I can’t even listen to more than five minutes of these amateurs.

    LA does nothing but criticize our team, and Franzke can’t say three sentences without using the word “uh”, while putting the listener to sleep with his lack of enthusiasm. As soon as the Phils lose the lead, the booth becomes a funeral parlor. I appreciate Kevin Frandsen’s energy, but I can only take about one inning of his juvenile and annoying humor. The only quality broadcaster that the Phillies had in the past five years was Jim Jackson — enthusiasm, cadence, positivity, humor, a great voice, and overall a professional. Unfortunately, the organization didn’t recognize his talent and they let him go.

    This is coming from an intense baseball radio enthusiast who listens to about 6 hours of games per day, involving various teams. I wish that those in charge — and Phillies broadcasters themselves — would try listening to other teams’ radio broadcasts to get a sense for how entertaining baseball radio can be. (Hint: start with SF, Cleveland, Yankees, Milwaukee, St. Louis…)

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