John Kruk made his debut in ESPN's Sunday Night Baseball booth for their Opening Night Rangers-Astros broadcast. The real-time results ran the gamut of reactions. Some thought Kruk exceeded expectations, others thought he simply represents ESPN's best option at the moment, then there were even more that were driven to madness.
Kruk did provide a couple memorable soundbytes by poking fun at drinking the ESPN company Kool-Aid and expressing his distaste for Dodger Stadium. The latter didn't sit well with the folks running the Los Angeles Dodgers Twitter account, who had this cheeky reply.
.@johnkruk_espn just said, "I was never a fan of Dodger Stadium," on @bbtn. We bet he hates puppies and rainbows too.
— Los Angeles Dodgers (@Dodgers) April 1, 2013
The Sunday Night Baseball crew travels to Dodger Stadium for today's Giants-Dodgers Opening Day game. I'm sure Kruk's reception will be nothing but puppies and rainbows.
Strangely enough, I'm actually encouraged by all this. Dan Shulman and Orel Hershiser are good, but they have fairly dry personalities in the booth and Kruk can add a bit more spice to the trio, especially when games drag. From what little I did see last night, I thought Kruk complimented Shulman and Hershiser better than any previous iterations of the Sunday Night booth (Valentine, Francona, etc), which has been nothing but constant turnover since Jon Miller and Joe Morgan got the boot.
If Kruk can bring just a little bit of humor and tweak a few teams and people here and there while not fully devolving into the bbq ribs eating everyman stereotype, this trio could stick around for multiple seasons.