Kruk to replace Francona in ESPN Sunday booth

Associated Press  |  Last updated December 03, 2012

ANAHEIM, CA - JULY 11: Former MLB player John Kruk (L) with players during the MLB All Star Game Celebrity Softball Game at Angels Stadium of Anaheim on July 11, 2010 in Anaheim, California. (Photo by Michael Buckner/Getty Images)
John Kruk is following Bobby Valentine and Terry Francona into ESPN's Sunday night baseball booth. Is he going to emulate them and wind up managing a major league team in 2014? ''I think that is why they are putting me in the booth,'' Kruk said before adding: ''Ain't no chance of that happening.'' A member of ESPN's studio team since 2004, the three-time All-Star will be announced Monday as the new partner of Dan Shulman and Orel Hershiser, giving ESPN a different trio for the third straight season after 21 consecutive years with Jon Miller and Joe Morgan. Buster Olney remains as the crew's reporter. Shulman and Hershiser were in the Sunday night booth in 2011 along with Valentine, who left to become manager of the Red Sox and was replaced by Francona, Boston's manager from 2004-11. Francona departed ESPN in October to become Cleveland's manager. Kruk has been working in the Bristol, Conn., studio about eight days a month and has filled in on game coverage. He expects his studio work to be roughly cut in half next season when he shifts to Sunday nights, ESPN's top baseball event because it has an exclusive window. He never wanted to be a game analyst. ''I was always uncomfortable when former players came into your clubhouse, and I don't know why I felt that way,'' Kruk said. He began to change his mind about game work when he accompanied Valentine's on ESPN's bus tour of spring training sites. ''I got more carte blanche ballparks than some of the other guys,'' he said Sunday. ''I was in the training room, talking to players. Bobby Valentine took me to some parts I wasn't supposed to be in. Wish he'd told me when I had to get out.'' Kruk then realized ''you get more information when you're there than just sitting in the studio.'' He hit .300 and had exactly 100 home runs during a big league career from 1986-95 with San Diego, Philadelphia and the Chicago White Sox. His most famous moment occurred during the 1993 All-Star game at Baltimore, when Randy Johnson's first pitch to him was a fastball that sailed way over Kruk's head. Kruk pounded his heart in jest, flinched at a strike down the middle, flailed at two curveballs and then bowed to Johnson. Part of the reason for his newfound comfort in the booth is that very few players remain from his time on the field. ''Unless Jamie Moyer comes back,'' Kruk said, laughing. Actually, there are a few others, including Derek Jeter, Andy Pettitte and Mariano Rivera. Kruk thought he may have been part of Rivera's first game for the Yankees. Actually, it was the fifth appearance for Rivera, a Fourth of July game when he pitched shutout ball for the first time - eight scoreless innings. Kruk took a called third strike and walked twice in Chicago's 4-1 loss.
GET THE YARDBARKER APP:
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45
MORE FROM YARDBARKER

Report: Grizzlies want Kevin Durant in free agency

WATCH: Karl-Anthony Towns throws down monster dunk

Dos Anjos: McGregor will 'break like a girl' at UFC 196

WATCH: D'Angelo Russell hit in groin by LeBron pass

Kobe Bryant has great response to Tyronn Lue story

Report: St. Louis Blues no longer interested in Jonathan Drouin

LIKE WHAT YOU SEE?
GET THE DAILY NEWSLETTER:

Doc Rivers: Warriors have 'swagger' of defending champion

Damian Lillard added as a finalist for 2016 U.S. Olympic Team

Celtics legend Paul Pierce prepares for what ‘could be’ his last game in Boston

Free-agent WR Josh Morgan accidentally shot himself, charged with crime

Jon Beason retires after nine NFL seasons

Brewers Association sends Peyton Manning case of craft beer

Fighter says sex before fight partly to blame for loss

Kevin McHale: James Harden being out of shape hurt Rockets early

WATCH: Kevin Love re-injures left shoulder

Johnny Manziel’s grandpa on ex-girlfriend: ‘The girl has her problems’

Andy Dalton reunited with missing luggage thanks to social media

Chad ‘Ochocinco’ Johnson used to soak his ankles in urine

Why Tom Thibodeau needs to be in New York

Defensemen in high demand as NHL trade deadline looms

Thank you Daniel Bryan

The timeless greatness of Jaromir Jagr

Security guard indicted for assaulting University of Houston football fan

The LeBron-Kobe rivalry and Finals matchup that never was

Mario Williams recognizes Bills may release him

MLB News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

By clicking "Sign Me Up", you have read and agreed to the Fox Sports Digital Privacy Policy and Terms of Use. You can opt out at any time. For more information, please see our Privacy Policy.
the YARDBARKER app
Get it now!
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45

Thank you Daniel Bryan

The timeless greatness of Jaromir Jagr

The NCAAB power rankings

Report: Kings to keep coach George Karl

Was Alain Vigneault right about NHL's lack of punishment towards Wayne Simmonds?

Report: Knicks fire coach Derek Fisher

The best and worst commercials from Super Bowl 50

Best and worst from Super Bowl 50

Six best plays from Super Bowl 50

Eli doesn't look thrilled as Peyton wins Super Bowl

Today's Best Stuff
For Publishers
Company Info
Help
Follow Yardbarker