If there is one person at ESPN who will never back down from commenting on a controversy, it’s the always outspoken John Kruk.
While Kruk didn’t turn Curt Schilling’s absence from Sunday Night Baseball into a bigger story than it already was — Jake Arietta, an error on a hot smash in the third and the Dodgers overall lack of hits conspired to make Sunday’s game bigger news than anything anyone at ESPN could say — Kruk made sure to reference Schilling’s absence during the game’s open, and the “grain of salt” with which the ESPN crew takes the former pitcher’s political commentary.
Kruk never pulls any punches when he speaks, so it would have been odd if he didn’t make some comment about the absence of his former Phillies teammate. It was just that he did it in such a roundabout way that made the comment stand out, and made fill-in analyst Jessica Mendoza crack up. Dan Shulman, who is a pro’s pro, ignored the hell out of it.
And I say this as someone who knows the 1993 Phillies team is as-if-not-more beloved than the 2008 team that actually won a title, it’s worth pointing out every chance we get just how utterly insane that team must have been, and still is now.
Darren Daulton wrote a book about journeys on astral planes and is still somehow not even the third biggest whackjob from that team. Hell, Lenny Dykstra alone could fill out a starting nine of lunacy. Mitch Williams?
Kruk may be the most normal guy of the bunch.
Thinking about that team still makes me smile, even if the circumstances for the reminder do not, and I always go back to the 20th anniversary celebration in 2013, with the late Jim Fregosi, who managed that rag-tag bunch of nutjobs in 1993, saying, “I think our club would’ve been in a lot of trouble with social media.”
I have a feeling if social media were around in 1993, none of those guys would be doing television in 2015.