Squirrel COTUIT — 03/20/23 — A red squirrel balances on a branch near Cordwood Road Monday afternoon. 032023rs01 Jpg

Major League Baseball’s pitch clock is perfectly timed if it’s shortening games by nearly 30 minutes while still giving John Kruk enough time to talk about squirrel hunting.

Kruk’s affinity for tangents and candor was helped by a blowout Monday night, with the Philadelphia Phillies beating the Miami Marlins 15-3. But the former Phillies’ player and longtime MLB analyst added to the list of those saying it’s possible to still tell stories in the pitch clock era, as he wound up telling quite the squirrel hunting story.

“Great year,” Kruk said after play-by-play voice Tom McCarthy noted the last pitch came in at 79mph. “Graduated high school…I was squirrel huntin’ up in Moorefield, West Virginia with Ruell Hollis Martin…Great shortstop, drafted by the Dodgers. And he had a farming incident where he cut off part of his finger. He went to the minor leagues for a couple years, but he was a farm kid, he grew up on the farm and he just wanted to be back on the farm. And Moorefield, West Virginia is the poultry capital of the world.”

Imagine the potential scene if Kruk and the Phillies were on hand last season as Pittsburgh’s grounds crew struggled to capture a squirrel causing a ruckus inside PNC Park? The squirrel hunting reference came after Kruk already failed in his attempts at convincing McCarthy to take ballroom dancing lessons together. Squirrel hunting and ballroom dancing, not exactly two hobbies that you would pair together. But squirrel hunting in the morning and ballroom dancing in the evening is a heckuva day.

I didn’t realize squirrel hunting was so common, nor did I realize that squirrel is such a popular game meat. That now has me questioning what I should do the next time one of my dogs arrives at the back door holding one.  Thanks Krukkie.

[NBC Sports Philadelphia; photo of a red squirrel in Cotuit, MA in March 2023 from The Cape Cod Times, via USA Today]

About Brandon Contes

Brandon Contes is a staff writer for Awful Announcing and The Comeback. He previously helped carve the sports vertical for Mediaite and spent more than three years with Barrett Sports Media. Send tips/comments/complaints to bcontes@thecomeback.com