John Kruk, a former player and in-studio analyst for ESPN since 2004, will make a move to the announce booth to replace the departed Terry Francona on Sunday Night Baseball.
After the Monday announcement, Kruk joked about the fact that in the last 2 consecutive years the Sunday night booth has seen Bobby Valentine and Francona be hired as MLB team managers after a 1 year stint. Asked if he thought he might land a managing job in 2014, Kruk replied, “I think that is why they are putting me in the booth…. ain’t no chance of that happening.”
Kruk will join the returning Dan Shulman and Orel Hershiser to announce the feature game of the week on Sunday nights for ESPN.
Not bad for a former player who says he never wanted to be an 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 on ESPN’s bus tour of spring training sites.
“I got more carte blanche at 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 said he realized, “you get more information when you’re there than just sitting in the studio.”
During his playing years Kruk, debuted with the San Diego Padres in 1986, played with the Phillies and retired in 1995 with the Chicago White Sox. He had a career batting average of .300 and was a 3-time All-Star.