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ESPN’s top color commentator does not know that Honus Wagner was a shortstop, apparently

Aug 4, 2014, 9:16 AM EDT

John Kruk -- Baseball Tonight - 2005

I didn’t see it, but many have told me that during last night’s Red Sox-Yankees game ESPN put up a graphic that showed the all-time hits leaders. On that list, right behind Derek Jeter, was Honus Wagner. Many people also told me that, when the graphic was displayed, ESPN color man John Kruk said something along the lines of “Not bad for a shortstop . . . He may have the most hits for a shortstop, are any of those guys on that list shortstops?”

Jeter does have the most hits for a shortstop, but how one can look at a list with Honus Wagner’s name on it and not know he too was a shortstop is pretty mind blowing. I mean, he’s only one of the inner-circle all-time greats. Perhaps the best shortstop in baseball history.

I realize that Kruk’s appeal is not based on his encyclopedic knowledge of the game. But given that we’ve pretty much ruled out charisma, strategic insight and general listenability, we’re running out of options here.

In other news, Jim Bowden is still alive and tweeting and posting columns over at The Worldwide Leader as if nothing pretty crazy and normally termination-worthy happened last week.

  1. davidj1944 - Aug 4, 2014 at 11:45 AM

    If that guys the top commentator I’d hate to know what they rate the others. The guys terrible.

  2. chip56 - Aug 4, 2014 at 11:46 AM

    ESPN is to sports what MTV is to music videos at this point.

    • karlkolchak - Aug 4, 2014 at 11:56 AM

      Been saying that for years. Wonder when they’ll drop sporst coverage altogether in favor of reality shows.

      • chip56 - Aug 4, 2014 at 12:01 PM

        They hire the worst scumbags to work for them: Ray Lewis, Bob Knight, Bowden, Stephen A Smith etc. When a league decides to have their sport covered by another network they pretend the sport no longer exists. They routinely have the worst commentators in the business for the sports they do cover. It’s just atrocious.

      • infieldhit - Aug 4, 2014 at 12:29 PM

        And give up their non-stop, hard-hitting, wall-to-wall football coverage?

  3. sportsfan18 - Aug 4, 2014 at 11:53 AM

    Come on Craig…

    Apply for his color commentator job…

    • jrob23 - Aug 4, 2014 at 4:55 PM

      that might be the only thing worse than Kruk

  4. infieldhit - Aug 4, 2014 at 12:30 PM

    He had that old line, “Lady, I’m a baseball player, not an athlete.” I guess now the line should be “I’m a TV personality, not a baseball analyst.”

  5. chargrz - Aug 4, 2014 at 12:45 PM

    He knows where to get a cheeseburger.

  6. pixteca - Aug 4, 2014 at 1:27 PM

    I have been a baseball fan for only 4 years and even I know that…

  7. sfm073 - Aug 4, 2014 at 1:49 PM

    I haven’t had cable in over a year and haven’t watched espn during that time, but this is a pretty minor thing to get upset about. Craig I’ve seen you make a typo in your headline, which for a guy who makes money writing is pathetic.

  8. edelmanfanclub - Aug 4, 2014 at 2:52 PM

    Haha I was watching the game and I heard that comment, I’m like dude. The next guy is about to pass is a shortstop. Watch an idiot, I can understand the average non baseball watching fan to not know to HW was, but jeez Kruk played in the majors.

    • nothanksimdriving123 - Aug 4, 2014 at 4:14 PM

      Like, dude, when you write about someone making a silly error, you should not make as many errors yourself as you did.

      • edelmanfanclub - Aug 4, 2014 at 11:07 PM

        Touche. I should start proof reading as I have arrested by the grammar police.

      • nothanksimdriving123 - Aug 4, 2014 at 11:11 PM

        “…have BEEN arrested…” :-)

  9. drs76109 - Aug 4, 2014 at 4:32 PM

    Just last night I was thinking about how I missed Jon Miller and Joe Morgan on the ESPN Sunday night game.

    Really, the networks should take a hard look at their broadcast teams for baseball and football. Because they really could use a change. not a Buck fan in either baseball or football. And the sideline thing with Siragusa is pointless. There needs to be some real innovation. No more than two folks needed, though Vin Scully seems to do quite fine by himself (and he just resigned for another year!).

    I am certain there are good, qualified male and female announcers for both sports – and they oughta really consider female reports/announcers because there are many who are qualified. Look at Linsday Czarniak – did a hell of a job on the Indy 500. Mary Carillo in tennis (and Olympic coverage). Surely there are others that could do the same in other sports. I was in SF last week and was pleasantly surprised when I heard a female PA announcer. Now there’s forward thinking.

  10. ezthinking - Aug 4, 2014 at 5:48 PM

    Real pathetic going after Bowden who has nothing to do with this story.

    It’s funny how reporters get pizzed when they don’t get ‘credit’ for a scoop, but will never reveal their sources who often give up the information in violation of the company’s rules and even state and federal laws.

    Freedom of the press also means allowing criminals to ply their trade with typewriters/computers/iPhones….

  11. jchrap70 - Aug 4, 2014 at 7:04 PM

    I would almost guarantee that 90% of you never watch baseball yet mock John Kruk ! He’s a great announcer. He’s knowledgeable ,funny and very up to date on todays game. So friggin what if he didn’t know Wagner was a shortstop. SO WHAT !!!!! Donovan McNabb never knew an NFL game could end in a tie ! You idiots act as if he is the worst play by play in baseball. Please. I watch games everyday and he is far from the worst. Joe Buck is as pathetic as it gets along with McCarver !

    • infieldhit - Aug 4, 2014 at 11:48 PM

      I assure you, no one has said he’s the worst play-by-play guy in baseball.

  12. twinfan24 - Aug 5, 2014 at 10:01 AM

    To be fair, Kruk’s job is the be able to comment on the current baseball season. While it would be great if he knew more of the history, that isn’t exactly in his current job description. Recently, there was a story (not sure if here or elsewhere) about how few current athletes knew about the history of baseball. Did you think that was a new phenomenon? I am sure there are a lot of former baseball players that didn’t know much beyond their teammates and the players they specifically played against. One of the reasons using former players to vote on things like the Hall of Fame isn’t ideal. Most were not students of the history of the game.

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