I'm a dude. I love baseball and beer, and Eddie Money and smoking pork shoulder for half a day, and I love football and America and hating the Dodgers.
I'm a lot of things, but I'm not a crier.
This is why I was so shocked at how absolutely emotional I became when I heard about Mike Krukow's degenerative muscle disease.
I was driving to work listening to KNBR, and I was nearly brought to tears.
I got that weird feeling with the lump in the throat and the misty eyes. I was just plain crushed. Later in the day, I began to come to grips with my reaction and why I felt so horrible.
I just love Mike Krukow. That's what it is. I literally love the guy. I also love Duane Kuiper and Jon Miller, even Flemming.
I don't know about you guys, but these guys are a huge part of my life. I listen to them almost every day, and I can't remember a time where I didn't hear them broadcast a game 140+ days a year. Although I've never met them and they wouldn't know me from Adam, they are, in a way, family.
Kruk & Kuip are just the best. They really are. They make watching a game exponentially better. There is no better team in the world to broadcast a sport than these two, it's a fact. We're truly privileged to have our Giants games enhanced like this.
This duo makes us laugh, they keep us positive, they keep us entertained. They were just as excited as us to win those championships. They're with us through the good times, and the horrendous ones. Hell. We can turn off the game if it becomes too much. They're the ones that are subjected to it until the end.
They're also great friends outside the booth-- just like we imagine them to be. Why don't you ask Steve Stone if he hangs out with Hawk Harrelson outside the booth. The answer would be a defeated but resounding 'no'-- probably with an extended sigh at the end.
That's why the part of CW Nevius's article about Kuiper being a "sherpa" and carrying Mike's bags for him-- because that's what teammates do-- gave me that same choked up feeling I got while I was driving.
The idea that Mike Krukow, the funniest, most baseball loving-ist guy ever won't one day be able to toss a baseball in the booth or show someone how to throw a curveball is just plain heartbreaking. The idea that he some day soon won't be able to play golf or guitar or throw a baseball with his grandkids is just plain depressing.
No, he's not dying. No, he's not retiring from broadcasting. He's going to be okay for the most part.
It just really sucks.
Perhaps there's a bit of selfishness embedded in my feelings.
I just recently came to terms with the fact that I didn't want anything to happen to Kruk, partially because my Giants experience wouldn't be as good. If he lost his trademark enthusiasm and humor, games just wouldn't be the same. Who would blame him if he did?
Fortunately, ol' Kruk doesn't show any signs of slowing down. In fact, it occurred to me that if there's a solitary soul in this world that could overcome such a lousy thing with flying colors, it'd be Mike Krukow.
Look at him after 13 inning games on the postgame wrap. He's still yukkin' and yakkin' with Flemming like it was the first inning, while Kuip is hilariously hunched over, ready for bed, and Miller stays as professional as possible. It's just plain remarkable.
As he told Bruce Jenkins of the Chronicle, "I'm the luckiest guy in the world - again," he said. "All I need to do is get in that room and talk baseball. It's my island. Once I get behind that chair, I am bulletproof, man. I am a young, vibrant man."
That's why I know I won't have to worry about Kruk. He's going to suck it up, the way I wouldn't be able to. He's going to keep entertaining us and keeping us positive, even when we feel like the sky is falling over some meaningless lousy road trip-- not because we want him to, but because he needs to.
It's the epitome of irony that someone who actually has the sky falling on him incrementally, to the point of an eventual wheelchair reality, won't lose the very things that have made him so beloved to so many.
And that, my friends, is why I love Mike Krukow.
Never change, Meat.