The Best In The Business (OpEd)

By Brad Hubbard | @bradhubbard

Duane Kuiper and Mike Krukow (aka Kruk & Kuip) are the best announcers in baseball. Yes, the best announcers in baseball. From their insight, to their laughter, to their well placed silence. They are the best around.

Last September Steve Fainaru did a great piece for ESPN talking about Kruk & Kuip’s friendship and Kruk’s battle with inclusion-body myositis. Even with a debilitating disease Kruk, with the help of Kuip, keep on truckin day in and day out during the marathon baseball season.

What makes these two really stand out is their ability to not speak. Throughout the game you will have some short periods of silence where they just let the images speak for themselves. They both have come to realize that you do not need to fill every bit of air time with useless jibber jabber. When they do speak it is insightful or just down right hilarious.

If you live outside of the SF Giants television market then do yourself a favor and catch a game via MLB Network or on MLB.tv. You’ll be glad you did.

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The Sunday: Leaps, Bounds, Explosions & Crashes

By Brad Hubbard | @bradhubbard

Whatever It Takes

Well the fact of the matter is that it was stupid move but no one ever became a legend by playing it safe. On Friday night a SF Giants fan (we presume) leaped over the railing and into McCovey Cove for a Joe Panik home run ball. While not the smartest move, it was still awesome.

 

Rumblin’

Ottawa defensive lineman Zack Evans intercepted a pass and went 65 yards for a touchdown (or as they say in the CFL, a ‘major score’). Best part, he held the ball high and tight with three points of pressure. Dr. Lou would be proud.

 

No More Fireworks For NFL Players

During the next round of contract negotiations you can bet that there will be a ‘no handling fireworks’ provision. This is because two NFL players lost finger(s) this past 4th of July setting off fireworks. Tampa Bay cornerback CJ Wilson lost two fingers while NY Giants star Jason Pierre-Paul had one amputated. Pierre-Paul may suffer a little more because after the incident, the Giants pulled a contract offer worth $60 million.

 

Crash

Last week saw two spectacular crashes. The first happened late Sunday night at the finish of the Coke Zero 400. Fans were hurt but amazingly driver Austin Dillion walked away from the crash.

The next day in Stage 3 of the Tour de France, a massive pile up occurred which ended the race for six riders including contender Fabian Cancellara

What To Watch Fri. 7/3 – Sun. 7/5


All times are Pacific.

Friday July 3rd

SF Giants at Washington Nationals – 3pm ESPN: A rematch of last years NLCS. The Nationals Bryce Harper is having an MVP season and this is a chance to see him in action.

USMNT v Guatamala (Friendly) -4pm FS1: The final tuneup for both teams as they head into the Gold Cup.

Calgary Stampeders at Montreal Alouettes – 4:30pm ESPN2: Question in this game is the quarterback play. The Stamps Bo Levi Mitchell threw three INT’s last week in the Stamps come from behind win and the Al’s played three QB’s in week one.

Seattle Sounders vs DC United – 8pm UNIMAS: The Sounders look to get back on track against the top team in the Eastern Conference.

 

Saturday July 4th

Tour De France – 4am NBCSN: Cycling’s premier event gets underway in Utrecht, Netherlands of all places. GoPro Video.

Biking

Tampa Bay Rays at NY Yankees – 10am FS1: Toughest division in baseball. Good series to see who is really going to be there in September.

Toronto Blue Jays at Detroit Tigers – 10am MLB.TV: Two teams fighting for relevancy in their respective divisions. It’s also a battle of pitchers from middle Tennessee as R.A. Dickey (Nashville) takes on David Price (Murfreesboro).

Copa America Final – 1pm BeIN: Yes it’s the 4th of July but it’s Argentina vs Chilie.

NY Mets at LA Dodgers – 4:15pm Fox: The Mets send over hyped Matt Harvey to the mound against Zack Greinke. Not bad for a Saturday.

LA Galaxy vs Toronto FC – 4:30pm MLS LIVE: While some stars will be missing such as Michael Bradley, LA’s newest signing, Steven Gerrard,  will make an appearance.

 

Sunday July 5th

Tour De France – 4am NBCSN: Stage two gets underway.

Toronto Argonauts at Saskatchewan Roughriders – 12:30pm ESPN3: The Riders lost starting QB Darian Durant for the year after only a half of football last week. The Argos on their backup too. It’s should be a good one in Riderville.

FIFA Women’s World Cup Final – 2pm FOX: USA meets Japan in a rematch of the 2011 World Cup Final.

NASCAR Coke Zero 400 – 4:45pm NBC: NBC has Nascar now….probably why we have to wait until almost 8pm EST to watch a race on a Sunday night at the end of a Holiday weekend. #Fail.

SF Giants at Washington Nationals – 5pm ESPN: Not a bad way to cap off a long Holiday weekend.

A Better Catch

By Brad Hubbard | @bradhubbard

Last week saw two tremendous catches in Major League Baseball. One by a fan and another by Toronto Blue Jays third baseman Josh Donaldson. One was legal and one wasn’t.

One Handed

A dad at a Chicago Cubs vs LA Dodgers game made a one handed grab. While impressive it was actually illegal. The fan interfered with a ball in the field of play. After a review the Cubs batter, pitcher Josh Hammel, was called out. As SF Giants announcer Mike Krukow would say, ‘you are not a Labrador.’

Now Donaldson on the other hand made a catch out of play and no fans interfered. It’s arguably one of the better catches you will ever see and even more amazing is the fact that he didn’t hurt himself.

Two great grabs. One legal and one illegal. Just another week in baseball.

What to Watch Friday 10/24- Sunday 10/26

All times are PST

Friday October 24th

KC Royals at SF Giants – 5pm FOX: Game 3 in San Francisco. Series tied 1-1.

Oregon Ducks at Cal Golden Bears – 7pm FS1: Ducks better be on ‘let down alert’ cause the Golden Bears can score some points in a hurry.

Saturday October 25th

West Ham United vs Manchester City – 4:45am NBCSN: Believe it or not but this is a battle of top 4 teams in the Premier League.

LA Galaxy at Seattle Sounders – 12:30pm NBC: Battle for the Supporters Shield.

West Virginia at Oklahoma State – 12:30pm ESPN: West Virginia just gives people problems but Oklahoma State can too. This could be another Big 12 shootout.

Hamilton Tiger-Cats at Toronto Argonauts – 1pm ESPN3: The Eastern Conference is still a mess and both of these teams have a chance to take it.

Ole Miss at LSU – 4:15pm ESPN: Big road challenge for Ole Miss. Baton Rouge at night is no cake walk and LSU found some of the old Tiger swagger last weekend.

Chicago Blackhawks at St Louis Blues – 5pm NHL GameCenter: Last year they played the best playoff series of the Stanley Cup. ‘Nuff said.

Pittsburgh Penguins at Nashville Predators – 5pm NHL GameCenter: Somebody hold back the Preds. Only team left in the NHL that is undefeated in regulation.

KC Royals at SF Giants – 5pm FOX: Game 4 of the World Series.

USC at UTAH – 7pm FS1: It’s a blackout in Salt Lake City. This should be a lot of fun.

Sunday October 26th

Manchester United vs Chelsea – 9am NBC: Yep, this is happening. Chelsea is streaking and Man UTD isn’t but it should still be electric.

Seattle Seahawks at Carolina Panthers – 10am FOX: Two teams that rolled through the NFL last season are now looking a losing records with a loss on Sunday.

Baltimore Ravens at Cincinnati Bengals – 10am CBS: Which version of these teams show up is the real question. Should be a hard hitting game regardless.

Philadelphia Eagles at Arizona Cardinals – 1pm FOX: Two of the better teams in the NFC square off in the desert.

San Jose Sharks at Anaheim Ducks – 5pm NHL GameCenter: Usually two of the best teams in the West and this year should be no different.

KC Royals at SF Giants – 5pm FOX: Game 5 of the World Series.

 

 

What to Watch Fri. 9/12- Sun. 9/14

All times are PST.

Friday Sept. 12th

Toledo at Cincinnati – 4pm ESPNU: First game of the year for Cincy and Toledo has two under their belt. Should make things a little interesting.

LA Dodgers at SF Giants – 7pm MLB Network: A weekend series of one of the best rivalries in all of sports. Oh, and they are battling for first place in the NL West. Good pitching matchup too.

Oakland A’s at Seattle Mariners – 7pm MLB.TV: The start of a big series in the AL West. Oakland was once the best team in baseball and now they are going to have to battle the King Felix and the Mariners for a playoff spot.

Real Salt Lake at Seattle Sounders – 8pm NBCSN: Always a great matchup and always a great venue in Seattle.

Saturday Sept. 13th

Aresenal vs Manchester City – 4:45am NBCSN: If you want to watch one soccer match this weekend watch this one.

Syracuse at Central Michigan – 9am ESPNEWS: Central Michigan just manhandled Purdue last weekend. Syracuse could be another Big 5 conference team to go down to the Chippewas.

Georgia at South Carolina – 12:30pm CBS: Always an entertaining matchup.

Tennessee at Oklahoma – 5pm ABC: It’s just nice to see two legendary programs square off in September.

Vancouver Whitecaps at FC Dallas – 5:30pm MLS LIVE: The Western Conference is truly the wild west when it comes to the playoff race. This game will add to the chaos.

Winnipeg Blue Bombers at BC Lions – 7pm ESPN3: Winnipeg has lost two straight. BC just lost their starting QB to a shoulder injury. Time for Winnipeg to turn it around?

Sunday Sept. 14th

Detroit Lions at Carolina Panthers – 10am FOX: Cam Newton is back for Carolina which means this could be a shootout.

Seattle Seahawks at San Diego Chargers – 1pm FOX: Defending Super Bowl champs have a tall order in the Chargers and the Chargers need to get a win to prevent starting off 0-2.

LA Dodgers at SF Giants – 1pm MLB.TV: Final game of a key series in the race for the NL West. Clayton Kershaw heads to the mound for LA.

Chicago Bears at SF 49ers – 5:30pm NBC: Good matchup for opening night of Levi Stadium.

What to Watch Fri. 5/30- Sun. 6/1

Friday May 30th

San Francisco Giants @ St Louis Cardinals – 5:15pm MLB.TV: A great pitching matchup, Madison Bumgarner (6-3) vs Adam Wainwright (8-2), and two teams who will compete to represent the National League in the World Series. Just like they’ve done the last four years.

Indiana Pacers @ Miami Heat – 5:30pm ESPN: Looks like King James and crew will get it done in Game 6 at home. But the Pacers were the best team in the East this year so, that’s why we watch the game.

Chicago Blackhawks @ Los Angeles Kings – 6pm NBCSN: Game 6 and the Kings can close it out at home. It’s a tall order for the struggling Blackhawks.

Saturday May 31st

UFC Fight Night Double Header – Noon/ 7pm: Since the UFC doesn’t have enough fights they decided to put two events on the same day. The first one features Mark Munoz vs Gegard Mousasi and the second one features Stipe Miocic vs Fabio Maldonaldo. Basically if you’re in the mood for a cage fight at some point on Saturday, odds are there is a live fight happening somewhere. See UFC.com for more info.

Real Salt Lake @ Seattle Sounders – 1pm MLS LIVE: Regardless if players are going to Brazil or not, this is a key match-up out West. Why? It’s the top two teams in that’s why.

San Antonio Spurs @ Oklahoma City Thunder – 5:30pm TNT: Yep, it’s a Game 6. Someone can close it out.

Sunday June 1st

USA vs Turkey – 11am ESPN2: Team USA’s second tune up game for the World Cup.

Vancouver Whitecaps @ Portland Timbers – 6pm MLS LIVE: A Cascadia Cup match-up and Portland looks like they are starting to find their legs (even though they may not have a lot left with this being their third game in eight days.)

What to Watch Fri. 4/4-Sun. 4/6

Friday April 4th

Oklahoma City Thunder @ Houston Rockets – 6:30pm ESPN: Because Kevin Durant is on a tear and it will be worth watching.

Saturday April 5th

Philadelphia Flyers @ Boston Bruins – 10am NHLN: The Flyers of trying to hold onto that last playoff spot and the Bruins would probably not like to see them in the playoffs.

Seattle Sounders @ Portland Timbers  – Noon NBCSN: It’s the first match up of the year for these rivals. Seattle is off on a good foot while Portland has yet to back three points in this young MLS campaign.

UCONN vs Florida – 3pm CBS: The Final Four is finally here and the upstart but traditional power UCONN gets the task of knocking off one of the top teams in the tournament in the Florida Gators.

Real Salt Lake @ Sporting KC – 5:30pm MLS Live: RSL returns to the scene of the crime so to speak. This time without Jason Kreis at the the helm. Will they get some sort of revenge in Blue Hell?

Wisconsin vs Kentucky – 5:45pm(ish) CBS: The second half of the Final Four will be set in what should be the better of the two games.

Sunday April 6th

Everton vs Arsenal – 5:30am NBCSN: Everton is still in the hunt for a spot in European football next year. The Gunners have got to regroup and put together some consistency if they want to hold onto their Champions League spot.

LA Galaxy @ Chivas USA – Noon UNIMAS: Chivas has five points already this season while LA only has one. What?

San Francisco Giants @ Los Angeles Dodgers – 5pm ESPN: Sunday night baseball and a battle between two arch rivals. Boom!

Staying Classy in San Diego

By Brad Hubbard @bradhubbard

On Saturday night the San Francisco Giants pitcher Tim Lincecum threw a no hitter against the San Diego Padres. The game took place in San Diego but it sounded more like a Giants home game. The Padres fans, and Giants fans, were on their feet while Lincecum was recording the final out. For the last hitter the home team’s TV booth silence.

Dick Enberg is the Padres regional TV play by play guy. It’s an awkward position of him to be in, announcing a baseball rarity against the team he commentates for on a daily basis. However he did it with class, by being quiet.

20130717-083507.jpg

While most broadcasters, radio and TV alike, would have racked their brain looking for the right thing to say while Lincecum closed out the game, Enberg was silent. Allowing the crowd to tell the story. No words, no commentary. He just let the moment speak for itself.

Enberg has been in broadcasting longer than most. From the global level to the regional one. He made the veteran move by staying quiet and only an experienced broadcaster would have made that move.

There is nothing wrong with commentating during a moment like that. It deserves it. Enberg’s position as the broadcaster for the opposing team is a tough one to be in in a moment like that. He relied on his experience and expertise to do something that is sometimes lost in this day an age, he showed class by not saying s word.

Stay classy Enberg.