Krukker here. I've been nice on Baseball Tonight. I've been encouraging, even when someone says something "vacuous." But it's time for some "Kruk Love," Major League Baseball. I hate to be the one to say this, and I don't wanna criticize ya'll because, really, you're all great, but most of you players today wouldn’t know how to play the game if it burped in your face.
I know the game changes with each new group of ballplayers. Hell, I was a throwback player back when I was keeping house for the Phillies, and I'm sure some of the older dudes looked at me and shook their heads. But thanks to this cush gig here in Bristol, I've got my finger on the pulse. I know what's shaking. I've got eyes and ears in the clubhouses. And these kids today are too selfish to sacrifice to score a run.
The game took the wrong road somewhere. Or somebody read a map wrong. I don't know what it is. But if you watch even just a few innings, you'll see how obsessed people are with their numbers now. Yogi Berra once said there are lies, big lies and statistics, and baseball has become too much of a numbers game. You play the game with a hunk of wood and a ball of cowhide, not a calculator.
The numbers have skewed everything. In front offices people look at a player, and if their statistics add up to the right number then they get a big paycheck. More money than I could spend on cheesesteaks in a week. And of course these kids want that money — who wouldn't? — but they're putting their purses ahead of their teams. (Purses because they're GIRLS get it?)
I see this in the lack of sacrifice bunts and sac flies. Peter mentioned on the show tonight that there are a lot of players who can't get in a runner from third with less than two outs right now. That's just disgusting. The heart and soul of baseball is in the sac fly. For those of us who really love the game, there's no more exciting play.
We talked for a while on the show about this epidemic, and we all agreed on what a problem it is, and how selfish players are to blame. Now some of you younger guys might have been confused because about ten minutes before HR talked about how he liked to catch pop flies because it helped his fielding percentage, and then he started talking about how people are too concerned with statistics.
A couple of people have already called that hippocratical, but you just don't know Harold. Not only could he get in a runner from third, but he was a clubhouse leader, too. And until your sorry asses learn how to play the game right, I'll have none of that talk about my friend. You should all be ashamed of yourselves, and should be spending more time catching the ball with the bat and less catching flies with your mouth.