We know that Duane Kuiper and Mike Krukow are a first-rate Giants telecast team. We know they have chemistry, whatever that is. Hard to quantify, isn't it? Well, the following might help to illustrate.
In a recent five-game trip to Toronto and Denver in which the Giants won only once and many of the losses were outright embarrassments, Kuiper and Krukow had a conversation during an appearance by relief pitcher Jeremy Affeldt. Fittingly, it came during the one win, an 8-6 victory against Colorado after being down 6-0.
With Affeldt on the mound, Kuiper, hitting his trademark notes of nonchalance, remarked that Affeldt used to pitch for the Rockies. Then, lowering his baritone's voice an octave, he remarked that Affeldt pitched for Colorado in 2007 and said he believed the Rockies went to the World Series that season.
Indeed, they did, Krukow quickly affirmed, with his trademark enthusiastic certainty.
Kuiper then said that if he weren't mistaken, Affeldt and his wife, Larisa, had their first child, a son whom they named Walker, late during the '07 season. Krukow confirmed that fact. Kuiper, not spilling a drop of his drollery, calmly mentioned that Affeldt and Larisa had their second child, a son whom they named Logan, late during the 2010 season. And both broadcasters let that fact hang in the air for a moment. No Giants fan needs to be reminded what 2010 represents — the team's first World Series championship since the franchise moved to San Francisco from New York in 1958.
By this time, anyone paying attention had a pretty solid clue where this conversation was headed. But that didn't spoil the anticipation. This was Krukow and Kuiper, affectionately known to their legions offans throughout the Bay Area as Kruk and Kuip, and the listening pleasure is, well, in the listening.
So, Kuiper, then perhaps raising his mellow intonations just an octave or two, informed the TV audience that late during the 2012 season, Affeldt and Larisa had a third son, whom they named Colt.
Now of course every Giants fan knows 2012 was another World Series championship year, so the anecdote could have ended there and it would have left the viewers as satisfied as if they had just been serenaded with a duet of "Take Me Out To The Ball Game."
But this is Kruk and Kuip, and there are no two sports broadcasting partners with better chemistry. Might as well mix another potion.
Krukow, playing cheerleader for a moment, chimed in with encouragement for Affeldt to "keep it going!"
And the anecdote could have ended there, with that crowd-pleasing punch line.
But this is Kruk and Kuip, and there are no two sports broadcasting partners whose improvisational instincts are fresher or better suited to each other.
Kuiper then added, in the tone of a matter-of-fact aside, that he doesn't know how things work in Krukow's house, but if things work in the Affeldt household as they do in his own, then Jeremy doesn't have all that much to say about it.
And the anecdote could have ended there, with that bold second punch line that instantly translated into crack-up humor because there isn't a married man alive who can't identify with the self-deprecating, confessional honesty of Kuiper's remark.
But then Krukow, in a grounded, informed cheerfulness that is rarely lacking in his commentary, said "As it should be."