Mike Krukow is a former Major League Baseball starting pitcher who played for the Chicago Cubs, the Philadelphia Phillies and the San Francisco Giants. He’s in his 23rd season as a broadcaster with the Giants organization, providing analysis and color commentary for games on Comcast SportsNet Bay Area and NBC Bay Area telecasts, KNBR Radio broadcasts, and affiliated stations. And he lives in Reno during the offseason.
Just a week or so into the new season, how are things shaping up for the Giants?
Well, this was a team that was expected to do well. And I think it’s imperative that you get off to a good start. A couple of things have happened in the first seven games. They’ve had some nice comeback victories. They’ve had some contributions from everybody in the offense. So I think from a swinging-the-bats perspective, they’re a pretty confident bunch. And they’re not afraid to fall down early in a ballgame and get down by as many as five runs. We saw them comeback against the Dodgers. They came back actually twice—one time down 4-0, and one time down 5-0. I think that’s significant. They’re a confident bunch. A couple of guys in the rotation still trying to get their sea legs. One is Jeff Samardzija, going tonight—he was a little over-amped in his first start in Milwaukee. And Jake Peavy was a little over-amped. You need to settle into a routine and hit that comfort zone, so that’s still at stake. But they’re healthy and they’re happy, and they’re optimistic for this season.
Johnny Cueto is really fun to watch.
Cueto—from a broadcaster’s perspective—it doesn’t get any better than that. He’s really fun to analyze because he can mix things up not only with his stuff, but with his motion. He gets it. Pitching is upsetting the timing of the hitter—that’s all it is. And he finds ways to do that with his motion. I think that sets him apart from everybody else in the game.
What do you like about living in Reno?
Well, first of all, I like my grandkids. My son and my daughter-in-law have two kids, and that got my wife and I up here. But we had a cabin up in Soda Springs for many years, and we snowboarded up here for many years. We just love the area. We like the altitude. We like the winter. We were psyched this year with all the snow we got. The seasons are gorgeous. But more than anything, the attitude in Reno is exceptional. The quality of life is phenomenal. That’s why we’re here.
It seems like most baseball fans in Reno are Giants fans, but there’s also so much hometown support for the Aces even though they’re affiliated with the Diamondbacks.
Absolutely. I go around town, and I’m constantly talking Giants baseball. People feel like they know me because they see me on TV every day. They come up, very relaxed, and immediately start talking about the Giants, as if we’re next door neighbors and have been for 10 years. And a lot of them have Aces T-shirts and hats on. They like baseball. We knew that coming up here when my son played for UNR. It’s a great crowd. They enjoy their baseball. They’ve got a good history for it. My partner Duane Kuiper played for the Reno Silver Sox back in 1972. So he has a fondness for it as well. It’s just a great area for baseball.
Have you been to Aces games?
Well, no, because it parallels my schedule. I really don’t get a chance to get home and take advantage of it. But I’ve been to the ballpark many times. One thing about being a baseball player—if there’s a ballpark in town, you’ve got to go check it out. And it’s a phenomenal facility. We just think it’s spectacular, as is Peccole Park. Peccole Park is a great place to watch college baseball. And now I’m watching T-ball with my grandson. Reno has some great Little League fields. He’s over in the Somersett area. So, I’ve run the spectrum as far as seeing what Reno has to offer as far as baseball stadiums.