For those who don't know him, Larry Krueger — who was finally fired last night — is a motormouthed, somewhat annoying late-night talk host on the San Francisco Giants flagship radio station, KNBR-680. On the air August 3 following another inspiring loss by the home lads (3-2 to the Rockies), Krueger apparently lost it:
"I just cannot watch this brand of baseball any longer. A truly awful, pathetic, old team that only promises to be worse two years from now. It's just awful. It really is bad to watch. Brain-dead Caribbean hitters hacking at slop nightly."
"You have a manager in Felipe (Alou) whose mind has turned to Cream of Wheat."
The resultant flap, of course, revolves around the term "brain-dead Caribbean hitters." The comment may have snuck through in every locale except the actual Caribbean, and multi-diverse San Francisco. Krueger and the station have been in damage control ever since. A sample of the reaction so far after the jump:
It has often been said that those who do not understand history are condemned to repeat it. In that tradition, then, the tradition of Jimmy the Greek, Al Campanis, Howard Cosell, John Rocker, ad infinitum, ad nauseum, I offer the now duly humbled Larry DUMB@$$ Krueger, whose take on race relations can only fairly be described as Neanderthal. Frankly, Krueger ought to be checking his knuckles for scabs. — The People's Republic of Seabrook He came to apologize to me? You have to be kidding me. There's no way to apologize for such a sin. All of these people have been offended by this idiot. I can't speak for hundreds of millions of people. This guy offended hundreds of millions of people. — Felipe Alou When he placed the team's problems in the Carribean, Krueger was as undisciplined as any hitter on the team. He was wrong as soon as he said it. Just who was 'brain-dead' here? — Gwen Knapp, San Francisco Chronicle. When Krueger ripped Giants general manager Brian Sabean, vice president of player personnel Dick Tidrow and director of player development Jack Hiatt, he didn't invoke their race once. Interesting, isn't it. — Jose de Jesus Ortiz, Houston Chronicle. I was also listening to KNBR on the way to work this morning and Gary Radnich had a number of callers call in to contribute what they have heard. One noted that this was not Krueger's first insensitive comment, perhaps also racial in nature. One night there was a discussion of Chinese gymnasts (don't remember the sport exactly, I think it was gymnastics, but am certain it was some type of athletics) and he went on a rant about their looks and about how ugly they were. The caller noted that there were a lot of calls of protests to the station about that. — Biased Giants Fanatic
I haven't heard anything like that since John Rocker. I feel a little bit insulted. — Giants shortstop Omar Vizquel.
In the end, I don't think what happens to Larry Krueger really matters all that much. I hope the consequences are serious enough that he looks inside himself, questions his beliefs and values, and becomes a better person. Maybe a one week suspension is enough for that, maybe not. We'll never know. — Sports Frog
In a move worthy of the White House Web site, the station has edited the word "Carribean" from the audio download of that evening's show.
Meanwhile, on their home page, KNBR has put up a Countdown to the 49ers First Pre-season Game. When you're counting the days to the 49ers' opener, you know things are bad...