John Kruk, Straying Off MessageS

Anyone who has watched "Baseball Tonight" in the last few years, when it has transformed from an entertainingly wonky baseball fan's fever dream into yet another chapter in ESPN's ongoing "People Screaming At Each Other" novel, suspects that the "panelists" often make ridiculous claims on air just to have some sort of effect, whether or not they actually believe them. This is, after all, how the network breads its butter these days.

But it's still surprising to see John Kruk step up and admit it.

You may or may not have caught John Kruk's act on Baseball Tonight last week. In a Q/A session with the other hosts, Kruk answered "the Pirates" when asked "who will be leading the NL Central at the end of the month?" Whatever, just another ESPN guy trying to look smart if it actually comes true. Big deal, right? Wrong. A couple days later, Kruky was on "The D-List" radio show here in Madison to discuss his pick. Kruk admitted that he really wanted to pick Milwaukee as his answer. Apparently, the ESPN brass tried to stiff arm him into saying he thought the Yankees would be leading the AL East by June. Kruk refused, so they made him make one bold selection, thus the Pirates pick. And this was all admitted on the radio by Kruk!

Expect a memo, Mr. Kruk; your dissemination of unauthorized opinion and retelling of fact-based events will be noted in your personnel file.

ESPN Is A Fraud [Chuckie Hacks]