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Mike Krukow Continuing KNBR Appearances After Giants Ink Star Free Agent

“I thought it was great.”

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Mike Krukow
Courtesy: Charles Mostoller, Special to The San Francisco Chronicle

The San Francisco Giants organization has reportedly been trying to land a star player on their team through free agency for the last several years, but the efforts have proven unsuccessful. A tweet from Jon Heyman regarding Aaron Judge likely heading to the team turned out to be incorrect, re-signing with the New York Yankees shortly thereafter. Moreover, the Giants made an aggressive bid to land two-way superstar Shohei Ohtani, only to lose out on him to the rival Los Angeles Dodgers. Upon all of this happening – along with Juan Soto being traded to the Yankees – Mike Krukow voiced the need for the Giants to land a star.

In the end, the team came to terms with outfielder Jung Hoo Lee on a six-year contract worth a reported $113 million. Lee spent the last seven years playing in the KBO League where he owned a .340/.407/.491 slashline throughout his career. Lee will now make the move to Major League Baseball as the Giants look to field a contending team with hopes of capturing another World Series championship.

The news excited fans of the team and will likely help draw additional attention towards the team in the leadup to Opening Day. While it remains unknown if the Giants will make any more moves this offseason, the team hopes to improve on its 79-win campaign under new manager Bob Melvin. On Tuesday morning, Mike Krukow joined Brian Murphy and Markus Boucher on KNBR to convey his thoughts surrounding the acquisition and Lee’s press conference.

“I thought it was great,” Krukow said. “It also means I don’t have to quit.”

Krukow threatened to quit his weekly spot on Murph & Markus if the Giants were unable to land a star free agent. Broadcast partner Duane Kuiper wondered if Lee’s deal would constitute a large enough move that would keep him on the air. Before Ohtani signed with the Dodgers, Mike Krukow discussed how he felt it was vital for the team to make a splash in the offseason. Since the team won three World Series championships in a five-year span, the team has qualified for the postseason twice and lost in the National League Division Series during both years.

“I wasn’t going to hold you to that by the way,” Murphy replied, who also shared last week that he is not quitting either way and has no choice but to join the program. Kuiper wanted to know how his colleague would respond to determine if he would need to appear on the morning show more often. Nonetheless, it seems as if Krukow is content with the free-agent signing, keeping him as part of the program’s lineup for the foreseeable future.

“He’s not a home-run hitter per se; he will hit some, but neither was Ichiro,” Krukow said. “Now is he going to be as good as Ichiro? Man, I hope so.”

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KFC on WFAN: What Makes Barstool Sports Successful is the “Reality TV Aspect”

“Anybody that has success in entertainment and sports…I think there is going to be that desire to see behind the curtain and we just kind of opened the curtain willingly.”

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Kevin Clancy, aka KFC from Barstool Sports
Courtesy: Barstool Sports

Kevin Clancy, better known as ‘KFC’ from Barstool Sports, filled in for Boomer Esiason on WFAN this morning with Gregg Giannatti. The two hosts discussed the feuding going on between members of the 1990’s Chicago Bulls as some players, most notably Scottie Pippen, are disputing some of what was said in The Last Dance back in 2020.

They compared the situation to some of what they face at their offices, noting they spend a lot of time with their co-workers, who aren’t members of their family or in most cases their best friends and drama can sometimes ensue. “Barstool has taken that office drama to a level that no one else has achieved,” Giannotti said to KFC. “When we do stuff like that here [at WFAN], it’s very rarely serious. The drama that you guys have, it’s real and it’s out there and that’s got to be a really difficult thing to deal with if you’re not prepared for it.”

“We usually refer to it as “being in the mud,” Clancy responded. “And there’s only certain people that can really live in the mud…It’s part of what made Barstool successful, is that reality TV aspect of it in that it is kind of like a team, and there is internal drama like clubhouse drama, locker room drama and the way we usually handle that is let’s do it out there and on the air.”

KFC talked about being a fan of WFAN and seeing it from the outside looking in. He said as a listener you could sense who was not a fan of certain people. He used the example of the feuds which would take place between Mike Francesa and Craig Carton and then the subsequent feuds Giannotti found himself in with “The Pope” when he took over for Carton.

“Anybody that has success in entertainment and sports…I think there is going to be that desire to see behind the curtain and we just kind of opened the curtain willingly,” KFC said about Barstool Sports. “We will probably fight each other more than anything, but then when there’s an outside problem, we close ranks and we are like, let’s handle business.”

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Gow Media Parts Ways With Sports Map Radio Program Director Craig Larson

“With Larson exiting, Gow Media will make another change, tapping into its partnership with VSiN to satisfy its Sports Map Radio affiliate stations.”

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It’s been a tough week in Houston for Gow Media. First, the company made cuts to ESPN 97.5, parting ways with the midday team of Joshua Beard, Michael Connor and Andrew Carlson. Then yesterday, the company informed longtime network program director Craig Larson that he too was unfortunately a budget cut casualty.

Larson had been with Gow Media since the company acquired the Sporting News Radio network in 2010. He started with Sporting News Radio as a producer in Illinois, moving next to Los Angeles to take on programming duties for the network before relocating to Houston to lead the outlet following David Gow’s acquisition of the brand.

During the fourteen years that Larson managed the network, it’s gone through a few changes. Gow elected to change the identity from Sporting News Radio to Yahoo Sports Radio in 2011. That was followed by rebrands to SB Nation Radio and its current name, Sports Map Radio.

With Larson exiting, Gow Media will tap into its partnership with VSiN to satisfy its Sports Map Radio affiliate stations. The two groups have already been working together. This just gives the sports betting network an even bigger push. It also helps Gow stand out better in a crowded national sports radio marketplace.

As for Larson, this is his first trip to free agency in nearly a quarter century. When reached by BSM, he acknowledged that his time with the company had come to an end. He added, ‘It was an amazing 14 years in Houston. I’m proud of the work we put in, and there’s no better person in the world to work for than David Gow.’

Those interested in chatting with Larson about future possibilities can reach him at [email protected].

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Eli Gold Out as Voice of Alabama Football; Ends 35-Year Run

“I will not be returning. The university chose to not bring me back. I have not retired!”

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Eli Gold
Courtesy: Alabama Athletics

The Tuscaloosa News has reported longtime University of Alabama radio play-by-play voice Eli Gold will not be returning next season. Gold, who has been in the position for 35 years, told Birmingham FOX 6 Reporter Jonathan Hardison, “I will not be returning. The university chose to not bring me back. I have not retired!”

The report says Chris Stewart, who has been calling Alabama basketball for the Crimson Tide Sports Network, will take over the football broadcasts.

“Eli has been an invaluable member of our broadcast team,” Jim Carabin, Vice President and General Manager of the Crimson Tide Sports Network said in a statement. “We are grateful for his years of service and wish him all the best in this next chapter. CTSN is fortunate to have someone as part of our existing broadcast team in Chris to step up and seamlessly transition into this role.”

Gold missed the 2022 season for health reasons, otherwise he has been calling Crimson Tide games each season since 1988. Gold, 70, had been diagnosed with cancer just over one year ago but called home games in 2023. Stewart filled in for Gold both in 2022 and 2023.

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