Giants broadcaster Kuiper in a class of his own 

New Year, new revelation.

I spent much of the holidays revisiting the Giants’ World Series championship. Not a bad way to go, actually.

There are DVDs, year-end recaps, highlight packages — you can pretty much find whatever moment you want to enjoy again. Brian Wilson’s final pitch is available from an endless number of angles, courtesy of YouTube.

And after re-experiencing the best 10 weeks of Giants baseball of all-time, I’ve come up with one observation: Duane Kuiper is a victim of being too good at what he does.

Kruk and Kuip — the Giants’ tandem of Kuiper and Mike Krukow across television and radio — are celebrated around the Bay Area for being as fun a broadcasting crew as a baseball fan could wish for.

They entertain, they have fun, they make the audience feel like it’s listening in on a pair of pals enjoying a ballgame, and whatever else grabs their attention. And they deserve every ounce of praise they receive. But I think everybody is overlooking something.

Kuip is as good as any baseball play-by-play announcer in the game. Call after call satisfies the moment. A huge home run that ends with “Outta here” is always perfect, but Kuiper makes announcing that challenges every other play-by-play guy out there seem so easy that we lose sight of how good he is.

If anybody can name another former major leaguer who has become as good a play-by-play announcer — that’s different than the color commentator (which Krukow handles) — I’d love to hear about it because I can’t name one.

So if Kuiper does sign a new six-year deal with the Giants — fingers crossed — Giants fans should start pushing this former major leaguer as the Bay Area’s next candidate for the Baseball Hall of Fame. OK, after Barry Bonds.

He’ll have the credentials — 12 years as a major league shortstop and nearly a quarter century as a great, great, great major-league play-by-play announcer. He’s one of a kind.

I have to weigh in on the 49ers, who were at least 10 weeks late in pulling the trigger to fire Mike Singletary.

I realize Eddie DeBartolo deserves all the applause everybody has given him regarding the 49ers and their Super Bowl runs, but is he really the primary guy who should be advising team president and CEO Jed York?

The 49ers need the next great general manager and head coach not one from a previous era. If Eddie can point York in that direction, then so be it.

I like the fact that York mentioned the Kraft family, which has blazed the New England Patriots’ trail with glory, that’s the place to start. The Kansas City Chiefs have a front office that is a one-off from the Patriots, and look how quickly they’ve turned it around.

Tim Liotta is a freelance journalist and regular contributor to The Examiner. E-mail him at

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