I have to admit, Krukie's BBTN analysis has improved over the years. He used to say stuff like this and this. Lately he's a lot less offensive and has even learned to read a teleprompter. Good for him. Tonight, though, he put together a little mini rant that I found both amusing and illuminating. Amusing because let's face it, it's always funny when a fat idiot gets worked up about something, and illuminating because it showed that ex-player neanderthals like him who hate advanced stats also hate any other numerical information that's not batting average/number of pitching wins. In other words Kruk showed that the universe of stuff he'd rather not understand is a lot larger than I previously thought it was.
ESPN occasionally does these little Sport Science bits; they're actually not a huge waste of time. They dumb down the physics behind awesome stuff that athletes do and then present their analysis with some cool-looking production. Here's how much force LeBron generates when he jumps to dunk, here's the amount of torque Tiger Woods generates when he swings, etc. It's like a video version of a USA Today infographic. Early this evening on BBTN they did one about this Justin Sellers catch. The narrator (who is not one of the anchors; it's a pre-recorded bit) described the amount of time Sellers spent looking at the ball to judge its trajectory, the "optimal acceleration cancellation" his brain used to create a vectored route that would intersect with the ball's trajectory, the speed at which he was running when he tumbled into the stands (19 mph), and the force of impact he made with the wall (somehow equivalent to being hit by a car going 20 rather than 19 mph). It was reasonably entertaining. And when it was over, we were taken back to the studio to get Kruk and Karl Ravech's thoughts. Take it away, Larry B's DVR.
Sport Science narrator, wrapping things up: Sellers manages to hold onto the ball after tumbling into the stands, and grab our play of the week.
KR: I love it. I love what I just saw. I love that stuff. There he is. He basically caught the ball, got hit by a car, and held onto it.
JK: At twenty miles per hour.
[graphic on screen: Most defensive runs saved by Dodgers in 2012. Sellers is second on the team with 4 in just 90 innings in the field.]
KR: At twenty miles per hour. That's Justin Sellers there, Jerry Hairston Junior, as far as the Dodgers go... (obviously trolling Kruk) Krukie, what part of that resonates with you? Was it the optimal acceleration cancellation?
JK (sarcastically): That was... that was where I really got into it. (pause) Karl.
KR (chuckling): What.
JK: My optical illusions told me when I watched that play that it was a great play. I don't need science to tell me that was a great play. I don't. I don't care how long his eyes were on the ball. I don't care if a car going FIFTY miles per hour hit him.
KR: Yeah, well, that was-
JK: He made a great play. I didn't need science to tell me that.
KR: Well, it allows to just-
JK (exasperated): Sometimes, let's just use our eyes. Let's just use our eyes!
KR: So... you don't want to know HOW great a play it was.
JK (still exasperated): No. I know how great a play it was! It was very difficult!
KR: He caught it. Got hit by a car. And held onto it.
JK: (exhales audibly) I feel like I got hit by a car.
What's the best part of that? Him pleading with us to "just use our eyes," as if one could enjoy Sellers' play by knowing the Sport Science facts but without actually have seen the catch? "My optical illusions?" Ravech unashamedly setting Kruk up for a rant against an in-house production piece? Pretty fun. I also enjoyed their signoff about 30 minutes later, before Sunday Night Baseball began, in which Karl awkwardly announced that they'd be back for more Baseball Tonight after the game in part because he didn't think he and Kruk had done anything to get fired during the show. Great stuff.