FIRE JOE MORGAN: Excellent Research by FJM Readers Proves John Kruk to Be A Complete Liar


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Thursday, August 11, 2005


Excellent Research by FJM Readers Proves John Kruk to Be A Complete Liar

Let's go back for a second:
Here's what John Kruk wrote, earlier excerpted in a post by Murbles:
"I remember a game against the San Diego Padres when I played for the Phillies that went into extra innings. Padres' hitter extraordinaire Tony Gwynn had a reputation for letting the first pitch always go by him, but every once in a while he'd take a hack just to keep a pitcher honest. Before we went back into the field I told the pitcher that Gwynn might be looking to take a big swing if it was a fastball. The pitcher ignored me and Gwynn stepped up and hit a bomb that ended up winning the Padres the game."

Two of our readers wrote in, on a hunch that Kruk's frontal lobes have been encrusted with too many chocolate covered (with sprinkles) donuts to remember this accurately. Neither of them mentioned the donuts. But both were right.

It turns out that this simply never happened. Tony Gwynn never hit a home run against the Phillies in extra innings, when John Kruk was playing first base. John Kruk is a liar.

Here's a fantastic spreadsheet supplied by reader Craig M. (you'll need excel):

As Craig and Adam D. both note (Adam using some hot retrosheet action), the closest we can give him credit for is a game in '92 when Gwynn went yard in the 7th, driving in the winning run.

For those interested, here's a deeper look into Adam's research. His words, with a little editing on my part:


Here are the box scores and play by play of every Phillies game during Kruk's tenure with the team:

1994, 1993, 1992, 1991, 1990, 1989

Only once did the Padres beat the Phillies in extra innings while Kruk was on the team. Note that Gwynn was removed from the game prior to the additional frames.

Giving JK the benefit of the doubt, here are the games where Gwynn hit a bomb (assuming that's inside lingo for a home run) when the Padres beat the Phillies:

Gwynn homered in the fifth inning of a 5-1 Padres victory

Gwynn homered in the seventh inning of a 6-5 Padres victory. The home run was against Curt Schilling and put the Padres up 5-4.

Gwynn hits a two run homer in a 5-run seventh inning as the Padres win 5-0.

Gwynn homered in the sixth inning of an 8-2 Padres win

Gwynn home run in the first inning of an 8-3 Padres win.

To be honest, I was rooting for JK to have completely made up that story. I'm afraid I can't come to that conclusion. He certainly got the extra innings part of his very relevant antecdote wrong, but that might not be enough to electronically serve him. The Schilling game in 1992 looks like his unattractive saving grace.


Huge thanks to Adam and Craig for their work.

posted by dak  # 5:52 PM
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