PHILADELPHIA -- John Kruk isn't going to hold back on Comcast SportsNet.The Phillies and CSN introduced Kruk as the newest member of their broadcast team Tuesday afternoon at Citizens Bank Park, and Kruk entertained during the nearly 15-minute news conference. Kruk, who sources said signed a 5-year contract, will work
PHILADELPHIA -- John Kruk isn't going to hold back on Comcast SportsNet.
The Phillies and CSN introduced Kruk as the newest member of their broadcast team Tuesday afternoon at Citizens Bank Park, and Kruk entertained during the nearly 15-minute news conference. Kruk, who sources said signed a 5-year contract, will work between 80-90 games as an analyst this season. Ben Davis will work the remaining 70-80, and Mike Schmidt will work with Kruk or Davis during weekend games in Philadelphia.
"It's going to be a long year for you, pal," Kruk said to play-by-play announcer Tom McCarthy.
Kruk worked as an analyst with CSN in 2003 before spending 12 years at ESPN. He left the network last summer, which had many thinking Kruk could join the Phillies' broadcast crew at some point. In fact, Kruk said he and the Phillies had been talking about a possible reunion for a few years.
"My wife said I'm too young to retire," Kruk said about his interest in CSN. "What else am I going to do? I have to do something. My God, if I sit around and eat all day … it's not a pretty sight.
"Basically, they were cutting back [at ESPN]. They had to figure out a way to cut payroll, I guess. I didn't do anything wrong. I know you're asking about a certain pitcher that I played with [Curt Schilling]. … I have nothing against what happened. It's part of the deal."
Kruk will broadcast his first game with McCarthy and Davis on Feb. 25, when the Phillies host the Yankees in a Grapefruit League game at Spectrum Field in Clearwater, Fla. Kruk said much of what he already knows about the Phillies he has learned from Phillies bench coach Larry Bowa, whom Kruk called the best resource in the world.
"Now, I can't tell you some of the things he says about the players," Kruk joked. "No, there's going to be some studying. I watch enough that it ain't going to be that hard. I'll figure it out. … Put it this way, I'll probably train harder for this than when I was playing."
Asked about the difference between broadcasting locally vs. nationally, Kruk said, "No ties. That's a blessing.
"If I say this I'm going to get in trouble, but I'll say it anyway. I'm not big on meetings. We had a lot of them up there (at ESPN). A whole bunch. Incessant phone calls. I didn't answer most. It's pretty rude when somebody's hitting and you're answering your phone while playing golf."
Speaking of getting into trouble, will it be easy for Kruk to speak bluntly about the Phillies, then board a cross-country flight with the team?
"I'm going to take it for granted that if they screwed up they knew it," he said. "Maybe some of them don't. I don't know. It is what it is. Look, ever since I came here in 1989, all people talk about is how knowledgeable Phillies fans are. So if I sugarcoat something they're going to know I'm being a little you-know-what.
"But I'm not going to go out of my way to just bury someone. Hey, look, I've made every mistake you could make (as a player), on and off the field. But I can't present that to Phillies fans and sugarcoat it. They see through that because they are knowledgeable. They understand."
Todd Zolecki has covered the Phillies since 2003, and for MLB.com since 2009. Follow him on Twitter and listen to his podcast.