Giants fans are spoiled.
We have the best broadcasters in baseball. Kruk, Kuip, Jon Miller and Dave Fleming are an outstanding crew that give Giants fans the best baseball experience possible while watching games on television or listening to them on the radio. As far as I'm concerned, they're the best in the business.
The job these four do, along with their engineers and support staff, is amazing, and I was thrilled to see Jon Miller inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame last year.
Mike Krukow and Duane Kuiper are like family to me, as I've grown up listening to their voices describe what was happening on the field, and teaching me about the game in the process. If I had it my way, they'd be in the Hall of Fame too.
But on April 9, when the world champion San Francisco Giants finally received their long-awaited World Series rings, it was interesting that the Giants broadcasters, as well as former Giants Hall-of-Famers, received World Series rings too.
The San Francisco Giants organization has always displayed class and professionalism, and I'm certainly not trying to advocate how they should run things. But a World Series ring, it seems, should be exclusive to those who were directly responsible for the championship, including players, coaches, trainers and other player support staff.
To give rings to those who provide play-by-play narratives and analysis of those things that are being done on the field and in the dugout, which culminated in a World Series title, seems to devalue, to an extent, the wearing of the ring. The value of anything is in a large way defined by how exclusive the item is—the more individuals that possess it, the less value or meaning it has.
The Giants—those who actually played the games and made decisions in the dugout—should be awarded with the prize that they earned.
Broadcasters and former players, many of whom, sadly, did not earn championship rings while they played, shouldn't be given rings for something they did not accomplish. For some, it may even remind them that they did not earn the ring in their own playing days, but received one for a championship won by a later generation of Giants.
I know this all sounds harsh, and I am by no means trying to diminish the great legacies that were left by Hall of Fame Giants such as Willie McCovey, Juan Marichal and Orlando Cepeda. Nor am I trying to lessen the great work that the Giants wonderful team of broadcasters do, but whether it's the Giants or any other team that wins the World Series, rings should be presented to players, coaches, and player support staff only.
I would, of course, include ownership and the general manager, who makes the crucial player and personnel decisions in-season and offseason, in this group.
The World Series ring should remain as exclusive as possible while remaining true to the game. This ensures the integrity of what it means: that its bearer is a world champion of baseball.