A defense of Jim Kaat-as-announcer hardly seems like something that would be necessary at this point, but SF’s constant harping, culminated by this evening’s diatribe, unfortunately demands a response.
Let’s make this much clear: we don’t agree with every Kitty-ism. His misrepresentation of “Moneyball” tactics is a constant frustration. And there’s no doubt he has some curious ideas, especially when it comes to pitching. But these ideas are based in his own experience, and it’s worth remembering just how extraordinary that experience has been. How many lefties have more wins than Kitty? Five. Ever. He’s got 16 Gold Gloves, is the all-time record holder for sacrifices by a pitcher, and put in over 300 innings in two different seasons during a 25 year career that deserves a lot more HOF attention than it has received. Does this history color the way he understands the game? Absolutely. But an informed listener should know his record, and know what and what not to take with a grain of salt. The rewards are worth it, for there’s no more genial 9-inning companion than Jim Kaat.