After retiring from baseball in 1985, Duane Kuiper provided commentary for the Giants from 1986 to 1992 before leaving for a one-year stint with the expansion Colorado Rockies in 1993. Kuiper returned to broadcast for the Giants in 1994, where he has remained since. Along with former major league 
pitcher Mike Krukow, Kuiper forms one half of the beloved broadcast duo known as "Kruk and Kuip."
  1. Madison Bumgarner, in a short period of time, has built up a legendary postseason record. Who would you compare him to from your era?
There really is hardly anyone you can compare him with, but Jack Morris was the one guy in the postseason that seemed to make it a “win day” for his teams. He just had the type of attitude on the mound that Bumgarner has. It’s like both of them  say, “We’re not going to mess around here. We’re just going to go out and win.” Everyone that plays behind them appreciates that because they know the deal.

  1. What do you see in the 2017 squad that has you optimistic for a return to the playoffs and beyond?
Well, they made the postseason last year with a bullpen that just could not close out games. They’ve got that taken care of with the signing of Mark Melancon. I’m also optimistic because they got to the postseason with Hunter Pence and Joe Panik dinged up for long periods of time. They had to deal with some big injuries but still managed to make it to a Game Four against the Cubs. I’m looking for this team to get really close to winning 90 games.
 
  1. How has Bruce Bochy been able to successfully lead this team for as long as he has without his message getting stale or ignored?
His message doesn’t get stale because he doesn’t get stale. He’s just very consistent and has worked so well with EVP, Baseball Operations, Brian Sabean and SR VP/GM Bobby Evans in getting the type of people in the clubhouse that don’t allow things to get out of hand. He manages people very well. He’s really a unique guy because it looks like he’s walking and talking in slow motion, but he does not manage in slow motion. He’s on top of things like no other manager I’ve ever seen.
 
  1. As Dave Righetti enters his 18th year as pitching coach, explain what he brings to the team – especially as it pertains to this group of starting pitchers, which is an interesting group.
Number one, he’s got a great assistant in Mark Gardner, and they’re the best of friends. Number two, there really aren’t that many pitching coaches around who pitched both in the starting rotation and the bullpen. He’s got a lot of experience, and there probably isn’t anything that one of his pitchers goes through that he didn’t go through himself, whether as a closer or starter. He’s also a no-nonsense guy. He’s not going to go around patting guys on the back. He’s definitely earned his stripes whereby his pitchers put a lot of stock into the things he says. It’s not an accident that he’s been a pitching coach this long for a very successful franchise. He’s survived all of the new managers who have walked through those doors, from Dusty [Baker] to Felipe [Alou] and now Bochy.
 
  1. With Mike Krukow cutting back his schedule this season, can you take a moment to reflect on the friendship and partnership the two of you share?
It all started in 1990-1991 when he was only doing a handful of games. Joe Morgan started doing ESPN games on Sunday night, and the Giants needed to find someone to fill in, which Mike did. He was always going to be a natural at this  because of his great personality in the clubhouse as a player. He’s not shy, and you  can’t have a shy person up in the broadcast booth. His personality came out right  away. He just got better and better as he grew into the job. It’s fortunate for me  because I get to do all of these games with my best friend. We just have a great  relationship, which I think comes through in our broadcasts.
 
  1. Who would you describe as the real “glue” guys on the Giants, the guys who keep it all together during the grind of the regular season? Who played that role on the Giants teams you were on?
Remember, the Giants teams I played on weren’t very good. The one that was good was the 1982 team, which was stocked with guys from other organizations that were towards the end of their careers. The guys I looked up to and remember are Joe Morgan, Darryl Evans, and Reggie Smith. They were all different but commanded a lot of respect in the clubhouse.
 
For the current team, everyone takes the pitching message from Bumgarner. He’s just got that presence. Mark Melancon will be the guy in the bullpen; I say that even without having seen him pitch a regular season game yet with the Giants. They’ll look at him and see a presence similar to Bumgarner’s.
 
As for the position players, it’s really a team of quiet guys (Belt, Crawford, Panik). You’ve got Hunter Pence as the most vocal. However, Buster Posey is the one guy that’s not afraid to say something when needed. When he talks, people listen.
 
  1. How do you keep your voice fresh throughout the long season?
 One of my pregame routines is to drink a cup of Bigelow Green Tea. That’s no joke; it’s a fact. It’s the way I soothe my throat before going out and talking for three hours. We use the K-Cups. We’ve had a machine in the back of our booth for six years. It’s really fabulous tea.

 


Kuiper’s National League Playoff picks:

 
East: The Nationals will win and get Dusty back to the playoffs again.
 
Central: Cubs will win between 94-98 games.
 
West: Because I’m SO unbiased, I think this is the year the Giants win the West.
 
Wild Cards: Mets and Dodgers.