Mike Krukow heard the rumors, he saw the reports. The longtime Giants broadcaster refused to believe Madison Bumgarner would play for a city other than San Francisco.
He saw the Giants hold onto Bumgarner at the MLB trade deadline last year and felt that could be a sign of things to come. And then, Bumgarner stayed in the NL West as a free agent, but signed a five-year, $85 million contract to join the Arizona Diamondbacks.
"I was shocked. Shocked," Krukow said Tuesday on KNBR. "And I was hurt by that. I just didn't want to see the big man go. We closed a chapter on what I think is one of the most brilliant chapters ever for a San Francisco Giant -- really any San Francisco or New York Giant. He was special."
Krukow was in the booth for all of MadBum's 11 years with the Giants. He saw him make his MLB debut as a 20-year-old, and play World Series hero only a few years later.
Krukow called Bumgarner the greatest playoff performer in Giants history. To him, the burly left-hander is everything the Giants stand for.
"I really held back hope that he'd be a Giant forever," Krukow said. "I loved that about Matt Cain. Matt Cain was a Giant. And if there's anybody that has symbolized the grittiness and the toughness of our city and the uniqueness of our city, it was Bumgarner. Here's a guy who's from North Carolina, yet he embodied everything we're all about in the Giants organization."
But Bumgarner's next chapter of his career will come in the desert. And Krukow can't believe how cheap the D-backs signed him for.
The fact that former Giants prospect Zack Wheeler -- who nearly missed two seasons to arm injuries and has an empty trophy case with no accolades -- signed a $118 million contract with the Phillies, blew Krukow's mind.
"To me, that's an absurdity," Krukow said on Wheeler getting a larger contract than Bumgarner.
Krukow believes Bumgarner still has plenty of years ahead of him on a big-league mound. Whether it be the deception of his windup or pure competitiveness, this isn't even close to the end for the three-time champion in Krukow's eyes.
Now, the Giants will have to face their former ace, who reflected on his time in San Francisco during his introductory press conference on Tuesday.
Madison Bumgarner on leaving the Giants: pic.twitter.com/tPcCBFDHii— Alex Pavlovic (@PavlovicNBCS) December 17, 2019
Krukow clearly will miss Bumgarner, and he sure isn't alone. He watched the lefty grow before his eyes and it still doesn't feel real that the franchise legend has left the building.
Throughout the years, Krukow has seen the Giants make plenty of changes. None, however, were as emotional as this for him.