It is with a heavy heart I am able to confirm previously heard whispers and wonderings: John Kruk joins the Sunday Night Baseball booth as an analyst, working alongside the exemplary pairing of Orel Hershiser and Dan Schulman.

This news comes packaged with the first half Sunday Night Baseball schedule, which includes as much of the “old guard” as they can muster without cramming the last place Red Sox in your face too much. The Rangers lead the way with three appearances in the first half, most notably Josh Hamilton and his Los Angeles Angels visiting Texas for the very first time.

The full sked is below the jump.

Date Game
March 31 Texas Rangers at Houston Astros
April 7 Los Angeles Angels at Texas Rangers
April 14 Baltimore Orioles at New York Yankees
April 21 St. Louis Cardinals at Philadelphia Phillies
April 28 Atlanta Braves at Detroit Tigers
May 5 Los Angeles Dodgers at San Francisco Giants
May 12 Los Angeles Angels at Chicago White Sox
May 19 Detroit Tigers at Texas Rangers
May 26 Atlanta Braves at New York Mets
July 14 St. Louis Cardinals at Chicago Cubs
July 21 New York Yankees at Boston Red Sox

They just can’t help themselves. Yankees and Red Sox! So what if hundreds of thousands more people will watch that game than a Brewers/Reds title? It isn’t fair, man!

ESPN cheerily notes that this is the Orioles first SNB appearance since 2008, or about 5 years earlier than the last time the Blue Jays showed up. If everything goes to Alex Anthopoulos’ master plan, that will all change in the second half of the season.