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Thursday, May 29, 2014

Ron Darling: Keith Hernandez qualified to be a critic of Mets’ hitting philosophy

Keith got 9 IBB’s in 86…so there’s that!.

Fired Mets hitting coach Dave Hudgens used the word “naysayers” when describing the SNY announcers—including Keith Hernandez—who have criticized the team’s batting approach.

SNY announcer Ron Darling had another word Tuesday night to describe Hernandez: Expert.

“If you look at Keith’s career,” Darling told Newsday, “Keith was the poster boy for what they do. He’s already done it. These guys aspire to do it. I think that Keith is probably the best person to talk about how you get on base, but at the same time the aggressiveness with which you can do that. So I don’t know anyone better to speak about it.”

Darling was asked before Tuesday night’s game about comments Hudgens made to Newsday after his Memorial Day firing.

Said Hudgens: “The naysayers, the guys who disapprove of us, the guys who I listen to on TV all the time, those guys that know everything about the game, I’m just amazed at it . . . I just shake my head at the old-school guys that have it all figured out. Go up there and swing the bat. Well, what do you want to swing at? It just confounds me. It’s just hilarious, really. That’s one thing. I’m glad I don’t have to listen to those guys anymore.”

Repoz Posted: May 29, 2014 at 01:09 PM | 35 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: media, mets

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   1. gehrig97 Posted: May 29, 2014 at 02:06 PM (#4715434)
I think the issue is more in Keith's delivery... (which is awesome, by the way).
   2. thetailor Posted: May 29, 2014 at 02:40 PM (#4715478)
I think its absurd that this is even a topic of discussion.

The Mets' booth is amazing at breaking things down. They are not old curmudgeons. This is not a case of Joe Morgan retiring and suddenly criticizing everything that made he himself great. Hudgens is waaay off base.

Not everyone who CAN, can teach ... but Keith can.
   3. PreservedFish Posted: May 29, 2014 at 02:50 PM (#4715502)
Keith Hernandez's book on inside baseball is something to behold. I couldn't finish it. There's like 15 pages on what count you should hit & run on.

The Mets crew, Keith included, are pretty sharp guys, fairly aware of and open to new trends in baseball thought.
   4. Rob_Wood Posted: May 29, 2014 at 03:31 PM (#4715578)
Keith, Ron & Gary are fantastic. However Keith, in particular, sees his role as "teacher/critic" which wears thin after awhile.
   5. The Anthony Kennedy of BBTF (Scott) Posted: May 29, 2014 at 03:40 PM (#4715592)
The Mets booth has very often over the last six years been the only thing worth watching the Mets for. They're all fantastic, they have great chemistry and obvious respect for each other, and Gary Cohen is probably my favorite PBP man of all time.

I can see how Keith could wear on people sometimes.
   6. 6 - 4 - 3 Posted: May 29, 2014 at 04:09 PM (#4715614)
The only thing that the Mets have going for them right now is a great announcing corps. Not that Hudgens necessarily deserved to be fired, but taking a potshot at Hernandez on his way out the door is silly.

I'll have to check out Keith Hernandez's book on hitting.
   7. JE (Jason) Posted: May 29, 2014 at 05:48 PM (#4715707)
I can see how Keith could wear on people sometimes.

Well, yeah, asking casual acquaintances to help you move furniture takes a set of balls.
   8. formerly dp Posted: May 29, 2014 at 06:14 PM (#4715727)
The Mets booth has very often over the last six years been the only thing worth watching the Mets for. They're all fantastic, they have great chemistry and obvious respect for each other, and Gary Cohen is probably my favorite PBP man of all time.
+1000. One of my close friends in NYC didn't really care about baseball, but used to watch the games just to listen to the broadcast team. They rock.
   9. bobm Posted: May 29, 2014 at 06:46 PM (#4715741)
What is remarkable to me is how much Ron Darling has improved as an analyst since his pre-Mets and early Mets announcing career. It seems to me that he finally realized that he needed to abandon the announcing cliches and just relate his playing experiences to the game situation.
   10. eddieot Posted: May 29, 2014 at 09:12 PM (#4715815)
Best announcing team in baseball not named Scully. That being said, I find the "firing the hitting coach in May" move typical Mets: reactionary, impulsive and ultimately ineffective. Though if the whisperings are true and someone like Wright lobbied Wilpon to ax him then I have less of a problem with it. But if this was Alderson trying to appear like he's doing something I think it's silly.
   11. Arbitol Dijaler Posted: May 29, 2014 at 09:15 PM (#4715819)
One of the things I like best about the broadcast team is that they don't root for the Mets or disparage the other teams, which you see far too much of from other crews (Nats are particularly terrible). It's really inexcusable in a day and age where you can watch most any game you want from anywhere--it's wrong to assume that everyone watching is rooting along with you.
   12. asinwreck Posted: May 29, 2014 at 09:18 PM (#4715822)
During tonight's Mets/Phillies game, the Mets crew lambasted Doug Eddings for calling a strike on a checked swing...by Ryan Howard. The great thing is something like that isn't even a surprise.
   13. Justin T steals bases with his bat Posted: May 29, 2014 at 09:28 PM (#4715826)
What is remarkable to me is how much Ron Darling has improved as an analyst since his pre-Mets and early Mets announcing career. It seems to me that he finally realized that he needed to abandon the announcing cliches and just relate his playing experiences to the game situation.

I think he does ok working the Mets games, but as recently as last year's playoffs he was a blithering idiot on TBS. So much so that I am tempted to assign all credit to Keith for the good Mets booth, but it seems like one of them is gone often enough that it would be obvious if that was the case.
   14. Lassus Posted: May 29, 2014 at 09:33 PM (#4715829)
I think he does ok working the Mets games, but as recently as last year's playoffs he was a blithering idiot on TBS.

He defers way way WAY too much to whatever player who is in the booth with him. He barely speaks when Hershiser or Smoltz or whomever is paired with him, and it really shows.
   15. PreservedFish Posted: May 29, 2014 at 09:50 PM (#4715843)
So much so that I am tempted to assign all credit to Keith for the good Mets booth, but it seems like one of them is gone often enough that it would be obvious if that was the case.

No, Darling is great when he's alone with Cohen. Hernandez is clearly the weakest link - he's smart and entertaining but he is the one most likely to slip into less professional directions (just saying "OOOOH" without commentary or steering the conversation towards television of the early 70s) or rely on FranHealyesque cliches (just saying the word "cheddar" after any good fastball). But, he's still way above average, I'd say.
   16. Howie Menckel Posted: May 29, 2014 at 09:51 PM (#4715844)

Darling sucks on those postseason games, but he's really good in the Mets booth. He was a good but not great pitcher, so he can relate to struggles while also being able to explain breakthroughs. He had both....
   17. JE (Jason) Posted: May 29, 2014 at 10:29 PM (#4715874)
steering the conversation towards television of the early 70s

Disagree, Fish. When the Mets stink, it's this kind of banter that stops me from switching channels.
Darling sucks on those postseason games, but he's really good in the Mets booth. He was a good but not great pitcher, so he can relate to struggles while also being able to explain breakthroughs. He had both....

Bullseye.
   18. Depressoteric feels Royally blue these days Posted: May 30, 2014 at 10:25 AM (#4716042)
or steering the conversation towards television of the early 70s
Have to agree with Jason Epstein on this one. The Nats' radio guys Charlie Slowes & Dave Jageler (another pairing that ranks up there with the best in the game, non-Scully/Uecker/Miller division) will do the same sort of thing during slow/blowout/rain-delay games, and it's an immense part of their charm: amusing banter between two guys with obvious chemistry that doesn't subtract from the necessary commentary but rather fills in the spaces when the on-field product is...difficult to take.

I mean, I cordially loathe the Mets as an NL East competitor overrepresented on Primer, but even I've come to appreciate the quality of the Darling/Hernandez/Cohen team. They're authentically great now. It took me awhile to acknowledge because I still had traumatic memories of Ron Darling's color work with the Nats during their first season...dear Lord was he ever terrible back when he started. Just godawful.
   19. You Know Nothing JT Snow (YR) Posted: May 30, 2014 at 10:31 AM (#4716047)
steering the conversation towards television of the early 70s

Disagree, Fish.


Barney Miller reference, I got it!
   20. Benji Posted: May 30, 2014 at 11:05 AM (#4716063)
You can do the old "drinking game" with Hernandez. You drink every time he says "rib-eye steak", the aforementioned "cheddar" and "for you kids out there". You'll be drunk by the 5th inning.
   21. if nature called, ladodger34 would listen Posted: May 30, 2014 at 11:24 AM (#4716078)
I think he does ok working the Mets games, but as recently as last year's playoffs he was a blithering idiot on TBS. So much so that I am tempted to assign all credit to Keith for the good Mets booth, but it seems like one of them is gone often enough that it would be obvious if that was the case.


I thought Darling was really good during the offseason on MLBN. He seems like one of the few retired players that takes a big picture look at things and didn't fall into the old and tired baseball cliches.

FWIW, MLB Tonight has been very good the last couple of weeks since Mitch has been disappeared for a while.
   22. Jose Is The Most Absurd Thing on the Site Posted: May 30, 2014 at 11:33 AM (#4716083)
I'll second the idea that Darling has been good on TBS.
   23. Arbitol Dijaler Posted: May 30, 2014 at 03:00 PM (#4716191)
I cordially loathe the Mets as an NL East competitor overrepresented on Primer,


Not so overrepresented these days. 2006 was a long time ago.
   24. if nature called, ladodger34 would listen Posted: May 30, 2014 at 03:51 PM (#4716211)
I mean, I cordially loathe the Mets as an NL East competitor overrepresented on Primer, but even I've come to appreciate the quality of the Darling/Hernandez/Cohen team.


In practical terms though,who really cares about that stuff? The Mets kind of stink these days, but does the rest of the NL East.
   25. Lassus Posted: May 30, 2014 at 03:53 PM (#4716212)
We're currently all of three games out of first place, by the way.
   26. PreservedFish Posted: May 30, 2014 at 04:00 PM (#4716217)
Really? Go Mets!
   27. Lassus Posted: May 30, 2014 at 04:18 PM (#4716223)
Also, the Braves are at the Marlins, so we could easily be two games out by the end of the night. AMIRITE, Sam?
   28. Rickey! trades in sheep and threats Posted: May 30, 2014 at 04:31 PM (#4716232)
Also, the Braves are at the Marlins, so we could easily be two games out by the end of the night. AMIRITE, Sam?


It being the case that the Marlins are actually tied with the Braves for first place, no, you are not right. Because you don't seem to understand math or something. You'll either be 3 games behind the Braves (if you win) or three games behind the Marlins (if you win) but you won't be two games out of the lead in any case.

Dumb dumb.
   29. Lassus Posted: May 30, 2014 at 04:32 PM (#4716233)
Whoops. Crap. I was hoping for more sign-stealing wrath, I didn't even pay attention to where the Marlins were. Oh well.
   30. Rickey! trades in sheep and threats Posted: May 30, 2014 at 04:33 PM (#4716234)
I guess the Braves-Marlins could be rained out and you could be 2.5 out.
   31. Rickey! trades in sheep and threats Posted: May 30, 2014 at 04:47 PM (#4716239)
Now, don't get me wrong. They way they're playing right now, I'm fully aware that the Braves could somehow manage to lose two games in the standings in one night. But the Marlins wouldn't in that scenario...
   32. Ardo Posted: May 30, 2014 at 04:52 PM (#4716243)
Primey for #20. But why the fascination with rib-eye steak?
   33. 6 - 4 - 3 Posted: May 30, 2014 at 07:48 PM (#4716309)
@ #10: the Mets broadcasting crew is very good, but the Giants broadcasters are clearly better than anyone other than Scully.
   34. Arbitol Dijaler Posted: May 30, 2014 at 09:42 PM (#4716347)
The thing about the Mets crew which sets them apart is that in the blink of an eye they switched from the worst bucket of suck that ever sucked -- Fran Healy -- to this very good group. Is there a team or two you could argue have a better bunch? Maybe, I have no idea, but the Mets went from below replacement level to All Star quality.
   35. bobm Posted: May 31, 2014 at 11:37 AM (#4716526)
why the fascination with rib-eye steak?

rib-eye = RBI

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