The Mets broadcast crew of Gary Cohen, Ron Darling and Keith Hernandez are the very best at what they do.
And it’s not because of Hernandez’s bizarre idiosyncrasies, love of hitting, or tales of his cat Hadji; or Cohen’s encyclopedic knowledge of Mets history; or Ron Darling’s pitching acumen.
Or how when the season is all but over in September they delightfully go through a stack of old Topps cards and discuss players you hadn’t thought of in decades.
Well I should say it’s not just because of that.
It’s also because they are not completely in the tank for the Mets. If the Mets fuck up, they say so. If they get an absurd break, they say so.
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Yesterday’s home opener provided the latter.
With the Mets batting in the bottom of the ninth with the bases loaded in a tie game vs. the Marlins, Mets outfielder Michael Conforto inched his right elbow out over the plate to turn what would have been a called strike three into a hit-by-pitch walk-off win.
But Gary, Keith and Ron were not celebrating, acknowledging right away that the Marlins got hosed.
“He made no effort to get out of the way,” said Cohen, immediately. “It was a strike.”
The crew then watched a slowed down replay, where you can see Conforto move his elbow into the path of the ball that was right on the inside corner of the plate.
“Oooh, you can’t do that,” said Hernandez, with a hint of disappointment in his voice.
“They totally have to change that,” said Cohen. “[The Marlins] totally have a case.”
“They gotta bring it back,” said Darling.
There’s something about rooting for a franchise that has had so much misfortune, and so many mind-numbing losses, but has a booth that keeps it real, and calls the game correctly.
Gary, Keith and Ron didn’t do kart-wheels about a walk-off win in the Mets home opener, no less.
They gave an honest call.
There’s little dignity in rooting for the Mets, a great deal of degradation comes with it. But the three guys in the hometown booth provide something to take pride in.