As many Mets fans know, Gary Cohen, Keith Hernandez, and Ron Darling have been calling Mets games from the SNY booth for about four and a half seasons. They have received positive reviews from all across the world of baseball and their familiarity with the franchise makes the home fans love them that much more.
Gary Cohen, who spent many years as the Mets’ play-by-play guy for New York’s 660 WFAN radio, was able to make a smooth transition to TV when he was asked to do play-by-play for SNY. He really didn’t need to do much in his transition, as he kept his famous “Outta Here!” home run call as well as many of his other usual phrases without any problem. His smooth, naturally deep voice along with his quick and informative insight compiles to make him one of the top play-by-play broadcasters. Additionally, he (and the rest of his colleagues in the booth) are great at maintaining impartiality. Although his voice gets excited when a flashy play is made by a Mets player, he remains critical of the Mets when necessary and never covers anything up.
The thing about his voice the separates him from the rest is evident when you listen to other broadcasters. Yankees’ play-by-play brodacaster for YES, Michael Kay, has such a raspy voice that he leaves me scratching my head considering voice quality is very important in this field. ESPN broadcaster Jon Miller has difficulty pronouncing foreign names and also puts the accent on the wrong syllable, which gets very annoying.
Moving to the next seat in the booth, occupied by former Mets’ first baseman Keith Hernandez, a lot of inappropriate behavior occurs throughout the course of a long season as the dog days begin approaching. Hernandez is often found sucking on his favorite lollypops or making a remark that could best be listed under the “Example” section of the dictionary’s definition of “Non-Sequitor”. Earlier this season, he was even found asleep in the middle of a game.
On the brighter side of things for Hernandez, he is excellent when it comes to dissecting hitters and their problems at the plate. Hernandez will often include examples from his playing days to add to his points, which can be helpful for viewers. The best thing that Hernandez has going for him right now is that he has been a fan favorite since his playing days. Many fans believe the team should retire his number (17).
In the third spot in the booth, Ron Darling continues to impress. Since joining the Mets in the booth, he has written books and has made his way up the ladder, landing a job with TBS to broadcast select games during the MLB season. Darling has won an Emmy Award as “Best Sports Analyst” for his work on Mets broadcasts. One of the things that separates Darling from the rest of the broadcasters who are former players is that he actually attended college. He not only attended any college, but he went to Yale, an Ivy League school that is known as one of the most prestigious schools in the world.
All in all, Cohen, Hernandez, and Darling have exceeded expectations, especially starting anew with the new network in 2006. There really haven’t been any controversies aside from a small mistake by Hernandez when he said that women don’t belong in a dugout. This wasn’t much of a surprise though, since Hernandez is known for blatant honesty.
Finally, this talented group of broadcasters have shown they really care by creating their own non-profit organization aimed at helping those in need. The foundation’s website can be found at the following link: http://www.pitchinforagoodcause.org/ and fans can contribute to the foundation through their website.