Is Keith Hernandez Slipping?
I don’t know what’s up with Keith Hernandez lately. I mean he’s always been kind of funny, provides great insights, is definitely entertaining and amusing, and he keeps each Mets broadcast light-hearted and serious all at the same time (when he’s there).
The truth is that love him. I was crazy about him as a player, and I’ve felt as though we became buddies, through the magic of TV, when he joined Gary and Ron in the booth.
But lately he’s been kind of cranky and he seems to pick on some of our players a little too much at times.
The other day, MMO staff writer Drew Staley wrote about his exchange with Ron and Gary about Lucas Duda. He’s completely frustrated with him. He doesn’t like this “approach” we keep hearing about and he went a little overboard when Duda didn’t swing at a first pitch strike during the Braves series with Wright at second.
I remember something he said last season the day after Duda came back from his banishment to the minors. “No improvement. It’s the same old Duda. It’s the same old hacker.”
At the time he said that he was actually right. Duda looked just as bad as he did before he went down.
But fast-forward to 2013 and we see a completely new Duda. Someone who is being more selective which is something he didn’t do much of last season. So far it’s given him a great OBP and OPS, but the raw numbers could probably be a lot better and he needs to get those up. Baseball is still a game that is based on the law of averages and I do think the RBI’s and run production will come as long as he sticks to his new approach.
The point is that Hernandez complained about Duda being a hacker last season, and now he’s complaining that he’s not a hacker this season. Pick a side and stick to it.
Okay, enough on that. There were a few interesting comments on Hernandez on out threads yesterday and while there’s no way for me to affirm their veracity, it thought it merited a debate and closer examination.
Phil Phil – May 7, 2013 at 2:04 pm
According to Mets reporter Bob Klapisch, Keith told reporter around the country not to vote for Darryl Strawberry for MVP in 1988 when Darryl had a huge year.
Keith was a real good player, but a lot of times he has an agenda. Beware of listening too closely to what he says. He knows baseball, but he also holds grudges and uses the media to go after guys.
I don’t think he likes the hitting coach, Sandy A., or some of the players. He didn’t like Jose Reyes. He almost got into a fight on the team plane.
Lisa – May 7, 2013 at 4:15 pm
My friend works for SNY and told me the reason Keith doesn’t like the taking pitches and high OBP strategy is it makes the games longer and he wants quick games so he can go home and have a nice glass of vino.
Keith also hates extra innings. My friend said to listen for sighs when the game is tied thru 9 innings.
Metsie – May 7, 2013 at 4:20 pm
LOL Lisa yes there is a LOT of truth in what your saying about Keith and the notion of getting out of there as quickly as possible….
But when he was a hitter he also practiced what he preached… He always said that in a Hitter’s count or with a man on base he wanted to look for that GOOD PITCH he was more likely to get and get what he calls a Rib Eye Steak!
And no one was a better hitter than him when he had the Pitcher on the ropes. So it’s not like he just came to this opinion he has exhibited it his entire playing career.
Lisa – May 7, 2013 at 4:40 pm
Ha, ha! Keith’s dream is a nice, crisp 1-0 game that finishes in 1 hour and 45 minutes so he can make it to the steakhouse to have a nice rib-eye steak and a bottle of high end wine. Ideally, Rusty Staub and Tom Seaver would be in town to join him!
Metsie – May 7, 2013 at 4:53 pm
LOL you can probably name about 10,000 Things Keith would rather be doing than being in that booth if you just listen to him during a game!
I actually understand it since when I work Baseball games about the worst thing that can happen is when it rains, Extra Innings or gets postponed and rescheduled as a Double-Header on getaway day.
Most techs who work on the game get paid per day and don’t get any overtime until after 12-16 Hours. And we have to be there about 4-5 Hours before game time even starts.
But he shouldn’t really let that get out when he’s on the air especially as obvious as he makes it sound.
It’s almost become common dialog for Gary and Ron to joke about Keith’s frequent tardiness, his propensity for leaving early, and the many days off he takes throughout the baseball season.
He certainly has shown that he can hold a grudge and led the parade when Jose Reyes came out of the game on the last day of the 2011 season to preserve and win his NL Batting Title.
Again, let me reiterate that I love Keith Hernandez the player and for the longest time Keith Hernandez the color commentator for SNY. But lately I get the perception that he would rather be anywhere else but in the SNY booth. Maybe I’m wrong. Maybe I’m just reading too much into things. But when I saw those comments on last night’s game thread I realized I was not alone in this thinking.
For the longest time I have enjoyed the combination of GKR, they are no doubt the best broadcast team in the game. But I gotta tell you that I was incredibly impressed and entertained during the game that Kevin Burkhardt called on FOX two Saturday’s ago.
Burkhardt was so refreshing on my ears and he was a joy to listen to. I couldn’t believe it… Here I was listening to a Fox Mets broadcast and throughout the entire time I never once felt as though I was missing GKR.
Tom Verducci and Burkhardt teamed up and formed a great tandem, and their insights and analysis was beyond reproach.
I’m thinking it may be time to stick to with GKR, but maybe we should consider swapping out Keith for Kevin.
Sorry if you disagree, but that’s how I feel.
About the Author: Joe DeCaro
I'm a lifelong Mets fan who loves writing and talking about the Amazins' 24/7. From the Miracle in 1969 to the magic of 1986, and even the near misses in '73 and '00, I've experienced it all - the highs and the lows. I started Mets Merized Online in 2005 to feed my addiction. Follow me on Twitter @metsmerized.
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