I watched the season premiere of Mets Hot Stove on SNY which was kind of a bore-fest of full of week old rumors that have been beaten to death already here on MMO or on Mets Twitter. There was one item of note and that was the announcement that Ron Darling had agreed to a multiyear deal to remain part of the SNY broadcast team. It was the best 23 seconds of the night…
With Darling’s star rising fast in the broadcast world, I feared we might end up losing him to FOX, ESPN or the MLB Network. I’m so glad to hear he’s sticking around to compliment Gary and Keith in the booth. I especially loved Ronnie on those rare occasions where he covered for Bobby Ojeda during the pre and post games. I hope we get to see him do more of that.
We had a chance to interview Ron Darling a few times and each time we came away in awe of his incredible knowledge and baseball presence. He’s always the smartest guy in the room, but his friendly demeanor doesn’t make him intimidating to talk to at all. As a matter of fact you get the sense you’re hanging out with an old friend and having a beer and talking baseball.
Congratulations on your new deal Ronnie!
Here are a few quotes from Ron Darling, a couple of which came from our own interviews:
On Making It In The Majors
“The three things that I benchmark, that I judge pitchers by is their ability to throw fastballs on the corner and both sides of the plate, that they can throw a breaking ball over the plate behind in the count, and that they have a bulldog and a competitive mentality.”
On Mets Off-Season
“They have to get a starting pitcher with Matt Harvey out. Maybe you get a veteran guy out there on a one or two-year deal to help with the younger pitchers, teach them how to be pros. And they need offense, whether you make a big splash or do what the Red Sox did and get some capable pros. The toughest decision for the Mets is what players on the roster they want to keep.”
On Zack Wheeler
“A bulldog comes in many shapes and forms. In my day, Dave Stewart was considered a bulldog with the stare, but so was Orel Hershiser without the stare. It comes in a lot of different ways. A lot of guys try to fake it, you can see through it. Zack Wheeler might have a different way of doing it; he might be quieter about it, as opposed to Matt Harvey who may be a bit more overt about it. Matt’s from the East Coast, and East coast kids tend to be a little more overt anyway, and Zack might be a little quieter. It doesn’t mean that they both can’t be pitching assassins in their own way.”