There’s news aplenty out of the Mets sports network, SNY. First something that we at the Di-Jest applaud. The programming department has now finally and officially abandoned their plan to find someone to fill the Ralph Kiner role in the Mets TV booth.
The SNY suits thought that it was possible to find some mature individual to visit with Gary, Keith, and Ron about once every few weeks for an inning or two. The plan was scuttled as their last three candidates just didn’t pan out.
One of the three was Clint Eastwood. His audition went south almost immediately when he insisted on talking to Ralph’s empty chair.
Betty White showed potential. She had some wonderfully ribald stories about her dating life with the likes of Tris Speaker and Dom DiMaggio. Unfortunately she lapsed into some questionable areas when she insisted that she gave the idea to Abner Doubleday to place the bases 90 feet apart. And anyway Ms. White has enough TV shows on her plate as it is.
Comedian Bob Newhart was also considered a strong candidate. But in his audition his interplay with Gary and the others was weak. Mr. Newhart apparently works better in a scripted environment (ask Larry, Darryl, and the other Darryl) or alone on stage doing a monologue.
As you might expect, no one can replace Ralph. And now, thankfully, no one will.
But that’s not even the big news. MMO has learned there are now just four final candidates to succeed Kevin Burkhardt as the roving reporter on Mets telecasts. This is a coveted position. Once the Leno and Letterman replacements were named this became the most sought after gig in the entire TV universe.
As you’ll see each candidate has something going for him/her but also a bit of baggage.
Ted McGinley - Ted is a handsome charming comedic actor who brings to his roles about what Anthony Recker brings to the Mets.
The focus group that observed his audition was blown away in a positive manner.
Unfortunately Ted’s problem is that he now has the reputation of being the “Sitcom Killer” as this article discusses.
As gruesome as some Mets losses often are none of us Met fans want to see the telecasts cancelled due to poor ratings. For that reason SNY may have to look elsewhere for the next Kevin.
Alexa – Forgive us for not knowing her last name or whether she even has one. We know her from her Mets promo commercials with Brandon.
As one might expect the males in the focus group gave her exceedingly high marks on her audition although when the analysts inquired about what she had said on the air none of the men could actually remember a word.
The women in the focus group were less enthusiastic about her audition (except the two who revealed themselves as lesbians).
Richard Engel - Richard currently works for NBC News (NBC is a TV network that you may have never heard of. Their shows famously air for about three episodes before being cancelled.
They do have a news department though and some people over the years have watched Johnny Carson and Jay Leno there).
Engel has been NBC’s go-to guy whenever some disaster, from nature or man-made, strikes. It is thought that he would be less affected than others if the Mets win just 75 games again in 2015. The carnage would be nothing new to him.
Steve Gelbs – Steve could be considered the incumbent as he has been used extensively in the Kevin Burkhardt role during this, Kevin’s lame duck season roving the ballpark.
One would normally expect that he would be the natural choice for the Kevin position. Unfortunately when an analyst walked in to interview the focus group that was observing Steve’s audition…. Well here’s what his report said, “I thought I had accidentally stepped into a sleep laboratory.”
So Gelbs’ chances of landing the job were not enhanced there.
Clearly this will be a difficult call for the powers that be at SNY. The execs there likely prefer someone who will stay at the position for a number of years and not use it as a stepping stone to a higher profile job. Should they opt for Alexa there is always the chance that when Erin Andrews ages a few years FOX will throw her over for someone like Alexa just as they recently tossed off Pam Oliver for having the audacity to become 43 years old.
If SNY takes the conservative route and selects Gelbs – no such concern.
We should know in a few months as to who will be our next Kevin Burkhardt.
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To our readers: This article was inspired by a suggestion from my son Brandon. Brandon lives and works in the city of Philadelphia – in fact his house is about two miles from Citizen Bank Park. I’m sure you join me in saluting Brandon and all the other Mets fans in this country who work and gather intel in hostile foreign cities like Philly. I’ve had the chance to watch him walk the streets of that city proudly wearing his custom designed red-with-white-lettering cap with the NY logo prominently displayed. He never takes any flak over it since the cap is the appropriate color and, heck, they’re Philadelphians.