Friday, June 26, 2009

Is Darling #1?

Ron Darling has grown to be one of the best baseball analysts on television. He, along with Gary Cohen and Keith Hernandez make the best tandem on the tube. The three work off one another real well.

You have Cohen, the ever-loving Met fan, Darling the cerebral analyst, and Hernandez the true fire-in-the-belly Captain, who is prone to being distracted when the game is less than interesting. I loved it the other night when Gary asked Keith a question, and Keith replied, “I’m sorry Gar, I wasn’t paying attention, I was looking at my shoe…”

All three are tops at their craft, but Darling is emerging as not only a tremendous SNY announcer, but a national baseball announcer without compare.

In a
Michael McCarthy - USA Today article, Darling is compared to former Met and former Yankee announcer Tim McCarver. McCarver could never hold a candle to Darling. Darling is well prepared, knows the game, knows the teams he is covering, and can offer better insight than McCarver ever could. Darling isn’t a gamer, and tells it like it is. He is quick to offer criticism of Mets and their opponents alike. McCarver on the other hand, has issues with the Mets years after his dismissal from their broadcasting team, much the way Steve Phillips still has animosity towards the team that employed him as GM. These emotions are truly evident when McCarver and Phillips are called to cover Met games.

According to Darling’s boss over at TBS, Jeff Behnke, when comparing Darling to McCarver and Joe Morgan, "We feel Ron is right there with those guys. Ron is not afraid to criticize players. He's not afraid to talk about umpires or managers in the course of a broadcast."

Joe Morgan might be the worst analyst on television, and McCarver is 15 years past his prime. Granted, I never liked McCarver, even when he was announcing for the Mets. He has an arrogant pompousness that is impossible to stomach. Darling on the other hand, who might be the most intelligent broadcaster out there, offers cerebral insight, while not coming across as condescending.

I am not just in Ron’s corner due to our friendship (
Ron Darling & Metsfan73), but based solely on the fact that he has become the best.

Curt Gowdy, Jr. when hiring Darling to be on SNY with Cohen and Hernandez in SNY’s inaugural season in 2006 said, "We talked about keeping it simple — and zeroing in on his focus, which is pitching.” Great job by Gowdy and SNY; Ron Darling is the perfect compliment to Cohen’s fandom and sense of Met history, and Hernandez’ fire and un- acceptance of mediocrity.

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