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04 October 2010

If the Mets Played Like Their Broadcasters Broadcast, They'd Be a Superior Baseball Team

Gary, Keith and Ron
FLUSHING, Queens — Futility.

Year after year, it's the same ole' story for the New York Metropolitans Baseball Club, Inc. With the exception of 1969, 1973, 1986, 1999, 2000 and 2006 — six rather exceptional seasons — the Mets have otherwise spent 43 years on the outside of the Major League Baseball playoffs, watching, through many of those years, as their local counterparts, the Evil Bronx Empire, not only made the playoffs, but won World Series Championships.

Consider this. Since 1962, the Mets' first year in existence, the Yankees have been in the post-season in 1962, 1963, 1964, 1976, 1977, 1978, 1981, 1996, 1997, 1998, 1999, 2000, 2001, 2002, 2003, 2004, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009 and 2010. They won World Championships in 1962, 1977, 1978, 1996, 1998, 1999, 2000 and 2009 — and they have a realistic chance at winning yet another in 2010.

Could there be a more stark difference in two organizations separated by 10 geographic miles?

The team from Queens — a rather appropriate name for the borough where the team plays, considering their lack-of-acceptable play most years — just finished off a fourth-consecutive season without making the post-season. And it wasn't even close. Just like last year.

Consider this: For all the injuries and excuses they had in 2009, this year, the year the team's slogan was "We Believe in Comebacks," the Mets were only able to improve by seven wins in 2010.

Quite a comeback.

Think of this though: When fans of the team have had it — for this writer, it was about the first week in August when I started turning off SNY [SportsNet New York] — there are other things to do and other   things to be entertained by. Imagine being Gary, Keith and Ron ... or Howie, Wayne and Ed ... who have no other choice than to be at CitiField and the road games, who have no other choice to watch every inning of those games and who have no other choice but to have to give the few still tuning in a reason not to turn the tube or radio off.

For the purpose of this piece, let's look at Gary, Keith and Ron, clearly the league's best troika of TV announcers.

Is there any doubt Gary, Keith and Ron somehow kept it all together in what was otherwise an abysmal season? Hell, it wasn't just 2010 when they did this — remember 2009, 2008 and 2007? Those two collapses and the year no one played more than what seemed like an inning or two all year?

Somehow, they did their jobs. And they did their jobs exceptionally well, despite having an arduous task of having to describe something as painful as having to listen to Don Imus whine about getting bucked off a horse for 20 years.

Sometimes, they were funny. Sometimes, they took phone calls. Often, they were as critical of the team, the organization and the leadership as die-hard fans were. And somehow, they kept it together.

And imagine what it's like for Cohen, who grew up a huge fan of this team — and who, since 1989, has probably called more innings of losing baseball than John Sterling even knows exists.

Yes, the SNY team of Gary, Keith and Ron were bright spots in an otherwise brutal 2010.

And just think for a moment about this: If the team they broadcast for played half as well as they announce, perhaps, just perhaps, we'd be staring at a Mets post-season birth. Unfortunately for us, though, the standings aren't dictated by what happens in the Ralph Kiner Broadcast Booth.

If only they were.

Hell, a man can dream, can't he?


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