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Raissman: Mets fans anxious over Keith Hernandez contract
NEW YORK DAILY NEWS
Saturday, December 19, 2015, 2:39 PM
While the Mets continue pursuing offseason acquisitions, their TV network is trying to sign a former elite first baseman and current marquee voice.
SportsNet New York brass is in contract negotiations with Keith Hernandez, looking to bring him back for the 2016 season and beyond, according to an MLB TV source. Hernandez’s current contract expires in January.
Hernandez has teamed with Gary Cohen and Ron Darling since SNY began airing Mets baseball in 2006. The trio has often been praised for its chemistry. There is no doubt eliminating one of the voices from the mix would radically change the chemical balance of the booth.
By no means is this the first time SNY suits have negotiated a new deal with Hernandez. Obviously those all ended on a positive note. Chances are this one will too.
But with any negotiation, especially one with a voice who is considered a star, anything can happen. These things take on a life of their own. They come with unforeseen twists and turns. For in the end, it always comes down to the moo-la-dee. How much does Hernandez want and how much is SNY willing to pay?
Flash back to last winter when SNY was negotiating with Bobby Ojeda, who had made a name for himself as the Mets’ studio analyst. Both sides had set their own financial parameters and were never able to compromise. Result: Ojeda out, Nelson Figueroa in.
The combination of Hernandez’s talent behind the mike, his value as a huge cog in a successful broadcast team and his popularity with the fan base now gives him an inordinate amount of leverage.
This is no grand revelation.
Nor is it hard predicting what the fan reaction would be if Hernandez departed. Remember 2009? As the trio was about to sign off after the final Mets game of the season, Hernandez hinted he might not be returning.
“I’ve enjoyed the four years (working in the Mets SNY TV booth) and, hopefully — I’m in the middle of negotiating my new contract — hopefully, I’ll be back,” Hernandez said on the air. “If not, it’s been a great four years.”
Fans had a “Keith, say it ain’t so” reaction to Hernandez’s “warning.” The same reaction would be produced if either of his boothmates were perceived as being on the way out.
Like in October, when a WEEI podcast reported NESN was looking to acquire Darling to replace Jerry Remy in the Red Sox TV booth. Mets fans reacted strongly to the report. Darling, who is still under contract for 2016, called it a non-story.
Now, all Mets fans can do is wait and see how Hernandez’s negotiation plays out. Stay tuned.
(Fantasy) Rob Manfred was dealing with his own reality when he decided MLB frowns on the kind of gambling Pete Rose currently engages in.
If only Charlie Hustle, who digs throwing down on the NFL, baseball and the ponies, had a DraftKings account, then Fantasy Rob might have reinstated him for making a significant contribution to MLB’s officially sanctioned gambling sponsor.
Well, it didn’t work out. And if the Foxies ain’t blowing smoke, Rose will return to their baseball studio show. At least Manfred (we think) didn’t try to kill that relationship. It must have been just pure coincidence that a variety of baseball media types decided to follow Manfred’s decision by casting aspersions on Rose’s TV stylings.
They suddenly felt compelled to make an issue of his age — 74 — and refer to him as “a crazy uncle.” We can only figure these Gasbags must be fans of the MLB Network. Fortunately, Manfred’s ban likely prohibits Rose from working there.
Lucky Pete. At MLBN, it’s mostly a numbers game. Is this a baseball show or a math class? Are the analysts actually required to sleep with a slide rule? Or is it a calculator?
Anyway, we look forward to Rose’s return to Fox, where he’s allowed to be himself — insightful, unpredictable, and never — like many of his analyst peers — sleep inducing.
IN PRAISE OF WRS
It was a given ESPN’s Monday “Countdown” pregame show would go overboard covering Odell Beckham Jr. and Miami wideout Jarvis Landry.
Still, the crew went far beyond this exercise in excess by bringing God into the equation. Incredibly, they were able to get from analyzing the receivers’ one-handed catches in warmups to a higher power’s role in all this.
Suzy Kolber, minus a melodramatic soundtrack, spoke about how the two former LSU teammates pushed each other.
“You know what might be more impressive then all of it” she said. “(They pushed) each other to be better people. Beckham talks about it all the time, how he found more religion and more strength to be a better person. It goes very, very deep with them.”
Glad to hear this. We can rest easy now.
Moving along this path of righteousness, it is absolutely heartwarming hearing just how much Carmelo Anthony has reached out to help Kristaps Porzingis.
We only know this because its regurgitated over and over and over again on MSGulag Knicks telecasts.
Wednesday, StudioHead Alan Hahn reminded viewers how “Porzingis needs Melo to rely on” before talking about where they work out together, including a “private gym.”
More important than the “value” of this incredible information is how it casts Anthony in a positive light. Gulag operatives still must be sensitive over the media heat Anthony took right after the draft for criticizing Jackson picking Porzingis.
Now, according to MSGulag, everything is beautiful.
MIND OVER MATTER
One benefit of this new movie “Concussion” is how it is bringing more focus on brain trauma and how the NFL deals with it.
This week, SNY will air a five-part series — “Head Games: The Concussion Crisis” — during its SportsNite show. The series will feature former players such as Harry Carson and Ray Lucas along with a variety of doctors. Will Smith, who stars in the movie, was also interviewed for a segment.
Jonas Schwartz, who conducted the interviews, said he was taken by how the former players’ experience with concussions still affects their lives and how they relate to the game.
“When Harry Carson says he won’t allow his grandson to ever play football, that’s more than telling,” Schwartz said. “It’s striking. And it’s more than striking the toll concussions have taken on the men I spoke with.”
* * *
DUDE OF THE WEEK: LEBRON JAMES
For providing an unforgettable moment. Aaron Miller, 16, who has a rare form of cerebral palsy, was one of the Celtics’ “Heroes Among Us,” introduced Tuesday night during Cavs-Celtics. After Miller was recognized for winning an MVP award at a recent Special Olympics competition, James ran over to the sideline, shook Miller’s hand and patted him on the head. The kid was stunned. “I just said ‘Oh my God,’ I can’t believe he’s doing this right now,” Miller told The Boston Globe. James said: “… This game is so much more than basketball.” For him, those words are not hollow.
DWEEB OF THE WEEK: GILBERT ARENAS
For sexist comments he directed at WNBA players. On Instagram, the former gun-toting NBAer referred to WNBA players as “ugly chicks.” He suggested they compete wearing next to nothing to get more people to watch the WNBA. His degrading commentary was met with a forceful response from the league. Arenas earned his jerk papers long ago but continues to make sure he doesn’t lose them. He wouldn’t apologize for his twisted remarks and decided it was a great idea to double-down on them during a recent TV appearance.
What Pete Rose said: “To be honest with you, I should actually be the commissioner of baseball…”
What Pete Rose meant to say: “Rob Manfred is already in bed with DraftKings. I could only enhance and hasten the expansion of that end of MLB’s business.”