2004-04-30 / Sports

From The Stands

By Brendan Brosh

From The Stands


RALPH KINER	RALPH KINER

By Brendan Brosh

Mets television broadcasts are always interesting. For good or for bad, the Mets broadcasters always illicit a reaction from fans. In Tom Seaver, WPIX has one of the most informed and accomplished player/broadcaster in the country. In Fran Healy, MSG and Fox Sports have a certifiable idiot who repeats himself.

Case in point: anyone who watched the Mets/Dodgers series this week, would have heard Fran Healy talk ad nauseum about Mike Piazza. In Tuesday’s game, with Hideo Nomo pitching, Healy told the same story about Piazza doing commercials in Japan with Nomo twice. As if the commercial story didn’t sink-in in the third inning, Healy retold it in the sixth inning.

Healy then debated (with himself) the merits of whether Mike Piazza would like to break Carlton Fisk’s home run record for catchers at Shea Stadium or Dodger Stadium. This monologue went on for two innings. The other broadcasters (Ted Robinson and Ralph Kiner) were seemingly happy to ignore Healy and his discussion with himself.


FRAN HEALYFRAN HEALY

Over the course of the season, Healy has told the story of Mike Piazza and his dad working on hand strength when Mike was a child, nearly a dozen times. Apparently Mike "trusts his hands."

Healy also has a penchant for telling stories about mid-70’s Mets that everyone has forgotten about. Where Seaver talks about Jerry Koosman, Tommie Agee and Ed Kranepool & Keith Hernandez talks about Darryl Strawberry, Howard Johnson and Kevin McReynolds, Healy talks about Dave Kingman, Pete Falcone and Steve Henderson. Do we really care about Dave Kingman? Is he worth mentioning every telecast? He’s a .236 lifetime hitter!

Ralph Kiner, God bless him, is getting too old for the broadcast booth. At 81 years of age, and with 40+ years of service to the New York Mets under his belt, it’s time for Kiner to retire. A Hall of Famer for his playing career, Kiner’s work with the Mets could also earn him a second spot in Cooperstown as a broadcaster. (Sitting next to Tim McCarver for 16 years is also worthy of entry to the Hall of Fame.)

Kiner’s knowledge of baseball history and his stories about Roger Hornsby, Lefty O’Doul and Mickey Cochrane, will be missed, but ultimately Kiner has lost his grace and this should be his last season. Although he doesn’t appear too often, Keith Hernandez always contributes to Met broadcasts. With his knowledge of hitting and fielding, Hernandez (a debatable Hall of Famer) always offers insightful commentary and interesting stories about the late 1980’s Mets. When teamed with Fran Healy, however, the telecast inevitably turns into a high-strung debate about baseball with Hernandez always winning the argument. (Note to broadcast schedulers – never pair Hernandez and Healy.)


TOM SEAVERTOM SEAVER

With stupid commentary, repeated stories, and inane banter, Healy has been known to drive Mets fans to depression (or at least to the radio to hear the quality of Gary Cohen/Howie Rose/Ed Coleman)

In summation – Healy must go.


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