Keith Hernandez debuts this Thursday as part of Fox Sports’ MLB Playoff studio team. Hernandez and David Ortiz will replace Pete Rose, carefully sidestepping the trail of slime Rose left behind.
Mets fans are already familiar with Keith’s charming on-air persona, and he's well-positioned to become an instant favorite in front of a national audience. But with his actions magnified on that big stage, Keith could significantly increase the national pearl-clutching rate.
Here are a few examples of quotes that may not fly with FOX:
Who doesn’t give their workplace buddy a little ribbing from time to time? Keith and Ron have been working in the booth together for over a decade, and before that, were teammates for six years. Between their familiarity with one another and Ron being super chill, the teasing is always accepted as good-natured fun.
Enter Keith’s new and decidedly less-chill coworkers: Alex Rodriguez and David Ortiz.
A-Rod, who idolized Hernandez growing up, has proven to be just a tad sensitive. Picture Rodriguez’s confidence collapsing into a black hole as his idol takes potshots at him from across the desk. No amount of self-reflection could save his crushed ego.
Ortiz, a typically jovial guy, has let his temper flare up on occasion. Below is an artist’s rendition of what could happen should Keith start throwing barbs.
Tread lightly, sir.
Keith’s catch-phrase has become synonymous with extra-innings games. However, with the Mets out of the playoffs, most of the viewing audience will lack the context of Keith’s displeasure. Nothing better than free postseason baseball, unless you have room service waiting for you at your hotel.
Let’s set aside the fact that FOX execs would probably frown upon using the word “tits” on a live broadcast. Imagine noted-fun-hater Jon Lester letting up a five-spot in the first inning, going back into the clubhouse postgame, and hearing Keith talk about his blazing mammories. Considering Lester’s distaste for the otherwise innocuous “Nacho Incident,” he’d probably view it along the lines of the collapse of modern society.
The postseason is a national showcase of the very best that baseball has to offer, and as a result, is a chance for the league to attract new fans. Unfortunately, hard-hitting sabermetrics like this can be intimidating to a new viewer and risk alienation. Stick to the fundies, Keith!
TV personalities are expected to enunciate clearly, not talk over their broadcast partners, and complete the sentences they begin. Typically this isn’t a problem for Keith, but sometimes he gets caught up in the emotion of the game and gets flustered. This will not fly in the playoffs!
Oh, he said “fuck,” which is also kind of bad.
If you're hitting the final home game on Thursday at Citi Field, swing by the Marina Lot to see some friends, maybe meet some new ones, and responsibly wash down your sorrows before heading inside.