It’s no secret the Mets are in search of a new GM to replace Sandy Alderson and the interim three-headed monster of John Ricco, Omar Minaya and JP Ricciardi. Reports have the Mets looking outside of the organization at baseball lifers that have experience rebuilding franchises from the ground up. The Daily News believes there’s an interesting candidate from within.
Well then. This would certainly be thinking outside the box…
The sheer thought of someone going from the broadcast booth to GM, with no prior front office experience mind you, sounds mad. But, most analysts aren’t Ron Darling.
I’ll start by saying that I don’t want Darling as the new GM. In my 100% partial opinion, he’s 1/3 of the best broadcast team in baseball, and I selfishly don’t ever want to see that team broken up.
Speaking of the broadcast team, Darling had this to say when confronted by Gary Cohen about these reports during Tuesday’s game:
“I don’t. I have three jobs,” Darling said. “I work for three different networks. I don’t have time to work as a general manager, nor do I have probably the skills to do it."
To me, the three jobs excuse is a tough one to use. It’s not like the GM job would be his fourth, Darling would clearly have to walk away from his other gigs to free up the “time” he speaks of. I do believe he likely does want to remain calling games with Gary and Keith. I also believe he is probably embarrassed that this became front-page news. This might just be his way of trying to slow things down to not come off as a disgruntled employee who gives off the perception that he could walk right in and fix things. Ronnie isn’t that kind of guy. He’s too respectful to want that kind of vibe around a potential candidacy. At the very least, I do think he does want that opportunity to sit down and discuss the GM vacancy, with minimal media hoopla to go with it.
Now let’s consider this seriously for a moment.
Unlike Keith, who doesn’t seem that much interested in happenings outside of what he sees in front of him each night (not that there’s anything wrong with that), Darling is an ex-player that appears to be very much invested with MLB’s ins and outs. He’s the first to drop knowledge on farm systems, contract negotiations, team affairs, league issues and more. It’s clear that his interest goes beyond the action at Citi Field.
There’s no arguing that Darling is a bright guy. I feel smarter just listening to him call games. The trend these days is to hire an Ivy League grad to run baseball teams. In case you forgot, Darling did graduate from Yale. So, there’s that, for whatever its worth. I respect the hell out of Darling and wouldn’t insult his intelligence by doubting he wouldn’t be able to learn how to run a baseball team rather quickly. So that argument is out the window.
I do think ownership should absolutely bring Darling in for a chat. At the very least it’s a good opportunity to put Darling through the ringer and it’s another source of fresh ideas ownership could listen to from a candidate that is likely to present a different approach. He should bring a fresh perspective compared to "baseball lifers."
Darling comes across as a hybrid between old school and new school. Honestly, that’s what I would want in a GM. Look into every piece of information that's available nowadays before making a decision and at the same time know when to step back and go with your instincts.
Did I just talk myself into wanting Darling for the job?
I just don’t know. My gut tells me Darling is better served staying put in the broadcast booth. We’re already losing David Wright this weekend; the fan base can’t handle a broadcast shakeup at the same time.
Darling did toss this nugget into his interview regarding Gary, Keith and Ron's future with SNY...
“We had two hours together and talked about everything from our kids to this and that. I don’t know if it was Gary Cohen or me who brought (leaving the Mets booth) up, but he said we don’t know how it’s going to go but it might make sense for all of us to leave at the same time,” Darling said. “I don’t know what that means. I don’t know how long Keith wants to work. I don’t know how long I want to work and Gary the same. But it would be a pretty cool way to go if we could somehow figure that out.”
Not now, Ron! Don’t go starting rumors that not one but all THREE of the best broadcast team in baseball could depart at once in the near future. I can’t even with that notion.
Give Ronnie his interview for the job and then lock him up in the SNY booth and throw away the key.
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.