Neil Best leaves no stone unturned in the world of sports media.
1986 Mets still ready for prime time
In addition to covering the Mets of this millennium, SNY has done a good job keeping Mets from the previous one employed – especially those who played for the storied 1986 team.
Keith Hernandez, Ron Darling, Bob Ojeda, Lee Mazzilli, Darryl Strawberry and Tim Teufel all have worked for the network, and several other, um, outgoing personalities from that team surely would be interesting fits in the future.
Is the phenomenon simply a function of that team being the last to win it all for the Mets, or was there something about that group that was inherently TV friendly?
Ojeda, a second-year studio analyst, said being an ’86 Met “opened the door, but it could have closed just as easily’’ if he was not up to the job.
As for whether that particular team was more full of future broadcasters than most, Ojeda said:
“That was really a driven group that loved the game and had such an experience in that wild ride in ’86. For all of us there was a sense of, ‘Yeah, it was a great ride and we loved it,’ but what drove us to get there drives us to keep going. Those were the best playing times of my life, absolutely, but I wanted more.”
Ojeda said it didn’t take him long after moving to New York from the Red Sox in ’86 to understand those Mets’ m.o.
“Sure, they were wacky and yeah they’re nutty and yeah there’s some crazy ---- going on in here, but these guys wanted to win," he said.
"There was a burning desire to win, and that was different from Boston, where we had some veteran guys just hanging on.
“These guys were like, ‘We were this close last year; this is ----.’ There was no sense of happiness over where they were. There was a sense of, ‘We left money on the table. We’re going to go back and we’re going to kick the door in, shoot everyone in sight and take our money.’’’