Perhaps the worries building around Keith Hernandez’s future in the SNY booth commentating on New York Mets games are a tad overblown — perhaps.
A source suggested to amNewYork Metro Sports that there doesn’t appear to be much concern that the former major leaguer — who has spent the last 17 seasons in the SNY booth — won’t return to the television booth for the 2023 season and beyond.
The 69-year-old’s contract with the station, owned by Sterling Entertainment and headed by the Mets’ former ownership group in the Wilpon family, expired at the end of the 2022 season.
It’s important to note that this does not mean that Hernandez is a lock to return for an 18th season. There is always a chance that contract negotiations can fall through until the pen is put to paper.
Concerns about his status for this upcoming campaign hit a fever pitch after Mike Puma of the New York Post pointed out on Dec. 29 that the Mets legend was a free agent, though he added that negotiations could pick up in the New Year.
Hernandez has become as much of an indelible figure in the TV booth at Citi Field as he was a first baseman for some of the greatest seasons in franchise history.
As a color commentator alongside former pitcher Ron Darling to support play-by-play man Gary Cohen, the trio has become cult heroes amongst the Mets fanbase — a triumphant continuation of a 17-year playing career that saw him help lead New York to the 1986 World Series title before being named team captain.
The Mets retired Hernandez’s No. 17 on July 9 to commemorate his seven seasons in Queens where he slashed .297/.387/.429 (.816 OPS) and won five Gold Glove Awards.
For more on Keith Hernandez and the Mets, visit AMNY.com