The New York Mets TV booth was split into two very different directions on Wednesday, with play-by-play voice Gary Cohen going on SNY for an interview, while analyst Keith Hernandez joined Tucker Carlson.
Before the audible groan, Hernandez’s appearance with Carlson was a relatively entertaining interview centralized on baseball. Carlson mostly stayed out of the way during the long-form interview on his Fox Nation show, allowing Hernandez tell stories and dominate the conversation. The controversial Fox News host only tried to bait Hernandez once, asking if the sport has gotten too political, to which the legendary first baseman said no. Hernandez did close the conversation by admitting he’s a fan of Carlson, but as a Republican and admitted Donald Trump supporter, that’s to be expected.
The interview was a little long and slow at times, which ironically enough seems to be Hernandez’s biggest gripe with modern baseball. In fact, if Hernandez wasn’t getting paid by SNY to watch Mets games, the longtime broadcaster says he probably wouldn’t watch baseball at all. Not exactly a great sign for the game when a former MVP says he has to be paid to watch the sport he loves.
“I honestly feel that when I’m retired, when I stop doing what I’m doing now in the booth, I won’t watch baseball that much anymore,” Hernandez said, adding that he’s had enough.
“It’s three-hour games now, three-and-a-half, when I played it was two-and-a-half,” Hernandez continued. “I still love the game, but they’re lengthy.”
Hernandez pointed to more TV commercials, full counts, walks, teams and players as reasons why the game is too lengthy. Of course, there are plenty of other reasons such as time between pitches, instant replay, mound visits and pitching changes, some of which MLB is finally working to fix.
Baseball games are too long and for a sport desperate to attract younger fans, the league has been really slow in doing anything to speed up its product. But while Hernandez isn’t alone in believing games are too lengthy, it’s still surprising to hear a broadcaster admit they have little interest in watching a sport they get paid to watch.
How much longer the 69-year-old Hernandez will be forced to watch baseball is currently unknown. At the end of last season, Hernandez revealed his contract with SNY was expiring, and two weeks ago, Mets beat reporter Mike Puma stated the popular analyst was still unsigned.
Most Mets fans probably aren’t stunned to learn Hernandez is sick of watching baseball. The sometimes-cranky sounding broadcaster doesn’t come across as someone who has a ton of enthusiasm for the sport or even his job, which oddly enough, is part of why he’s so entertaining and endearing to Mets fans.