You’d be hard-pressed to find a broadcast booth, not just in Major League Baseball, but any sport, that has better chemistry than SNY. Whether you are a New York Mets fan or not, tuning into the game that has Gary Cohen, Keith Hernandez and Ron Darling on the soundtrack, is a different experience, regardless of your fandom.
While Cohen has been associated with Mets broadcasts since 1989, he’s been the Mets play-by-play voice on SNY since 2006, alongside Hernandez and Darling.
Cohen, who is still at the top of his game as an announcer, is set to be inducted into the Mets Hall of Fame, along with Howard Johnson, Al Leiter and fellow broadcaster Howie Rose in a pregame ceremony before the Mets’ June 3 game against the Toronto Blue Jays.
And that’s in large part thanks to his work with the two former Met greats over the past 17 years. Cohen addressed his relationship and chemistry with Hernandez and Darling during a recent appearance on The Show: A NY Post baseball podcast with Joel Sherman & Jon Heyman.
“I don’t really have a great answer for why it works,” Cohen said. “What I do know, is when we first started, we all really needed to lean on each other. We were all pretty inexperienced when you think about it. I mean, I had never really done much TV and [Ron Darling] had done one year in Washington and really didn’t have a whole lot of direction. And Keith had kind of dabbled for a few years but had never really taken it seriously.
“I think that we needed each other. And I also think that, despite the fact that there might be some outsized personalities in that booth, I think that nobody really needs to be the star. We don’t need to be on camera. We don’t need to dominate the broadcast. Everybody is willing to let everybody else carry the ball. And we genuinely like each other. I’ve always felt as though if you’re having fun in the booth, then people are having fun watching it. I hope that comes across.”
There’s a level of preparation that comes with each broadcast, but there’s also a level of trust that they have in one another.
“I think that as long as you’re ready and you have that knowledge base, then you can go in any direction you want,” Cohen said. “Then, it’s a matter of personalities and how they mesh and how pushes who and how it goes. And I never know where it’s going to go, which is probably a good thing.”
That’s the one thing about watching a Mets broadcast on SNY, you never know what might happen or what might be said, and for better or worse, it makes the viewing experience all that more enjoyable. All the preparation that goes into it is certainly noticed and it’s why the trio of Cohen, Hernandez and Darling remain one of, if not the best, broadcast booths in baseball.