Wednesday afternoon, SNY cameras panned to Blevins sitting in the crowd at Citi Field during the Mets series finale with the Washington Nationals. After Cohen acknowledged Blevins, analyst Ron Darling paid the former Mets reliever a compliment.
“He’s doing great on TV by the way, have you gotten a chance to listen to him?” Darling asked.
Cohen similarly praised Blevins’ work as a broadcaster since joining SNY as a studio analyst. But it’s his ability to lower SNY’s age demographics that really has Cohen proud to call Blevins a coworker.
“You know what’s nice about having Jerry on the air? It’s good to have somebody under 50 talking about baseball on our airwaves,” Cohen quipped.
Gary Cohen with a jab to MLB's aging media members pic.twitter.com/bVqUaeYFBe
— Brandon Contes (@BrandonContes) June 1, 2022
Nothing against Peter Gammons, Chris Russo, Tim Kurkjian, or John Sterling, but Major League Baseball desperately needs an influx of youth broadcasting the game to help attract a younger audience, especially through social media. In 2017, the average baseball fan was 57 years old, compared to the NBA whose average viewer is 37, or the growing MLS (40).
Jomboy Media and Jared Carrabis are great national assets for the sport on social media. MLB Network has done a better job of recruiting younger talent with Keith McPherson, Lauren Gardner, Hannah Keyser, Xavier Scruggs, and others who serve as a breath of fresh air from the typical white-haired, white male broadcaster. And local networks need to continue developing new talent of their own, just as SNY has with Blevins.
Outsiders can criticize MLB media for not getting younger or more diverse, but it’s interesting to hear that criticism come directly from one of the old guard. Cohen, who is 64 years old, has been a broadcaster with the Mets since 1989 and currently works in the booth with Ron Darling (61) and Keith Hernandez (68). Their jobs are deservedly safe, but Cohen at least appears to recognize the value in seeing fresh faces analyzing and promoting baseball to new audiences.