What an education we got watching tonight's Mets game! First of all, of course, the Mets won 9-3, sending the Phils 8 1/2 games back, and the Braves 12 games back. But what was really interesting was the ancillary stuff we learned from commentators Howie Rose, Ron Darling, and Keith Hernandez.
Firstly, we learned that Gary Cohen will be back in the booth Friday night, fully recovered from his appendectomy. We later learned that Gary is meticulous about keeping scorecards, and all three announcers suspect Cohen will be able to produce perfect scorecards for all the games he missed while recovering at home. I haven't kept a scorecard while at a ballgame since I was 11 years old. I just never had the attention span to stick with it. Amazing to think of Gary Cohen keeping a scorecard while watching TV.
Another thing we learned is Gary's former boothmate, the late great Bob Murphy hated people doing impressions of him. That's a real shame, because some of the ones I used to hear were hilarious. WBAB-FM used to have a Bob Murphy impersonator call in who was so good many listeners were fooled by it.
Another WFANer has a famous fan. We learned that Ron Darling is a huge fan of WFAN personality Steve Sommers. Ron said during the game that Sommers keeps him entertained while he drives home to Sag Harbor at night. I really miss Captain Midnight. I used to love listening to him. The great thing about him is how he doesn't take himself too seriously. Polar opposite of Schmuck Francesa.
We learned what makes Willie Randolph mad. Lastings Milledge cost Julio Franco an RBI when he failed to run hard on Franco's double when there were two outs, and got nailed at the plate. Milledge should have been running hard on contact, but instead he was watching to see if the ball was caught before turning on the jets. Willie was PISSED and was seen giving Milledge an earful in the dugout. I tell you what, as much as I love Bobby V, I remember a game when Benny Agbayani forgot how many outs there were in an inning and flipped a caught fly ball, which was actually the second out, into the stands as if the inning were over. I don't remember hearing about Benny getting chewed out. R-E-S-P-E-C-T is what Willie demands.
Finally, the most hilarious thing we learned was a couple nicknames that Darryl Strawberry earned when Darling and Hernandez were teammates of Strawberry. As fans, we only knew him as "Straw," but apparently Kevin Mitchell dubbed him "Pulled Muscle Face" because of Strawberry's lack of body fat. "Pulled Muscle Face"
Even more hysterical was an anecdote about Darryl challenging Doc Gooden, telling him that he could throw just as fast as him. So Darryl stepped up to the mound, as Darling tells it, and threw ten pitches, none of which cracked 82 mph on the radar gun. The episode put Strawberry on the bench with a sore shoulder, and earned him the inexplicable nickname...
These are things you can only learn by watching SNY.
Gotta love being in first.