My radio antenna is at half-mast today. If it results in static, so what? It's not like there's anything to listen to.
Gary Cohen is leaving the WFAN booth. There go 162 reasons to keep living.
That SportsNet New York has tabbed him the television voice of the Mets merely cushions the blow — assuming Cablevision actually adds Snigh to my system without too much hoo-ha. Making TV better doesn't nearly compensate for blowing up the radio side.
According to Andrew Marchand in the Post, this is probably a bigger payday for Gary, so who am I to cut him off from that? And the way the world is this past half-century, television is the glamour gig in any given endeavor. The people who like to watch the Mets will benefit from having Gary Cohen as part of their package.
But those of us who live the Mets are at a loss. We consider the radio to be our oxygen, our atmosphere. We don't make a move without it. It would be disingenuous to suggest we'll be withdrawing all our AA batteries now and saving them for the next blackout. No, we'll listen to whoever does Mets games because we are Mets fans. But they'll just be baseball broadcasts. They won't be a way of life.
Imagine being in a bar or some other public place where televisions are tuned to sporting events. You've found one that has the good sense to be showing a Mets game. Usually that's cause for celebration. Now picture it in 2006, a Snighcast glowing between bottles of Jack Daniels and Grey Goose. What could possibly be wrong with this picture?
The sound is down. Gary Cohen is talking about baseball in your midst and you can't hear it. Suddenly he is not even completely necessary to your absorption of the Mets. This is unconscionable. It's an insult to all he and we stand for. It's just wrong.
Lowering the volume is something you do to Fran Healy, not Gary Cohen.
And, as our loyal reader J M reminded me today, what about post-season? The Mets' participation in it is far from a lock but if/when they get there, who's going to do the games? Not Gary Cohen. Who will filter, reflect and interpret the tension of every unbearable moment? Not Gary Cohen. Whose call of the next epic Todd Pratt homer or grand Robin Ventura single – the next indelible, improbable, insane swing for the ages — will imprint itself on our souls for eternity? Not Gary Cohen's.
There was a time when I and presumably millions like me couldn't imagine a world without Bob Murphy. That world came to pass. There are millions now in the same position. Younger Students of the Game have come of age with Gary as their Murph. He schooled them. He made Mets fans out of them. He can do something like that on TV, but the relationship just won't be as intense. It can't be.
We sung Gary's and Howie's praises and illustrated what made them the best team in baseball here last month. They were doing a game, like most, that had no lasting impact on the franchise but was important to each of us because it was a Mets game. It was a game like that that made me realize how lucky I was to be living at the intersection of Murphy and Cohen. September 29, 1993. Seventeen innings. Mets 1 Cardinals 0. Aficionados will recall it as The Kenny Greer Game. I was working late and had the game on. And on. And on. The game kept going and Bob and Gary did the same. I don't remember what was said but I remember not wanting the game to end. They were so good together. I knew once and for all that these two voices above all others, giving me every pitch on the last Wednesday of the worst season imaginable, were the voices I'd want in my ears this way for the rest of my life if I could have them there.
If Omar Minaya or any GM wants to copy a winning formula, good luck. See how hard it is to replicate success on Gotham Baseball.