WOR still hasn’t found a pregame host for Mets baseball, but that — in case the name doesn’t give it away — is only about what happens before the game starts. Before the game starts doesn’t count. Just like Spring Training. Just like all the talk that fires up the Hot Stove.
It doesn’t count that Clear Channel and the Mets dragged their corporate feet from the end of September to the middle of February before making official that Howie Rose and Josh Lewin would continue to do what they’ve done so well. It’s unfortunate that it took that long for internal machinations to play out, but the important thing is they played out to an agreeable result. When the Mets begin to play in search of the most agreeable results of all, it will be Howie and Josh maintaining their half of the best broadcasting tradition in baseball.
You know what I’m talking about. We’ve heard it uninterrupted since 1962. It’s why we were so sorry to lose Ralph Kiner and are so gratified that the Mets have announced steps to pay him the tribute he deserves this season. It’s why even the hardest-to-take Mets games have made for easy listening. Howie and Josh are strong links in the chain that extend back to the beginning, deeply resonant voices speaking on our behalf. They know what we’re thinking because they’re thinking it, too. They know what we want to know and they tell us.
We already knew they’d be happy to be certified for 2014 and hopefully many years beyond, but it’s nice to read it in their own words before they take to 710 AM to tell it to us personally. It seems appropriate that Howie would go through a solid sports media columnist like Newsday’s Neil Best to express his enthusiasm for continuity at a new Met frequency while Josh would start a blog in order to thank the fans from the bottom of his ever audible heart and offer to buy us a beverage in appreciation of our collective support. They are who they are individually and they’re something else together.
I don’t need a drink. I need a Mets game, even one that doesn’t count. Here’s to the fact that one is coming to a radio near us in just over a week. Here’s to the fact it’s those two who will be bringing us every pitch.