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Tuesday, June 19, 2018

Keith Hernandez: Mets Have too Many Charitable Demands on Players

Former 1979 MVP winner and current Mets broadcaster Keith Hernandez took aim at an organizational approach recently, saying the team demands too much of their players off-the-field during the season.

Hernandez was backing up third baseman David Wright who was recently criticized by owner Fred Wilpon. Hernandez said Wright has gone “over and above the call of duty” when it comes to representing the team. He then criticized the organization’s operations and demands of players.

“I have always felt that for too long the Mets have, you know, done a little bit too much with the players (in terms of personal appearances) during the season,” Hernandez said. “The players have to play baseball. And it’s a long grueling season. David has always been there for the organization.”

Speaking from personal experience, Wright is extremely accommodating and accessible when it comes to granting media interviews during the season, so I know he’s great with his time. But the Mets are running a business, and part of being an employee is doing public relations and interacting with fans. There’s nothing wrong with teams having their players make appearances and interact, but they have to be mindful of the players’ schedules.

Hernandez played the game and has a good idea of what’s asked of the players and what’s reasonable, so I’ll take his word for it. After all, we know he doesn’t suck up to the players, so he’s probably not messing around. Not only that, but as a team broadcaster, he’s probably speaking on their behalf, saying something they can’t say for fear of criticism. I’ll bet this complaint is coming from the players.

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