If there’s one thing we can say about SNY broadcaster Keith Hernandez, it’s that the former Mets first baseman loves watching good baseball. It’s one of the reasons why he enjoyed watching manager Buck Showalter’s team rack up 101 regular-season wins in 2022.
But once the Mets were bounced from the Wild Card Round by the San Diego Padres, Hernandez had to find a new rooting interest for the remainder of the postseason. As it turns out, he’ll be rooting for the Phillies despite comments he made about the team back in August.
Keith making us feel like we are in the Upside Down. pic.twitter.com/YMZeUlfDbA
— Metsmerized Online (@Metsmerized) October 16, 2022
What exactly what was that criticism, you ask? Let’s remind you about what he said during a Mets-Reds broadcast:
I’ve expressed to the front office — not the Mets front office, our front office at SNY — that I hate doing Phillies games. So I guess they gave me the series off.
They never seem to disappoint. Over the years — and they’re hot right now, so I’d like to see them — but as far as fundamentally, defensively, the Phillies have always been just not up to it.
Anyone who has watched a game with Hernandez in the booth knows he loves good fundies, whether it’s coming from the Mets or the squad they’re facing. These comments understandably enraged all Philly fans. Even NBC Sports Philadelphia added a “Keith Hernandez Approved” graphic to broadcasts whenever the Phillies made an impressive defensive play.
While it made everyone mad, the former first baseman and 11-time Gold Glove Award winner wasn’t wrong. As a team, the Phillies compiled -34 Defensive Runs Saved (DRS) during the regular season. That was the sixth-worst mark in baseball. For context, the Mets ranked 16th with 11 DRS, while the Yankees were first with 129 DRS.
But do you know the only thing that matters now? Who is still playing. Philadelphia squeaked into the postseason for the first time since 2011 as the six-seed. All they’ve done is sweep the Cardinals in the Wild Card Round and take down the defending champion Atlanta Braves (who also won 101 games) in four games during the NLDS.
They’re preparing to play the Padres in the NLCS, which starts on Tuesday night. You have to give Hernandez some points for coming out and admitting Philly is playing better than he expected, mostly because it didn’t seem like people were asking for his opinion (that we could see, at least). There are plenty of broadcasters who would never admit that, no matter how wrong they ended up being.