keith hernandez mets shohei ohtani
Wendell Cruz | USA TODAY Sports

At 35-44 on the year, the Mets have a lot of things they’re dealing with right now. Wondering whether or not they can land Shohei Ohtani in the offseason is the furthest thing from their minds. But we do know it’s something New York has thought about in the recent past. If it does happen, you better believe that Keith Hernandez won’t be unretiring his No. 17.

I mean, it hasn’t even been retired for a full calendar year yet, so I can understand this. Not long ago, we heard Jets legend Joe Namath say he’d be willing to unretire his No. 12 to let Aaron Rodgers wear it. But that was a non-starter for Rodgers. In all reality, it probably would be the same for Ohtani. He’s a respectful dude and would likely never even hypothetically try to pry that number from Keith’s hands.

If he did, though, we now know how opposed to the idea Hernandez would be after Gary Cohen brought it up on Wednesday night’s SNY broadcast (via Sports Illustrated):

Cohen: If Ohtani were to sign with the Mets, would you allow him to wear his No. 17?

Hernandez: Well, he couldn’t.

Cohen: Well, with your permission he could.

Hernandez: Don’t ask.

In case you want to hear this exchange, it’s right here:

Like, who would blame him here? If I got my number retired, I’d like to keep it that way. A lot of sacrifice, dedication, and work took place to get it put up at the top of Citi Field.

However, the way he went about answering this question from Gare was classic. It was obviously a light-hearted segment, but you know the former first baseman is dead serious. Never change, Keith. Never change.

You can reach Matt Musico at You can follow him on Twitter: @mmusico8.

Matt Musico is an editor for ESNY. He’s been writing about baseball and the Mets for the past decade. His work has been featured on numberFire, MetsMerized Online, Bleacher Report, and Yahoo! Sports.