While he is not immediately throwing his hat in the ring, Ron Darling is interested in the Mets GM gig.
“I would be disingenuous if I didn’t say that if someone wants to sit down with me and talk about putting a team together I would absolutely take that meeting,” Darling told me during an informal luncheon to promote TBS’ upcoming MLB playoff coverage, which includes the October 3 AL Wild Card Game.
Darling’s name was floated by a local columnist as a possible candidate, along with others, to replace Sandy Alderson as Mets GM. Darling said he had not yet read the column but had heard about it. It was clear by his tone and answers, Darling had already given some thought to taking on the key front office post before he was asked about it.
“I know a lot of things would have to change with my family to take that task on, but everyone who loves the game wants a chance to put a team together, and I’m no different,” Darling said. “I would prefer that to managing a team. The day-to-day stuff (involved in managing) would not be my favorite. But the behind the scenes stuff… I would be more qualified for those personal relationships away from the field.”
What about his broadcasting career? Darling is one of the top analysts in the game. In 2006, SportsNet New York hired the trio of Darling, Keith Hernandez and Gary Cohen. Darling has been TBS’ top MLB analyst since 2007. Through the ups and downs of the Mets, the three voices have been consistently excellent. It’s hard to even think of them breaking apart while one moved into another line of work.
Yet, that does not mean they haven’t discussed what the end of the road might look like.
Darling talked about the future with Cohen recently, while driving from Washington, D.C. to Philadelphia.
“We had two hours together and talked about everything from our kids to this and that. I don’t know if it was Gary or me who brought (leaving the Mets booth) up, but he said we don’t know how it’s going to go but it might make sense for all of us to leave at the same time,” Darling said. “I don’t know what that means. I don’t know how long Keith wants to work. I don’t know how long I want to work and Gary the same. But it would be a pretty cool way to go if we could somehow figure that out.”
This has been done before, by the way, though not to great success.
Back in 1986, Ken (Hawk) Harrelson left the White Sox broadcast booth to become the team’s GM. He was fired after one season.
While Darling favors using analytics to do his pregame research, he has not totally abandoned old-school ways.
As GM, he said he would be able to merge the best of both worlds.
And let’s not forget, Darling is a very smart guy. He went to Yale and has been analyzing baseball games for TV since 2000 with Oakland.
He said becoming a GM candidate would be beneficial no matter how the experience ended.
“It would be a cool thing to talk to someone (be interviewed) about a job like that just to see what the process was like,” Darling said.
And if he did land the job, it would be the first time in his career that he would be the boss.