On Saturday night’s broadcast, New York Mets color analyst and 1986 World Series champion Ron Darling announced that he would be taking a leave of absence to address some recently diagnosed health concerns.
Darling, 58, told viewers of the news during the fifth inning versus the Braves in Atlanta.
“A series of tests revealed a large mass in my chest which will require surgery next week to remove. Doctors have told me if there are no complications, I should be back on the air talking baseball sometime next month,” Darling said, before turning to humor to lighten the obviously heavy mood in the booth. “I’ll kick its you-know-what, I’ll be back here […] I’m really reporting this for Keith to know he’s going to have to do some extra games.”
The former right-hander spent nine seasons in Flushing (1983 through 1991), pitching to a 99-70 record with a 3.50 earned-run average, 3.81 fielding independent pitching rating, 1.288 WHIP, and a 1.87 strikeouts-to-walks ratio.
Darling, along with former Mets teammate Keith Hernandez and best-in-the-business play-by-play analyst Gary Cohen, came together in 2006 to form one of the more informative and enjoyable booths in all of baseball, if not professional sports, at SNY.
According to Anthony DiComo of MLB.com, former Mets player and current in-studio SNY analyst Todd Zeile will take on some of Darling’s responsibilities in the booth. Darling also added a statement, via the Mets.
“My health is the top priority right now for my family and I. I’m looking forward to being back in the booth with our crew and my friends Gary and Keith as soon as I can.”
We’re all rooting for you, Ronnie. Get well soon!