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No Bias In This Booth

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When it comes to Gary, Keith, and Ron, objectivity is the name of the game.

I noticed a rare occurrence within the SNY broadcast of the Mets game a few nights back. Nothing TWISNY-worthy, but rare nonetheless.

In one of the later innings of last Tuesday's game Ron Darling was mid-discussion, opining on a couple of the new, young relief options in "our bullpen." Our. As in, the team we all root for: the Mets.

It's nothing Earth-shattering, of course, but it's certainly something you don't hear on the Mets broadcast every day. And that's the point. To our collective benefit, this sort of hometown bias is virtually nonexistent in the current iteration of the Mets' television broadcast. Gary Cohen, Keith Hernandez, and Ron Darling are about as objective a broadcast conglomerate as one could hope for, and I have the stats to prove it.

Last week the Wall Street Journal ran a piece — online only — entitled 'How Biased Is Your Baseball Announcer?' In it, they discussed bias displayed by baseball announcers.

Basically, this was billed as a "30-team study that shows some baseball TV teams don't always play it straight." By tuning in to one night of each broadcast and listening for certain buzzwords, phrases, or even inflections throughout the game, study authors gauged how much favoritism each team is shown by its home crew. The article references an instance when Detroit announcers called the club's backup Gerald Laird 'G-Money', as an example.

You can see the results of each game below:

Team # of Biased Comments
White Sox
104
Indians 23
Pirates
20
Astros
15
Marlins
15
Diamondbacks
12
Orioles
9
Nationals
9
Phillies
9
Twins
9
Padres
9
Cardinals
8
Tigers
7
Reds
7
Rockies
7
Royals
6
Athletics
6
Rangers
6
Braves
5
Rays
4
Cubs
3
Mariners
2
Brewers
2
Angels
2
Giants
1
Blue Jays
0
Yankees
0
Red Sox
0
Dodgers
0
Mets
0

Wow, someone is not ashamed to drink that hometown kool-aid, huh? And, not surprisingly, there's our boys at the bottom of the list.

Now the scientific masses might object to this exercise being labeled a "study" since each broadcast was analyzed over a one-game sample — not even close to a representative data set. But the results point to a conclusion that we pretty much already know. Gary, Keith, and Ron call a hell of a Mets game, free from the — in my own opinion — out-of-place rooting and inane banter that render so many of the broadcasts around the league so very mute-able.

And that's just reason #8,547 why we love GKR.