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Mets nix YES

SNY won't follow in path of Yankees-centric station

Posted: Wednesday February 1, 2006 1:02PM; Updated: Wednesday February 8, 2006 6:22PM
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Former Mets star Ron Darling will be a member of the SNY broadcast team.
Former Mets star Ron Darling will be a member of the SNY broadcast team.
Manny Millan/SI

This year marks the 20th anniversary of the New York Mets' last championship team. During the hey-day of the Bright Lights, Big City '80s, the Mets were comprised of bright, young stars, savvy veterans and a collective personality vulgar enough to rival the Bronx Zoo crew of the late '70s. Yet the team that was captured in all its profane, immature glory by Jeff Pearlman's page-turner, The Bad Guys Won, never lived up to its full potential, and was spent by the end of the decade.

Subsequently, in spite of periodic success, the Mets have been more famous for their failures and their role as the Big Apple's "other team." But now, under the leadership of charismatic GM Omar Minaya, even-handed manager Willie Randolph and owner Fred Wilpon, the Mets have been forging ahead, once again, in a bold effort to recapture the back pages of the tabloids and the heart of what many still consider to be a National League town.

The latest development in the rebuilding of the franchise -- which began last season with the Pedro Martinez and Carlos Beltran deals, and continued this winter with the additions of Billy Wagner, Carlos Delgado and Paul Lo Duca -- is the unveiling of SNY, the team's new flagship network. After the triumph of the Yankees' own YES network, it was only a matter of time before the Mets followed suit.

But for all the endearing moments the Mets have enjoyed in their relatively brief history, can you imagine a "Metography" on Jerry Grote or Skip Lockwood, Marv Throneberry or Pat Zachary? The team's history is littered with players who went on to greater success elsewhere -- Nolan Ryan, Amos Otis, Ken Singleton and Jeff Kent, to name a few. Heck, even their golden child, Doc Gooden, went on to pitch a no-hitter for the crosstown rivals, winning two championships in the Bronx (along with Darryl Strawberry) to boot. After Tom Seaver, Ed Kranepool and a handful of others, there isn't much to lionize over the course of a full hour. What are they going to feature? The Art Shamsky Report, Late Night with Ron Swoboda, Fly Fishing with Kevin McReynolds, and Hot Dog Highlights starring Willie Montanez and Lenny Dykstra?

As it turns out, SNY is not likely to resemble YES much at all. "SNY has a very different goal," says Richard Sandomir, media critic for The New York Times. "It doesn't want to be known purely as the Mets channel, or a homer station." Instead, SNY has designs on being a comprehensive sports news station, not just a promotional tool focused primarily around one team.

Detailed plans for SNY have yet to be released, but the early indications are that it intends to become an ambitious news service as well as the flagship station for the Mets and the New York Jets.

"The Mets are going about SNY in the right way," says Matt Cerrone, host of Metsblog.com. "They're aiming towards being an ESPN for New York, so to speak, as opposed to being a Mets version of the YES Network."