As noted in this space a few days ago, Mets GM Omar Minaya requested that SNY’s Keith Hernandez take a break from fine dining and take some time to help Daniel Murphy and Nick Evans look a bit less like Dick Stuart around first base and more like, well, Keith Hernandez. The New York Daily News’ Bob Raissman considers Hernandez’ unofficial coaching role and predicts this will all end in
tear something he’ll be writing about after Opening Day.
Maybe Mex is just a helpful guy. Maybe it’s a loyalty thing. Also, when a team official – even beleaguered GM Omar Minaya – makes the call, it amounts to a show of respect that must be answered. This is not the first time Hernandez has lent a hand. He once tutored John Olerud and Todd Zeile.
Those particular sessions may as well have been on Mars. They attracted no attention. Project Murphy (Nick Evans was also along for the ride) was chronicled by SNY’s cameras. There was follow-up via a conference call with Mets beat reporters.
The publicity payoff was big. In an offseason during which the Mets have already been left for dead, Hernandez’s coaching was viewed as a positive, even in the Valley of the Stupid.
There is reason to look forward to hearing how Hernandez reacts if Murphy’s hands turn to stone and his feet get tangled. Or when his throw to start a 3-6-3 double play sails into left field.
Will Hernandez hammer Murphy? Will he rip himself for providing a lousy lesson plan?
He better say something. Any sign of Hernandez pulling punches will open the door for anyone claiming a double standard, that Hernandez is becoming a windy shill.