(David Wright, eat your heart out)

While also taking yet another shot at Gary Cohen (“eager to reach firm but foolish conclusions based on inconclusive evidence,”), the New York Post’s Phil Mushnick is relatively effusive in his praise of Ron Darling.

Two  seasons ago, when SNY signed Ron Darling to be a Mets’ semi-regular, in-game analyst and a sometimes studio analyst, friends in the D.C. area warned that Darling, who’d worked Nationals telecasts, was just a Mets-centric hire; he’s drab; he doesn’t say much of anything.

Well, either those friends were just plain wrong or Darling has made the quickest move from bad to good since Billy Sunday denounced drink. Darling says plenty. That’s because he sees plenty and he’s eager to share.

Friday, the Mets were beating Randy Johnson, 3-0, early, when Carlos Beltran hit a long foul. Gary Cohen noted that Beltran put a big swing on it.

“All the Mets have been swinging tonight,” said Darling. “I wouldn’t be surprised if at some point Johnson fires one in there, up and in. The Mets look very comfortable at the plate, so far.”

Next pitch: Up and in, backing Beltran off. And Darling didn’t seize his own photo op; he just grunted.

While I’ll agree with Phil that Darling has been far better than advertised, having heard the former Mets starter mumble his way through the Nationals’ inaugural campaign, I don’t think the naysayers were speaking out of turn. And it wouldn’t be an exaggeration to claim the chemistry between Darling, Cohen and Keith Hernandez —a trio occasional prone to giggle-fests or bizarro disgressions — makes for quality teevee even when the games suck.