“Not a game goes by when a voice cuts a player slack for slow dancing,” declares the New York Daily News’ Bob Raissman, who could well have added “not a Phil Mushnick column, either.” The problem is, SNY’s Keith Hernandez (above) takes “a cock-eyed approach”, in Raissman’s view, sparing Mets superstars the same criticism he’s quick to dish out towards their opposition.
In the first inning Friday night against Washington, Carlos Beltran, the same fellow who said the Mets should be “embarrassed” by the stink bomb they detonated in Pittsburgh, hit a drive to right-center and was thrown out at third trying to stretch a double into a triple.
The replays (three of them) showed Beltran 1) admiring his deep drive a few steps out of the box, 2) jogging to first and “running” ever so slowly to second and 3) only turning on the jets when reality set in as he approached second base.
Yet Hernandez’s first instinct, as a replay aired, was to ignore the real loafer here (he actually said Beltran slipping near third was what really cost him) and chastise Nats center fielder Elijah Dukes for “a little lollygagging on the throw.” Hernandez said Beltran “thought he had a home run,” but other than that reference let him skate.
“I don’t have a problem with him (Beltran) trying to stretch it this early in the game,” Hernandez said, “trying to make something happen on a team that finds ways to lose.”
One of those “ways” has something to do with a lack of hustle. Think about it – Hernandez drops a dime on Dukes (he hit cutoff man Anderson Hernandez, who threw to third for the out) but lets Beltran slide. Wouldn’t Beltran have arrived safely at third if he were running at the crack of the bat, especially with Dukes “lollygagging?”