On more than one occasion this week, I’ve restrained myself from watching multiple ballgames at once via DirecTV or MLB.tv Mosiac simply because the banter between SportsNet NY’s Gary Cohen and Keith Hernandez was too funny for flipping. I know of few adult males so quick to come down with a case of the giggles without being stoned (well, other than Richard Simmons) and in my humble opinion, a rooting interest in the New York Mets is not a prerequisite for enjoying the work of this dynamic duo.

Needless to say, Bob Raissman of the New York Daily News could not disagree more.

On Wednesday night. Cohen and Hernandez were into a very Pavlovian kind of thing. When the camera was on them their reaction was to talk about themselves. They sounded like two frustrated comedians trying to out-shtick each other.

Unfortunately, viewers could not strike back with either catcalls or spitballs. The most insulting (that’s what usually happens when baseball voices treat viewers like total morons) thing was the message Cohen and Hernandez were sending. It was:
Oh yeah, these are the lowly Pirates, who were down 6-0 at one point, so why should anyone care about this game.

Hernandez, on camera of course, basically said this in the third inning. “We’ll get back to the ballgame, but it’s 6-0,” he said. Hernandez was more concerned about presenting his views on the 1980 movie “Caddyshack.” Hernandez, displaying his cinematic knowledge while simultaneously putting viewers to sleep, even got into a riff about his favorite lines from the movie.

“… I just was wondering if I’ve lost you for the rest of the night,” Cohen said. “… You could be recalling ‘Caddyshack’ lines the next few innings.”

Not to worry. Hernandez and Cohen (again on camera in the seventh with the score 6-3) found something equally dopey, and irrelevant, to discuss: What is behind Hernandez’s decision to use a pen or pencil to keep score. And (drumroll, please) the colors he uses. And the kind of whiteout Cohen turned him on to.

“… We have games like this,” Hernandez said. “Even though it’s 6-3 we try to pack some entertaining items in here.”
Gee, that must explain why Cohen, in the eighth inning, used his common denominator with Xavier Nady (both had emergency appendectomies last season) to open the door for a medical discussion. Hernandez went into a riff – he’s done it over and over and over again this season – about the status of his tooth implant or whatever his dental problem is.

While he was talking about a “temporary crown” there was a game going on. Here’s the deal: If baseball broadcasters want to minimize the importance of a game – that clearly is boring them – why should any viewer bother watching it?

Though I believe Raissman is being unduly harsh, it is true that Keith has waxed nostalgic about “Caddyshack” on at least one prior occasion.