The Mets already lost one stable from their highly-regarded broadcast team with the departure of field reporter Kevin Burkhardt. Now SNY will also be moving on without Bobby Ojeda in the studio. Despite not being players, these are the two biggest losses the Mets have suffered this off-season.
Ojeda pitched for the Mets from 1986-1990. When his playing days were done he served as a minor league pitching coach within the organization from 2001-03. He left that position due to a disagreement with the front office regarding player development. He later joined SNY in 2009 as a pre/post-game analyst. Although he will always be loved in this city for his part of that memorable 86′ Mets team, a whole new generation of fans, myself included, grew to revere him as an analyst.
He quickly became known for his brutal honesty and unique insight. He isn’t one of these company men who provided the generic boring commentary regarding the team he covered. You could count on him to give a real opinion and always held the players, coaches and front office accountable for their performance. That’s what I want from a studio analyst. There are enough empty suits who say all the right things to please studio executives on television, Ojeda is not one of them.
An excerpt from a Daily News piece regarding the situation:
“Bobby wanted to come back this season. He absolutely wanted to,” a source close to Ojeda said. “Even with some changes on the horizon in the studio he wanted to return.”
Other reports have stated that the difference of pay was “not substantial“. Which leaves us to assume it was once again a money issue, same old Mets. At least ownership is consistent with not spending money both on and off the field, you have to give them that.
There have been rumblings that former Mets reliever Nelson Figueroa is a candidate to be Ojeda’s replacement. Figueroa is a local guy who grew up rooting for the team and is well-respected by the local reporters. I can’t say I’ve ever heard, or read, a negative remark about him.
Just last season there were rumors regarding former Mets outfielder Cliff Floyd joining the radio broadcast team. Although that never came to fruition, Floyd has done a nice job with the MLB Network this past year. He has sent out some tweets lately hinting that he will be announcing “spring plans” that have since been deleted. I can only speculate that he could be in the running for this position as well.
Regardless of who SNY hires to replace Ojeda, I will miss his presence during Mets’ broadcasts.