09/08/09 11:00 PM ET
Mets' broadcasters try out silent booth
Sixth inning features only game sounds on SNY telecast
By Rhett Bollinger / MLB.com
Well, those who tuned into the Mets' broadcast on SNY during the sixth inning during Tuesday's 4-2 loss to the Marlins got exactly that -- a full inning with no words coming from the broadcasters.
In fact, several shots during the inning showed that play-by-play man Gary Cohen and analysts Ron Darling and Keith Hernandez weren't even in the broadcast booth during the frame.
So when Mets reliever Elmer Dessens threw a fastball over the plate for the first pitch of the sixth inning against Dan Uggla, the only audible word was the actual "strike" call by home-plate umpire Scott Barry.
And when Dessens walked Uggla seven pitches later, the only sounds were those of the Mets fans booing at Citi Field as Uggla trotted down to first base.
But the play of the inning, and the game for that matter, came with two outs in the top of the sixth inning with two outs on a line drive hit to right fielder Jeff Francoeur with Uggla at second base.
Francoeur threw home on the play but it sailed past catcher Josh Thole before hitting the backstop and bouncing to Dessens, who made a tremendous play by wheeling and throwing out Uggla at home.
It was the kind of play that announcers usually gush over, but instead the broadcast just featured the sound of the ball hitting the backstop and the cheers of the fans when Uggla was called out at the plate.
The bottom half of the inning was fairly routine, with the Mets being held off the scoreboard despite Carlos Beltran opening the frame with a double to left field.
It was the play at the plate in the top of the inning, however, that had the announcers talking once the seventh began and the broadcast was back to its usual routine.
"We got to see and hear the ambient sound just like you did," Cohen told viewers. "I thought it was tremendous."
Darling shared Cohen's thoughts on the inning that was dubbed as the "silent sixth" by SNY.
"It was so much fun watching it here," Darling said. "We got to see things we usually don't see because we're trying to prepare what we're trying to say instead of concentrating on the pitchers."
Hernandez was the one who found humor in the situation, quipping that some fans might have enjoyed the silence.
"Luckily, for us three in the booth, we have good self esteem in the booth and don't feel threatened by this," Hernandez said with a laugh.
The Mets' broadcasting team will experiment again on Wednesday, as play-by-play man Cohen will take the day off, with Darling and Hernandez doing all the talking.
Rhett Bollinger is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.