Friday, May 05, 2006

Ron Darling

Ron Darling quickly scribbled his cell phone number on my note pad for me after we visited for awhile in the Legends Field dugout in late March. Like the rest of the old Mets I encountered, I was taken by the sense of calm and content they all conveyed. I shared this with Darling and he painted a picture un like any I'd heard before. During the mid-to-late 1980's, Darling described a metaphorical perfect storm that was fostered between the team, the city, the attitude and expectations collided at once. Like many of them, Darling found himself feeding off it. Only after periods of reflection could one come to such conclusions, and have such self deprecating humor. Ronnie's frequent observations about his own struggles at Shea are instructive for fans. Last night SNY broadcast was one of them. When Pirate starter Paul Malholm loaded the bases in the thirds, Darling said he was having a flashback to 1984 and 1985. Flashback was a favorite Darling expression I remember well and the manner in which he explained Malholm's predicament with his own career was refreshing and enlightening. Maybe a star is born yet again.

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