Philadelphia is making it very clear: it despises Keith Hernandez.
Many within the city and Philadelphia media have made the New York Mets announcer its new public enemy No. 1 after Hernandez dissed the Phillies for their lack of fundamentals and poor defensive play over the years, adding he’s requested off from calling the Mets games against them.
The Phillies broadcast booth decided to fire a couple shots back at Hernandez during Wednesday night’s game.
“I think he’s gotten hit with too many loogies,” play-by-play announcer Tom McCarthy said, referencing the “magic loogie” from his “Seinfeld” cameo.
Color commentator Jon Kruk made sure to point out that the Phillies are one of the hottest teams in baseball as they prepare for a three-game series against the Mets, having won 12 of their last 13 games, including seven in a row entering Thursday.
“You gotta remember, he hasn’t seen this version,” he said. “We’re better defensively…we’re hitting better. With power, with average, with running. I think we play a pretty exciting brand of baseball right now.”
Later on the postgame show, Kruk acknowleged that he and McCarthy have a good relationship with Hernandez and that McCarthy was actually texting with him during the game.
“Keith was texting T-Mac, he said something about everything I’ve been saying on the air about him,” Kruk said. “I’ve known Keith a long time, he knows I’m just playing with him. I could care less what people say about — I didn’t care about what people said about us when we played and I don’t care about what they say about this team.”
Of course, not everyone is saying things in jest about Hernandez.
WIP's Angelo Cataldi ripped into Hernandez (audio above) while Marcus Haynes of the Philadelphia Inquirer added Hernandez alongside Jerry Jones, Carson Wentz and Ben Simmons on Philadelphia’s Mount Rushmore of hate.
And fans have not taken too kindly on social media about Hernandez’s comments.
Meanwhile, Phillies manager Rob Thomson downplayed Hernandez’s comments.
“He’s a good baseball man and I respect his opinion, but that doesn’t mean I have to agree with it, and I don’t,” he said, per Audacy and Phillies Nation’s Tim Kelly.
However you feel about what Hernandez said, it’s certainly added a bit of juice to the upcoming series, which ought to have a playoff feel to it.