Ron Darling was a guest on Benigno and Roberts yesterday afternoon promoting his upcoming book “Game 7, 1986: Failure and Triumph in the Biggest Game of My Life”. Along with talking about his disappointing performance, Ronnie had a few things to say about the upcoming season for the New York Mets:

On The Defense
“Céspedes in center which is his second best position, and Lagares in left which is his second best position, instead of playing them where they excel, so that’s the outfield. As far as the infield is concerned, what it comes down to is if you had told the Mets they would either have Daniel Murphy or Neil Walker on a one year contract, they would have loved to have Murphy back. But as far as a 3 year deal, they weren’t willing to do that with Murphy, so that’s why you have Walker.”

Darling also added, “The good thing is Herrera is he’ll be here in a year, and Walker will be playing for his free agent life, and when guys are playing for a contract, they seem to have a good year.”

On The Pitching
“The Mets have to eliminate the middle of their bullpen, and how do you do that? You have to make a conscious decision to unfetter the greatest strength that his team has in all of baseball. You have to untether them and let them get 21 outs or more. If you do that for the season, then I don’t have much concerns for the Mets.”

On Daniel Murphy
“What gave the Mets starting pitchers the most issues in the World Series? It was gritty hitters that didn’t strike out. What is Daniel Murphy? He’s that exact player and he has two things going for him. He’s the kind of player that’s gonna foul off pitches that the Mets rotation usually strikes hitters out on, and who has the bigger chip on his shoulder and more incentive against the Mets than Daniel Murphy?”

Ron Darling also went on to mention that he believes the team who takes advantage of the Braves and Phillies will ultimately be division champs, being you can’t discount the Nationals. They have the reigning MVP on their team, as well as free agent to be Strasburg, and the Mets will be butting heads with them all season long, so taking care of business against the impotent teams in the NL East will be the deciding factor.