SNY Mets broadcasters, from left, Gary Cohen, Ron Darling, Keith...

SNY Mets broadcasters, from left, Gary Cohen, Ron Darling, Keith Hernandez Credit: SNY

It happens to most of them eventually, most recently Michael Kay with the Yankees in 2009 and Sam Rosen with the Rangers in 2014.

Now it is Gary Cohen's turn.

"It's tough," Cohen said before Game 1 of the World Series, for which he worked for SNY before and after the Mets-Royals game, but not during it.

Local TV play-by-play men understand when they sign up for the job that after calling games during the long slog of the regular season, they will be shoved aside by network announcers for most or all of the playoffs.

It hurts most when the team advances to the championship round.

"I've been a fan of this team since I was 6 and I've been broadcasting for this team for 27 years and in that period of time they've never won a World Series," Cohen said.

"It's difficult to think about not being there if they reach their ultimate goal. Fortunately I get to play a small part on the sidelines, but you know, it's not the same. It's the first time I've ever been in this situation."

Cohen was on the radio side for the 2000 World Series but since 2006 he was been the lead Mets' TV play-by-play man. He did work select innings on the radio during the 2006 playoffs, which ended with a Game 7 loss in the NLCS.

"For as much as I've known for 10 years that this was going to happen eventually, the reality is tough," he said. "I am thrilled for Howie [Rose] and Josh [Lewin] and Wayne [Randazzo] and they're doing a great job. We've been running their calls on our postgame show and it gives me chills just to hear that, but it's difficult."

Cohen said the Mets' 1999 and 2000 seasons, both of which ended with postseason berths, are "incredibly special" to him, in part because he got to call the games on the radio.

Cohen recently was a guest on Kay's ESPN New York radio show, and the two commiserated.

"I know he's gone through it a number of times," Cohen said of Kay. "It's the way it is, and we all understand that. You have to accept it."

When the Mets played in the 1969 and '73 World Series, one of their announcers, Lindsey Nelson, was invited to join the network TV booth for the games at Shea Stadium. That tradition has gone by the wayside.

"If it were to happen [again] that would be great, but it's not happening anytime soon," Cohen said.

Networks have experimented with alternate telecasts featuring home-market announcers for events such as the Final Four, but so far that has not come to baseball.

Said Cohen: "I have no idea whether anybody would ever think about doing that, but I'd be all in favor."

One local New York announcer who needn't worry about something like this befalling him is MSG's Mike Breen. If the Knicks reach the NBA Finals, he will be there to call it as ESPN/ABC's lead play-by-play man.

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