Howie Rose and John Sterling, the Mets’ and Yankees’ longtime lead radio play-by-play men, both cut back on travel this season, but both plan to work the entirety of the upcoming playoffs.
In Rose’s case, that could well mean a trip to Los Angeles for the NLDS now that the Mets are on the brink of being relegated to the wild-card round. If they survive that, it would mean facing the Dodgers next.
“Oh, I’m all-in if they play in Timbuktu,” Rose told Newsday last week before the Mets’ three weekend losses to Atlanta. “A lot of this was designed to make sure that I had enough reserve to be able to handle anything that comes up in terms of road trips.
“It’s not exactly like managing Edwin Diaz’s innings, but I think that doing the number of games that I have and, more to the point, being able to take the breaks that I have, has enabled me to approach the postseason with a clear mind and the full-speed-ahead attitude that you need to have.
“So I’m raring to go right now, and as I said, wherever they’ve got to go to wind up on the Canyon of Heroes, I’m going with them.”
Rose, 68, missed parts of last season after undergoing major surgery, and this season he skipped some long road trips as a concession to what he called his “new normal.”
Asked how the season has gone, he said, “I’ve just had to make some lifestyle adjustments, which are fine, because once [doctors] turned me loose, they said, ‘No restrictions. Live your life.’ ”
Rose said skipping trips to the West Coast was “huge,” not only because of his medical condition but because of his age.
“This is a very unforgiving schedule,” he said. “I know that Gary [Cohen] and Keith [Hernandez] and I and Ronnie [Darling], too, we’ve all looked at each other at some point during the season and said, ‘Oh, my God, am I tired.’ And we’re all in our 60s.
“So I think that’s partially to be expected. And I even said to Gary, just in the last 10 days or so, when it came up again, I said, ‘Gary, I’m just so confused, because I don’t know if it’s because of everything that I’ve gone through and that’s kind of worn me down physically, or if I’m just as tired as I am because the schedule says I’m supposed to be.’
“I’ll never know the answer to that. I’ve just got to deal with it. And I’m hoping it’s more an age thing than any, but in view of that, to cut down to the extent that I did this year, it’ll be around 125 games, that’s perfect right now.
“I think it went well. I think just having the prescribed rest has kept me as sharp as I’ll be at the stage of the game. And I think that’s kind of a happy spot or happy zone numerically for hopefully next year, and we’ll see beyond that.”