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Ron Darling flattered by NESN rumors, but he's not leaving SNY

Former professional baseball player Ron Darling attends Joe

Former professional baseball player Ron Darling attends Joe Torre's Safe At Home Foundation's 10th Anniversary Gala at Pier 60 on Jan. 24, 2013. Credit: Getty Images

Among many reasons Ron Darling will not be leaving SNY for NESN in 2016 is this one:

"I think my mother would disown me if I ever replaced Jerry Remy," Darling said Thursday. "That alone would stop me."

So, that's that. But for much of Wednesday, speculation about the possibility of Darling leaving the Mets' home TV station for the Red Sox's became a social media sensation.

This was after WEEI radio reported NESN's interest in Darling as an analyst partner for Dave O'Brien, who is to replace the long-time play-by-play man Don Orsillo next season.

"I don't know how that happened," Darling said by phone from Philadelphia before working the Mets-Phillies game. "I got more texts, emails and phone calls than I ever have about something that's not even close to being true. I've never talked to anyone from NESN. No one from NESN has ever talked to me."

Darling, 55, has been at SNY since 2006 and signed a multi-year contract extension after the 2013 season. Like Remy, he grew up in Massachusetts. Unlike Remy, he has lived in New York for nearly 30 years.

"Personally I'm flattered if anyone remotely around the Red Sox has mentioned my name," he said, "but I am happily a contracted SNY/Turner/MLB analyst.

"Listen, Jerry Remy is an institution. He's one of my favorites. He's a home boy and not many of us from Massachusetts have these jobs. Considering what has gone on with his play-by-play guy I think people definitely want to hear him as long as he wants to do it.

"I'm so happy with my television partners. I don't know where it came from, but because of how difficult the separation has been with Don Orsillo there's probably been a lot of spitballing and I got caught in one of those spitball moments, I guess.

"I am completely flattered by [NESN's interest] if it's true. If it's not true, then I don't have to be flattered at all. But I'm very happy. And where would I find the time?"

Another problem with the theory: "Post-Orsillo? An '86 Met? I don't know about that," Darling said, laughing.

Despite the lack of truth to the report, Darling said his brothers, who still live in the Boston area, immediately started preparing for his return. "They were like, 'Where are you going to live in Boston?' They had a place in Marblehead picked out for me."


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