New York Mets broadcaster Ron Darling will be taking a leave of absence from broadcasting duties due to health reasons.
Darling, who previously pitched for the Mets and is in his 14th season as an analyst for SportsNet New York, said he expects to be back in a month.
In a statement Darling said, “A series of tests revealed a large mass in my chest which will require surgery next week to remove. Doctors have told me if there are no complications I should be back on air talking baseball sometime next month.”
Darling added, “I’ll kick its you-know-what, I’ll be back here ... I’m really reporting this for Keith [Hernandez] to know he’s going to have to do some extra games.”
Not related to the lawsuit
Earlier this month, former Mets pitcher Lenny Dykstra sued Darling for defamation and libel over claims that he hurled racist insults at Red Sox pitcher Dennis “Oil Can” Boyd during Game 3 of the 1986 World Series.
Darling insisted to friends that his leave of absence was unrelated to the lawsuit, per USA TODAY Sports.
The lawsuit is a result of a passage in Darling’s book “108 Stitches: Loose Threads, Ripping Yarns and the Darndest Characters from My Time in the Game,” in which Darling alleges that Dykstra yelled racial slurs at Boyd throughout the game.
In his book Darling wrote that Dykstra yelled, “every imaginable and unimaginable insult and expletive in [Oil Can’s] direction — foul, racist, hateful, hurtful stuff.”
Dykstra contends that “no such racist tirade ever occurred,” per the lawsuit.
Shortly after Darling made his announcement, well wishes started coming in.
Best wishes and a safe, speedy recovery, @RonDarlingJr.
Statement from Fred and Jeff Wilpon:
“Our thoughts and prayers continuously remain with Ron for a full recovery and we look forward to seeing him back in the broadcast booth soon.” pic.twitter.com/cjOCveFSqO
— New York Mets (@Mets) April 14, 2019
— MLB Network PR (@MLBNetworkPR) April 14, 2019
We send our thoughts and prayers to #RonDarling for a complete and speedy recovery. God Bless.
— Mike Francesa (@MikeFrancesa) April 14, 2019
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