How did Ron Darling, the Mets broadcaster who used to be a dreamy Mets pitcher, end up being a spokesperson for Weight Watchers Online for Men? “The bad thing about being a former athlete is you’re reminded daily that at one point you were in great shape,” he says. “I don’t have any problem with being older. But old and fat I can’t live with.” Darling has dropped 30 pounds in six months. But isn’t baseball notoriously kind to the flabby? “Football players grow up in the weight room; basketball players grow up running,” he says. “The standard in baseball has always been, ‘Can you play? We’ll find room for you.’ So you can be five-five, or you can be C. C. Sabathia at 300 pounds and be the Cy Young winner.” He recalls that he’ll “never forget my first All-Star Game: I saw this great relief pitcher sitting on a wooden stool, naked, fat, smoking a cigarette and drinking a beer. But it doesn’t matter, because then that guy throws 97 miles per hour.” Is this the year for the Mets to win their first World Series since Darling’s ’86 team? “The key is Jose Reyes. David Wright may be the regular-season MVP, but if Reyes has his coming-out party in the playoffs, the Mets will win it all.”
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