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Ex-Mets Star Ron Darling: 'I Feel the Bern'

By    |   Thursday, 07 Apr 2016 07:08 PM

Ron Darling is feeling the Bern.

The legendary New York Mets pitcher revealed Thursday on Newsmax TV that he’s supporting Bernie Sanders for president, even though he’s an old acquaintance of Donald Trump.

The Hawaiian-born hurler — author of the new book "Game 7, 1986: Failure and Triumph in the Biggest Game of My Life" — told "The Steve Malzberg Show":

"I would vote for Bernie. I feel the Bern. I think because he is unique…. Where he got me is when Hillary was asked, would you deport children? She couldn't come up with an answer. They asked Bernie the same question … of course not."

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As for Trump, the Republican presidential frontrunner, Darling said, "I’m not a fan, no, I'm not a fan. I think he's a remarkable businessman, I know and have met his family and they're amazing people. I just wouldn't vote for him."

Darling — now an award-winning baseball analyst who now lives in Manhattan with his second wife, makeup artist Joanna Last — said he’s amazed at the extraordinary turmoil of this year’s election.

"The people voting are trying to negate the politician, they're trying to say we're not voting for anyone who's been doing the same old thing over and over," he said.

"So that's why maybe Bernie is getting votes and Donald Trump is getting votes and to me it's just remarkable that people are trying to change the system, kill the system, because they're sick of the system and what we end up with is probably less than we deserve."

During his 13-year major league career from 1983 to 1995 with the Mets, the Montreal Expos and the Oakland Athletics, Darling racked up a 136–116 won-loss record with 13 shutouts, threw 1,590 strikeouts and had an ERA of 3.87.

With his impressive record, Darling was nicknamed "Mr. P" for "perfect" and was considered one of baseball’s biggest heartthrobs among female fans, although he was happily married to stunning Wilhelmina model Toni O'Reilly.

But things changed following the conclusion of the 1986 World Series in which the Mets beat the Boston Red Sox in a nail-biting seven games. Darling was yanked in the fourth inning of finale after giving up three runs, including two home runs, a move that was to haunt him for decades.

"I remember after the [New York City tickertape] parade was done, 48 hours later, I'm in my apartment and I kind of crashed and burned. I was like, what happened?" Darling said.

"Because when you're a young athlete, what do you want? You can't wait to make the putt to win the Masters or make the foul shot that wins the NBA title or pitch in Game 7 and when you're a young athlete, everything comes your way.

"You're the best athlete in your town, you always get the job done, and what you forget about in the World Series atmosphere, someone has got to not get the job done. It was me that night."

The bad feelings continued on.

"I thought organically… it would just dissipate at some point and it never did. So that's why I wrote the book. I wanted to kind of leaf my way through what I used to be, an athlete, and what I am now, an analyst, and try to look at me 30 years ago and where did I come up short and why did I come up short?" Darling said.

"If you read this book, you'll come up with some of the answers that I came up with and now I can rest and bury 30 years….

"I'm able to talk about not only some of the great successes that happened for the team and maybe myself personally, but I also know what it feels like to be on your knees and feeling as though you can't get that last out, and I can talk about that also."

Darling's book, written with Daniel Paisner, is published by St. Martin's Press.

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Ron Darling is feeling the Bern.
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Thursday, 07 Apr 2016 07:08 PM
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