New York Mets fans who tuned into SNY may have noticed a sudden absence of analyst Nelson Figueroa, and now, the New York Post has explained why — he was abruptly fired after appearing to work in a “state not fit to work.”
The report noted that Figueroa showed up on Thursday unable to work, though it did not specify why. The former major leaguer reportedly demanded to still appear on the evening baseball recap, Baseball Night in New York, but producers wouldn’t let him go on air.
Figueroa had already been on the decline at the network, losing the top studio analyst spot to former Mets player Todd Zeile on the pregame and postgame shows. The report noted that Figueroa was working mostly on the networks ancillary programming, including MLB recap shows like Sportsnite.
The move came as a shock to many at the network, the New York Post report noted.
“Figueroa, a Brooklyn native, is popular among his co-workers and there was shock over the news. Besides SNY, Figueroa has worked in studio for MLB Network,” the report noted.
Fans of the team also seemed surprised by the move, with many taking to social media to stand behind Figueroa and take aim at the team’s management.
The Mets have endured some turmoil in the broadcast booth in recent months, including broadcaster Ron Darling’s absence, as he was on medical leave after being diagnosed with thyroid cancer. Darling announced that he would be leaving earlier this season to have a mass in his chest removed, and it was later revealed that he was suffering from cancer.
Darling said that his doctors were optimistic about treatment and that he would be back in the broadcast booth later this summer, Deadline noted. Some reports noted that he could be back as early as this month.
Fans have left an outpouring of supportive messages for Darling, and in-booth broadcast partner and former teammate Keith Hernandez also expressed his support.
“My heart goes out to Ron Darling,” Hernandez wrote on Twitter. “I know that Ron will beat this insidious disease. I’m heartened to hear that his doctors are very optimistic for a full recovery. I will stop at my church this day and light a candle for Ron and his entire family.”
The New York Post reached out to Nelson Figueroa’s agent for a comment about his reported firing, but they have yet to release a statement on the matter.