Hudgens trashes fans, SNY booth on way out

Posted: May 27, 2014 in Citi Field, News, Opinion
Tags: , , , , ,

By Steven Inman

Dave Hudgens

Dave Hudgens

After another dismal game for the New York Mets Monday, the team announced that hitting coach Dave Hudgens has been let go and replaced by Lamar Johnson. Johnson has been a minor league hitting coordinator with the Amazins since 2005. Hudgens was brought in a few years ago by Sandy Alderson to preach the team’s patient philosophy. The hope was he would be able to fix former big leaguer Jason Bay.The issue is there simply is not enough offensive talent here for any hitting coach to be successful. While Hudgens didn’t help himself out here, the task of fitting several Triple-A square pegs into round holes was a difficult one.Many players didn’t get along with Hudgens but the move was simply made in hope that it would put hitters on notice and a spark would form. Instead of thanking the Mets for his time in the organization, Hudgens blamed the fans and the SNY broadcast booth for the teams offensive woes. “I really just think guys tried too hard at home,” Hudgens told MLB.com after his firing. “I think the fans are really tough on the guys at home. How can you boo Granderson? They have no idea how hard this guy works and how he goes about doing his business, doing his job. He gets off to a slow start and they’re booing him? Come on. It’s tougher at home to play than it is on the road, there’s no doubt about it. And they’re trying really hard at home.”

If Hudgens is correct and the booing really got into players heads then we may have an even bigger problem here. Keep in mind that the Mets aren’t even filling up half of their seats on most nights so if Curtis Granderson or Lucas Duda can’t handle half a crowd booing them every once in a while then they shouldn’t be playing baseball. This is one of the most subdued fan bases the Mets have ever had so it can’t be that traumatic for these players. The 6th straight year of under .500 baseball will do that to a fan base.

In the three game series vs. Arizona last week Duda went 0-9 and left an unbelievable 15 men on base. His average has fallen all the way down to .236.

I frankly think Hudgens is wrong as Granderson was booed all throughout April and yet has been the Mets best hitter in May. Maybe the team just lacks enough offensive talent. Hudgens really seemed to shoot himself in the foot for future baseball jobs here.

Hudgens didn’t just stop there as he also attacked SNY, the Mets television trio of Gary Cohen, Ron Darling and Keith Hernandez.  “I’m glad I don’t have to listen to those guys anymore. I just shake my head at the old-school guys that have it all figured out. Go up there and swing the bat. Well what do you want to swing at? It just confounds me. It’s just hilarious, really.” Hudgens told Newsday. Keith Hernandez has been very critical of the Mets taking so many first pitch fastballs with guys in scoring position. The Mets have been historically bad with the bases loaded this year as they are just 6-45. Hernandez is right but Hudgens doesn’t have to listen to him. It is very concerning that even members of the coaching staff seems more critical of fan and media perception than wins.

Lamar Johnson will be very similar to Hudgens in that he will preach pitch selection. However expect him to be much more hands on with the Mets hitters.

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Comments
  1. frank says:

    Great post..keep up the good work !

  2. Mike Young says:

    Steve – Hudgens sounds frustrated to me and he should be because his approach did not work for the Mets. I know that as a fan it was frustrating to me when our middle of the order hitters watch fastballs early in the count go by then with two strikes on them flail away at an outside or in the dirt pitch for strike three. Keith Hernandez won a batting title, an MVP, has a ring and was the Mets Captain. See ball hit ball is according to many ex-players how hitting should be approached. When pitchers know they can get ahead in the count and then throw their out of the zone breaking ball to get the Mets out that is what they will keep on doing until the Mets prove them wrong. Successful pitching and hitting is about being able to make the right adjustments at the right time. I will bet that a hitter like George Brett would agree with Keith Hernandez on that as well. Mike

    • Steven Inman says:

      The issue Mike is that even though they are bringing in a new hitting coach, the same patient message will be preached. The question now will be is there enough offensive talent in the organization for the team to be successful. Based on the past few years the answer for me is obviously not but its something the organization still needs to figure out. -Steven

  3. The Mets don’t & never sure up the missing spot’s before the season start’s they wait and just can’t pull the trigger on more then one free agent or trade they get one market player the other a cheaper player or forget the missing spot position player that they need to start a season & make this team a winner, so they get what they pay for which is not enough to win . They always had great pitching but lack hitting same in 2000 they should spare no expense to fix this, it’s been going on for decades get players that can hit & produce in the clutch !

    • Steven Inman says:

      Unfortunately Phil, it doesn’t look like the purse strings will open up much in the next couple of years but there are still plenty of ways to address holes. The team is going to have to trade several young arms to get the bats they want. They just need to make sure who the right guy to trade is…. They have to find the right bats that can be successful in New York and such an extreme hitters park. Thanks for the comment!

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