It’s been kind of a tumultuous couple of days with the Metsies. We’ve been playing some pretty bad baseball in the field and at bat (and in the bullpen!). As usual we can’t seem to get out of our own way at home.
So the club made some moves the other day. After Monday’s game they released Jose Valverde. Released means they sent him packing and while Jose is a nice enough guy I wasn’t surprised that they did that and really can’t even blame them. Jose has all the moves of a dominating relief pitcher except for the part where you get guys out. They had hoped he could be our closer and after Farnsworth (remember him) flamed out they went with Josie. But Jose was blowing leads so they demoted him to regular reliever and then he couldn’t do that. It was a mess. So he’s been tossed.
They brought back Vic Black who’s been on the Vegas shuttle for a while but he’s now in the pen. He’s got scary good stuff – especially that fastball that goes nearly 100 miles per hour. His problem is the old one about hitting the strike zone with it.
But that wasn’t even the big news of the day after Monday’s ugly loss. Dave Hudgens, the team’s hitting instructor for the past three years was fired. Now there’s some dispute as to whether this was Mr. Alderson’s decision or whether he was ordered to by owner Jeff Wilpon. If you ask me I think it was Jeff’s call since Mr. A has worked with Hudgy for like decades and seems to think highly of him.
To tell you the truth, diary, I don’t think who the hitting coach is makes a whole lot of difference. We batters are the ones who have to get the job done at the plate. And most of us hitters feel bad that Hudgy has lost his job because we don’t score runs and strike out a lot more than we should. The power hitters (that’s not me, by the way) still can’t figure out how to deal with CitiField since it’s so friggen deep in some places, especially right center.
So they gave the job to guy named Lamar Johnson who, it seems, has been around baseball forever. If you thought Hudgens was old… Lamar has him beat. I wonder whether he played with or against some of the other all-time great African-American (see how politically correct I am?) players like Satchel Paige, Josh Gibson, or maybe Choo-Choo Coleman.
As soon as Lamar got here he announced that he wanted to have a brief chat in his office with all the hitters and all the starting pitchers except deGrom. It’s starting to look like me and Jake are the two best lefty batters the club has and Lamar probably doesn’t want to mess with whatever he’s doing ‘cause he keeps getting hits on days he pitches.
When it was my turn to go into Lamar’s office – the one that used to be Hudgens’ – I noticed that all of Dave’s motivational signs were still posted. There are about a dozen of them up on the wall. I can’t remember them all but some that stick in my head said: “It’s the WALKS, stupid” and “0-1 count, don’t sweat it” and “Wait til next year, or the one after that”.
Something else still on the wall and I snapped a photo of it was his Keith Hernandez dartboard. I’m not always the quickest study but I think Hudgy is not a fan of whatever Keith says about our “approach” on the SNY telecasts.
Lamar didn’t have much to tell me. It was the usual stuff that Dave used to say: “More doubles, more walks. Otherwise keep up the good work.”
So now we’re off on a long road trip and will play the Phillies who, like us, pretty much suck. Then it’s the Cubs and the Giants. I hate to be away from Tori and baby Noah for so long but Philly and Wrigley are places where I can reach the fences so maybe I can add to my grand total of 3 homeruns. Hope so.
I’ll be in touch.
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