Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Fool me once...

...shame on you. Fool me twice, shame on me. Fool me three times, and it's time to question my mental capacities. One Howard Johnson has presided as hitting coach all three instances -there is one start in which Piniero actually allowed more than two runs in there, but it is not indicative of the overall trend- and somehow retains his job, probably because he was a former fan favorite -woo! 30-30 in a meaningless season! woo!- and is buddy-buddy with franchise stalwart David Wright, who by the way has transformed into strikeout and lucky singles hitting machine. It doesn't matter how many backups are in a lineup, because the opposing pitcher has been knocked around his last several starts and was a scrap heap addition himself. People are laid off for much less during these times, isn't three strikes enough for Johnson?

P.S. And for all 'the hitting coach doesn't even have that big of an impact on the team!' people, doesn't someone have to assemble scouting reports, go over tape with hitters, set up approaches during team meetings before series? What does Johnson do? Groom his mustache while watching Daniel Murphy chop grounders during batting practice? Watch Wright uppercut balls?


cannatar said...

First of all, HoJo had three 30-30 seasons. Insult his coaching all you want, but he legitimately earned his fan favorite status.

It's very hard to determine how the hitting coach is doing from the outside, but isn't the basic criteria whether the team is hitting better or worse than we expected? I think I can list more Mets who are over-performing than under-performing. Even if I give you Wright (whose overall numbers are good despite the underlying decline), it's still just Wright and Reyes who have hit worse than hoped. The over-performing list should include Beltran, Castillo, Sheffield, Delgado, and Omir Santos. It seems to me that the Mets as a whole are hitting better than expected.

Fred Coupon said...

Can Casillo's still below league average OPS be considered overachieving? That's a pretty damning indictment on Mr. Minaya. And Wright's baffling approach at the plate is becoming very counterproductive now, as those singles and walks he drew have far less impact with Beltan no longer in the lineup. If's he's gonna strike out close to 200 times, shouldn't he have some home runs to show for it? Even Adrian Gonzalez has found enough good pitches to hit in a terrible lineup.

coachie said...

It's not HoJo's fault that Tatis is batting cleanup. We're just gonna have to deal with the C-Team for the rest of the season and hope for an overhaul over the winter.

But can Francesa make it that far without blowing out his vocal chords? All the losing makes for fantastic radio.

Fred Coupon said...

But did you see a common theme in the post? It didn't matter who was in the lineup each time. I just want some blood. Show the fans you care. It's not as if HoJo is earning his paycheck.

coachie said...

I hear ya. But the team is in enough turmoil right now, might send the wrong message.

Who the F is Nieve? Little background help, cannatar?

cannatar said...

So the Mets should fire HoJo just to show the fans that they're doing something?

I admit that it's very hard for me to determine whether he's doing a good job. As an outsider, the only thing I have to go by is how the players are hitting. And to be fair, we need to look at how all the players are hitting and at all 69 games, not just selectively choose to look at individual players (Wright) or opponents (Pineiro). And over these 69 games, the Mets as a whole have hit better than expected.

If I tally up all the Mets plate appearances so far this year and compare them to their preseason PECOTA projections, the Mets are hitting better than expected.

Is it possible that HoJo is doing a bad job? Yes. But, there's nothing in the team's performance that indicates it.

Fernando Nieve is the new Nelson Figueroa.