By: Stache Staff

Breaking Down Dave Hudgens’ Bold Remarks


Less than a half hour after yesterday’s 5-2 loss to the Pirates, the Mets went ahead and fired hitting coach Dave Hudgens, and subsequently promoted Lamar Johnson to serve as the new hitting coach. I do not think a new hitting coach will solve the problem the Mets’ problems offensively, although I hope I am dead wrong.

Later Hudgens spoke to the media after he had heard the news of his dismissal, and the story no longer became the act of fire Hudgens, but instead the interesting and revealing comments that he made.

In a phone interview with Newsday on Monday night, Hudgens was asked if thought he received a fair chance as the teams hitting coach, and he responded:

“It depends on who you’re talking about, from who. From Sandy, from the front office, from the players, from Terry, from the other coaches, yeah, absolutely.”

Then later in the interview he went on to say how he was shocked that he was dismissed and that:

“Every one of the players came in and gave me a hug and said how sorry they were. I was really happy with my relationship with all the guys, with coaches, with Terry, Sandy, the front office. I’ve got nothing but positive things to say.”

One thing that sticks out about these two statements is that ownership was omitted from both of them. Whether not this was intended by Hudgens as a jab (and we all know that ownership deserves plenty of jabs) remains to be seen, but many fans and reporters believe it was. I am certain that Dave Hudgens has more inside knowledge about the inter-workings than any of us, but I am not so sure how strong of a relationship a major league hitting coach would have with ownership. So I am a little more hesitant to believe that this was a shot at ownership than most. Although I would love for Hudgens to elaborate on these comments, the chances we ever will are slim to none.

Another issue Hudgens addressed after his firing was the fans booing at home. In regards to the poor treatment players often receive at home, he said

“You can see it in the statistics. I think we were first in the league in runs scored on the road, so I think guys were relaxed on the road. They could just go out and play the game, don’t worry about anything. Then at home, they’re trying to do so much”.

I understand where Dave is coming from here as I am not fan of booing the players of the team I root for (Oliver Perez was my only exception), but these are professional athletes. Booing should not serve as an excuse for performance. If you read Hudgens’ comment and did not know any better, you would think that players are never booed on the road, which we all know is simply not the case.

Even after these bold remarks, Hudgens was far from done yet. His next order of business was the broadcast team. He said the following to address the SNY crew:

“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.”

This is clearly a jab at Keith Hernandez and company, as they believe that Hudgens instills over-patience and in turn makes hitters timid. This is the main problem I have with hitting coaches. Who do you trust in this instance? The World Series champion 1st baseman with a career .823 OPS or the coach who had 6 career MLB plate appearances? I lean towards the more accomplished player. I do not think a hitting coach is that much of an asset unless they are accomplished former player. I understand some people are better teachers than performers, but what incentives are there for David Wright or Daniel Murphy or young players like Travis d’Arnaud to take advice from a man with a .143 batting average in 6 at bats? I do not think the SNY booth was overly critical of Hudgens, and even if they were, Keith’s opinion should carry some sort of weight as you have to know what you are talking about if you posted up great numbers.

Remember the comments the Hudgens made earlier that excluded ownership? I could not tell whether or not they might have been intentionally omitted, until I read this final quote. It is my favorite thing that Dave Hudgens has ever uttered, and it pretty much sums up the root of the issues that the team is going through. When asked in specific about Sandy Alderson, Hudgens uttered:

“I have nothing but respect for Sandy and no doubt he will turn things around if he’s allowed to”

Whether or not the Wilpons will allow Sandy to turn it around remains to be seen.

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