I read a couple of posts suggesting maybe the solution to the Mets’ hitting problems is to fire Rick Down. My first thought is that’s crazy. My second thought is that’s nuts. My third thought is that’s something the Yankees would do.
Its the hitting coach’s fault? yeah that is something yankees would do and maybe the era of Steve Phillips.
If they were swinging like school girls i would say ok maybe. But the fact is they are just swinging at crap and that isnt the coaches problem its the player.
Firing Rick Down? Please. That’s ludicrous.
There was a great piece the other day on why firing Eddie Murray as the Dodgers’ hitting coach made no sense and has no bearing on the Dodgers’ performance.
How about some more pertinent questions:
*Do the Mets take a gamble on OF Milton Bradley? He’d certainly be a great pinch-hitting option and can start when Green needs a rest. But would he be a malcontent, as he was in LA?
Being African-American, I must must ask: would older brothers like Willie Randolph, Jerry Manuel and Omar Minaya effectively mentor him, the way no other organizations have been able to?
*Do the Mets take a flyer on lefty reliever J.C. Romero, cut loose by the Red Sox? Could he be any worse than Schoeneweis? Could Rick Peterson straighten him out?
I see Omar looking at Bradley and recently released Brady Clark as OF options as well as JC Romero for the bullpen. However, we have Dave Williams also coming back from the left side.
Whoever is added, Sele has no place on this team anymore and must go. Unfortunately, it looks like we are stuck with Schoenweis.
It may seem like a ridiculous move, but if that’s the case then what exactly is a hitting coach (or any other coach for that matter) responsible for? John would know more than any of us, but I’ve always had the feeling that Down was Willie’s guy, and that’s not always a good thing. It seems like some of the players work more with HoJo, especially the younger ones who came up through the system. Peterson was never Willie’s guy, but look how well they’ve done together. Sometimes you need more than a “yes” man around when things aren’t going well…
Down as the hitting coach..
1.Delgado’s numbers have decreased
2.takes hitters longer to adjust
3.Look at David Wright’s swing this year
uh Wright was having problems after home run derby who are you kidding.
as for delgado this is not the first time he has “slumped”.
yes it is his longest, but then again look at his age.
You beat me to it, Gil: Do they take a chance on Crazy Milton? On the one hand, he’s been a clubhouse problem everywhere; on the other hand, this team is desperate for a solid bat in the outfield. Could this particular clubhouse be the one Bradley has been looking for? Is it worth finding out?
you probably read that from people that post at metsblog.com
for some reason the audience is soo big that there are a couple of very mentally questionable people that go there and post there.
It amazes me how people that are supposedly older and more “mature” than me act like children and over-react by everything.
Hitting Coach: Token Job
Firing the Hitting Coach: Token Gesture
it’s painfully obvious what that this kind of thinking means. Mets fans wish they were yankees fans or their yankee envy is beginning to really show through or Mets fans are unable to root for their team w/o somehow comparing themselves to the yankees.
I’d like to see the club use Hojo as the hitting coach and move Downs into a minor league instructional position. Hire Henderson as the first base coach. The team’s offense has been horrible this year and needs some new life maybe Rickey at first controling a small ball style offense would work. I don’t know if a hitting instructor has alot of influence or not but I could see Hojo in the dugout instead on the base path talking to a guy after a strikeout as helping.
I’d definately go after Bradley, but Romero I think were already too deep in lefties of his caliber Williams, Bostick, Vargas etc… i think we need a flame throwing righty like Sanchez was last year, Oh and I pickup Bert just for the influence he has over Heilman
While the hitting coach may not affect how his team bats, his philosophies can…From what I’ve come to understand, Down’s approach is more aggressive and not so much working the count…and numerous times, you see the Mets going up against rookies or guys with control problems & instead of taking a few pitches and making the guy earn his strikes, we hack at borderline pitches early in the count…Last night, Mets faced a young pitcher with a WHIP of about 1.6 in the past 2 seasons, and had NO walks; meanwhile, walks started the bleeding against Perez in both the 3rd and 5th innings…I’m not a big OBP person, but in the month of June, the Mets have drawn 40 walks; meanwhile they have allowed 58 walks which is a pretty big differential against us…out of those 40 walks, Rickey discipline Reyes has 10 walks; HoJo discipline Wright has 7 walks; Franco has 4 walks; Gotay has 3 walks; and nobody else has more than 2 walks…sLowDuca/Beltran/Delgado have combined for 5 walks in 212 plate appearance in June, which is absolutely pathetic, even more pathetic than their batting has been; if it were Reyes getting 5 walks in 212 plate appearances, people would want to get rid of him (oh yeah, he did, at least until Rickey worked with him)...
I think we should take a chance on Milton Bradley. He is in the last year of his contract, and I bet he would be a model citizen if he came over here for the rest of the season just so he could cash in next year. If we don’t have to give up too much (one mid level prospect and pay his salary) I would try it.
Ed: Is Ricky interested in f/t coaching? He always seems to give off that vibe of not quite having given up on a chance at a comeback as a player. Granted, if Ricky were interested in joining the Mets organization f/t in some sort of coaching/instructional position I (like many fans) would be 100% for it. But I’ve never heard anything that implies he’d be all for it.
Plus he has that 500 acre wooded ranch of his to run. Horses to feed, bears to fight, etc etc.
Vtmet, you hit the nail on the head. This team is pressing and their walk totals show it. OBP is the stat the correlates most highly with run scoring. If you’re not getting on base your making an out. (HRs count as getting on base).
i thought he was in the running when hojo took it, he was at the winter meetings with Omar. I might be wrong but I could have sworn he was interested and they were as well. It might have been a bad rumor or speculation as well. I always thought he hadn’t taken a job yet because he still thinks he can play.
Someone above mentioned the article about firing Murray made no sense by the Dodgers. It’s been reported out west since that happened and now by Jayson Stark that Eddie Murray was so set in his ways that half the Dodgers’ hitters weren’t even on speaking terms with him. It’s pretty important to communicate with your hitters right? Probably a good reason to fire someone right?
I think they are just in one of those streaks as a team. It’s not Rick Down’s fault. If you blame him for slumps then you have to give him credit for Reyes having increased his OBP by 50 points or Wright’s resurgence. I think a difference of late is like the other night: Two outs, bottom of the 8th, runners on 1st and 3rd. Valentine rips a line drive right at the 1st baseman and the inning is over. Last year that goes to the corner, the Mets score two to cut the lead to two and eventually comeback to win. And Rick down has no control over some of the sloppy play and bad pitching of late. We’re still in first place so I don’t think it’s time to start firing coaches to make a point.
I mentioned the story about the firing of Eddie Murray. I haven’t read the Stark piece and this is the first time I’m reading about players not speaking to him. If sources were truthful with Stark, then yes, in that case, it makes sense that he was fired.
However, he wouldn’t be the first coach or manager stuck in his ways. You should read in David Ortiz’s new book, his and Torii Hunter’s takes on their former manager, Tom Kelly. And Kelly ran the show in the Twin Cities for nearly 20 years.
In the Mets’ recent past, how many players ripped Bobby Valentine for being the same way? Remember the merry go round the Mets’ hitting instructor position used to be a few years ago?
I do not think firing Down’s is the answer either. This is where Willie needs to step up and be the manager and talk to his team. No need to shout at the club, but it is time for a closed locker room door meeting. Willie needs to tell them to go back to the basics in the field and at the plate. He really needs to wake them up. Players not realizing how many outs there are (twice this week) throwing errors and just not producing runs. I do not care what place a team is in, if they are performing this poorly this long then now is the time to stop the trend. Willie needs this team to sweep the A’s this weekend! Omar also needs to work his ways as well by making a few trades. I still think we need another solid bat in the outfield and another top arm in the bullpen. I do not feel pressed for another SP as long as the current starters stay healthy.
het metfan – u must be a yankee fan because i dont know a single met fan that ever compares the team to the stankees.
as a matter of fact if people stopped talking about the yankees tomorrow mets would be all the happier..
back to being mets… everyone needs to wake up is all. and whats fair is fair. sit people if they are not playing 100% maybe they need a rest.
Steve C, as you said to John Delcos in an earlier post “But this is Mets Blog. Not Baseball in general Blog”. I’m not sure why you always bring up the Yankees, but lets just stick to the Mets. I know that you have a bit of a chip on your shoulder in terms of media coverage of Mets compared to Yankees, but lets just ignore that team in the Bronx and focus on the one in Queens.
I don’t think Rick Down is personally responsible for the slumps that several players are going through, but he’s the hitting coach, and they’re not hitting. You can’t get rid of the players, and sometimes firing a coach can put a team on notice. It worked in 2000 when Tom Robson was replaced by Mickey Brantley and the team got going right after.
I mentioned this a few games ago for exactly the reason Kevin B mentioned. No, a new hitting coach isn’t going to “fix” anyone. But we can’t get rid of players, and they aren’t waking up on their own, so maybe the realization that their poor performance has cost someone their job will wake them up.
A large part of why this stretch has been THIS brutal has been… not getting walks and not working counts to get into bullpens. Maybe it’s just the difference between 4-14 and 7-11 but… I’ll take that difference.
Someone needs to wake this team up and make them hit smarter and more selectively. Maybe firing a well-liked hitting coach isn’t the way to do it but something needs to be done.
If Wright’s swing was messed up since the HR derby, wouldn’t a good hitting coach notice something and have had him adjust his swing by now? What has Down been doing during this time with Wright?
If Delgado’s decline is due to declining skills, wouldn’t a good hitting coach be able to get through to him to change his mechanics to adapt to slower reaction times or a slower bat?
If the team’s OBP and walk totals are down, shouldn’t a good hitting coach be getting through to them the need for more patience at the plate?
Even if firing the hitting coach would be a token move, sometimes token moves have a positive effect. That happened the year Phillips fired some of Valentine’s coaches. But I’m not even sure firing Down would be a token move. Maybe these players just don’t relate to him.
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