Dave Hudgens Blames Everyone
Major League batters have “walk-up music” when they come to bat. I say Dave Hudgens deserves this song as his “walk-out music:”
The former Mets batting coach had some interesting words on his way out the door, firing salvos at everyone from the fans to ownership to GKR.
Fired Mets hitting coach Dave Hudgens hinted that team ownership was the driving force behind his ouster, then fired back at the club’s own television broadcasters, who have long criticized the hitting approach espoused by general manager Sandy Alderson as too passive.
Did Hudgens believe he got a fair shake?
“It depends on who you’re talking about, from who,” Hudgens told Newsday Monday night in a phone interview, just a few hours after his dismissal. “From Sandy, from the front office, from the players, from Terry [Collins], from the other coaches, yeah, absolutely.”
He omitted team ownership.
Hudgens, who joined the Mets in 2011, defended the team’s patient hitting approach, which has been bashed by broadcaster Keith Hernandez.
“The naysayers, the guys who disapprove of us, the guys who I listen to on TV all the time, those guys that know everything about the game, I’m just amazed at it,” Hudgens said. “What’s wrong with getting a good pitch to hit? Somebody, please punch a hole in that for me. 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.
“That’s one thing. I’m glad I don’t have to listen to those guys anymore.”
So what’s the problem with the New York Mets’ performance at home this season? Ousted hitting coach Dave Hudgens says the fans are partly to blame. Or, more than partly. You be the judge:
“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 Curtis 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.
“You can see it in the statistics. The fly-ball rates went up, the swing-and-miss rates went up at home. 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’ve never seen that work out — especially young players trying to do more than they should be doing. When you look at the numbers inside the numbers, and you see exit velocity rates going down at home, you see fly ball rates going up, you see swing-and-miss rates going up, you see chase rates going up a little bit — although we’re best in the league in not chasing pitches out of the zone — I think those things, it just means guys trying to do too much, trying too hard.”
Good luck, Lamar Johnson.