The Mets new regime committed their first mortal sin with a coaching change that shattered Steve Cohen’s pledge for transparency. The ruins…
Mets first baseman Pete Alonso learned about the firing of hitting coaches Chili Davis and Tom Slater when a teammate showed him the reports coming out on his phone.
As ticked off by the failure of anyone in the Mets front office to communicate in advance of the announcement, Alonso was further alienated by not one but two conversations he had with Mets acting general manager, Zack Scott.
Aggravated he was because on neither occasion did Scott offer a reason for the coaching change, other than to glamorize the arrival of Hugh Quattlebaum and Kevin Howard as the new hitting coaches, Alonso was also deeply shaken by the departure of both Davis and Slaton, of whom, and according to the New York Post, referred to as “Uncle Chili” and Uncle Slate.”
Mets Management Manages And Players Play
Now, before we go further, let’s be clear about something. There is nothing that says Zack Scott or Sandy Alderson must advise Pete Alonso or any other Mets’ player when uniformed personnel changes are made.
But there is an obligation to advise the team manager, in this case, Luis Rojas.
From there, it is Rojas’s discretion as to whether or not to pre-advise players of his choice, as to what is about to transpire.
This opens up a whole new can of worms if Zack Scott did his duty by communicating with Rojas, and Rojas “pooh-poohed” it, letting it go for his players to find out any which way they could later.
Even more sinister, though, is if Scott never communicated to Rojas, and now to save face for himself says he did, leaving Rojas out to dry with his players and the New York media.
Anyone or all of these scenarios remind too much of days that were supposed to have gone by when the Mets were the laughing stock of baseball as one of its most dysfunctional franchises.
Mets Alonso Is Only The Paul Revere
And it wasn’t as though Alonso was the only Met player taken back by the dismissals. Francisco Lindor, who entered play in an 0-for-21 skid with a .494 OPS, acknowledged that his slow start could have played a part in the coaching changes, telling the New York Post:
I am working as hard as I can, and I know Chili and Slate worked as hard as possible to get me going and get the players to hit. The short time I spent with them, worked with them, I have nothing but respect for both of them.”Mike Puma, New York Post
I hinted at this in yesterday’s article when talking about Mets hitters knowing they suck right now while also knowing they are the ones to be held accountable, not their coaches, who are there to help but can’t walk to the plate and hit for them.
Mets: Ironically, There Is An Opportunity
If anything, this is an opportunity to learn how the chain-of-command works within the Mets these days.
Are we back to the days, for example, when all Mets manager Terry Collins could do was say, “Just give me 25 players (then) who wear a major league uniform, and I’ll do the best I can with them” (paraphrasing)?
Pete Alonso is not Jacob deGrom (yet), and if he were, all hell would be breaking loose with the Mets about the best pitcher in the National League having a public beef with team management. Fireworks exploding?
But even so, if the Mets hierarchy wants to set the record straight to speak on this coaching change, someone needs to have another sitdown with Alonso because surely, he is not a happy camper today.
And if the Mets do extend an olive branch – well then – that tells us something about how this team really intends to operate, regardless of what Steve Cohen says.
Over the long course of a baseball season, these things come and go. But sometimes, they have what are called legs, both in the media and a clubhouse, festering for a time.
Steve Cohen: The Buck Stops There
Steve Cohen has a day job that widely supports his ownership of the Mets. But occasionally, he needs to be pulled in to reassure the troops that he’s “got this,” and this may be one of those times.
Cohen has the overwhelming support of all Mets players, many of whom came here so that they can be part of the blossoming that most believe will be in the grasp of the Mets within three years – to win it all.
As for Scott and perhaps even Alderson, maybe a reminder from Cohen as to why we’re all here and how he expects his employees to be treated is in order, too…because this wasn’t like it was supposed to be…
Uncle Quatt – I’m Looking For You
In the meantime, though, Mets players are being called on to adjust to a brand new routine, extending from taking baking batting practice to “one-on-one’s” with Quattlebaum and Howard, whether requested or not.
Maybe there will come a day when Pete Alonso yells into the dugout, “Hey, Uncle Quat, how’d you like that one” and all will be back to normal, and Lindor will credit Howard for gaming a small change that worked, moving him a half-step closer to the plate, pushing himself back to who he is.
But that is then, and this is now, and all Mets fans can do is hope the fallout from the coaching change leaves quickly.
And with no further ado…the Mets go about their business doing what they were already doing by bringing their hitting standards up to a major league level, slowly but surely, with or without the help of hitting coaches.
Here’s What Readers Are Saying…
You’ll see from many of the comments below that many missed the central point of the story, which is that players would not have been as upset if the Mets front office had handled the change in a more professional way, and not (necessarily) that players have a right to be crybabies – or not to be held accountable when these things happen.