Mets Move Firing Hitting Coaches Hurts More Than It Helps The Team

Citi Field, home of the New York Mets

The Mets made news today by doing nothing unusual. When a team struggles, heads will roll. But what do coaches have to do with anything?

The Mets did the only thing in their power they can do to fix their offense by firing hitting coaches Tom Slater and Chili Davis.

Mets boot Chili Davis (
Mets boot Chili Davis (

Hugh Quattlebaum was named the new hitting coach, with Kevin Howard as his assistant.

Now, if those are two names you hear for the first time, you are not alone because Mets players are in the same boat, asking, “Who are these guys?”

Just for the record, though, “these guys” are the new regime’s guys, hand-picked by Sandy Alderson, and part of a weeding-out process that may or may not extend to Mets’ manager Luis Rojas eventually.

Mets Players: “Just Leave Me Alone, Please”

Moreover, it’s a good bet there’s more than a handful of Mets players who are whispering to each other, “Why the hell don’t you just leave me be – I got this?”

Francisco Lindor, Dominic Smith, Michael Conforto, James McCann, the whole lot of them know they suck right now, and they don’t need anyone to remind them how badly they suck as a team right now…

Last in the major leagues in runs scored, fourth from the bottom in OPS, last in home runs, last in base hits, and second from last in base-on-balls (Source: ESPN.

What else do they need to know, as if some hitting guru is going to burst through the clubhouse door spreading magic glitter in each locker, and all will be well in Metland again?

In Baseball, Hitting Is Contagious 

Hitting is contagious, they say in baseball. Logically then, so is poor hitting, the case with the Mets now, and with the exception of Brandon Nimmo and J.D. Davis (now on the 10-day IL), everyone is feeling it.

Mets fans booing Francisco Lindor - why?
Mets fans booing Francisco Lindor – why?

Moreover, no hitting coach on this planet can stop their hitters from trying to hit a five-run home run or swinging at balls a foot-and-a-half off the plate.

It’s mental, not physical. Francisco Lindor hasn’t forgotten how to hit; none of them have.

So now, you have these new faces coming in, all eager with a head full of ideas they’ve been saving up for just this moment in their careers when they have a captive audience to preach to – real live major league Mets hitters.

By mudding the water, how can that possibly help at this point?

There’s always a player or two who takes a liking and trust in a particular coach, and over time there might be someone on the Mets who will benefit.

Mets: Is Luis Rojas About To Get Run Over?

But unless Luis Rojas takes control by having a sitdown with Quattlebaum and Howard, telling them to back off because “My guys got this,” and even if it’s not true (yet), things can get even worse before they get better.

Mets Luis Rojas - No contract for 2022
Mets Luis Rojas – No contract for 2022

Ironically, when the Mets do pull out from this funk, and they will, all the credit will go to the new coaches.

In fact, you can say no one connected to the Mets has a better job than Quattlebaum (sorry, I can’t help but laugh when I type that name) and Howard.

They’re walking into a win-win situation – because, for the Mets offense, there’s nowhere to go but up.

In baseball, things tend to even out. Yermin Mercedes (CWS) will not hit .400 this year (he’s at .395), J.D. Martinez (BOS) will not stay on the pace he’s on to drive in 156 runs, and Cedric Mullins (BAL) will not collect the 218 base hits he on pace to deliver.

Likewise, the reverse is true, and the law of averages favors Mets players, like Dominic Smith, who will surely finish with far more than the six home runs he’s on pace for this season.

Fortunately, Mets pitching has kept them at or near .500 in the NL East, a division separated by a mere 2.5 games, and where .500 appears to be par for the course.

How Do You Spell P-A-N-I-C?

A question that comes to mind, though, with the Mets firing of Davis and Slater is this – though neither could be said to be helping the team – was either or both hurting the team?

I’ve never heard of anyone connected to the Mets say the latter – so what’s the point of it all – except to introduce two new faces to the Mets clubhouse in the middle of a season?

No, this was a move by the Mets that spells P-A-N-I-C, and for no reason except to say to their fans, though not their players, “See, we are trying to do something.”

Not very impressive, Sandy…

Here’s What Readers Are Saying…

Ha, just read an article of Chili Davis sayin he felt at home with the Mets after hating his time with the Cubs and feeling like no one trusted him there. Maybe Chili Davis just isn’t a great coach?? Seems like between his time with the Mets Cubs and Sox he has had quite a few really good hitters struggle under his tutelage
Exactly! The Mets should hold individual players accountable for their lack of production. Otherwise, they have no motivation to improve.
Coaches are not there holding the bat nor pitching
The team is struggling badly. Plus the players even made up a fictional character to help their hitting. Obviously, the hitting coaches already lost control, confidence, and respect from the players. You HAVE TO CHANGE.
Looks like our problems are all fixed now. The guy’s bats are gonna be hot and Lindor is finally going to earn his money. Lol
I really don’t think this is the fix but hey hopefully it will light a fire under someone’s arse.
Wake up call
If Keith notices what is going on w Lindor then the hitting coaches should see it too and work endlessly to fix it.
So how will it hurt teams if these coaches don’t matter
I think hitting coaches can make a positive difference – if they are good. Charley Lau certainly made a difference for many players (Lou Piniella said he was “the greatest batting instructor of them all.”) Charlie Manuel was also good for the Indians in the ’90s. I think a good hitting coach can be similar to a good swing coach in golf – they can identify minor changes or flaws in the swing itself, stance, etc. You are right, Lindor has not forgotten how to hit, but he must be doing something different than in the past – otherwise, he wouldn’t be hitting .163.

Question with all due respect Steve Contursi  Is your stance that good managers and coaches do NOT make a difference? Specifically when it comes down to the details of winning a championship vs just being a contender?

Steve Contursi

Ricardo Albaladejo
Good question. No, coaches can and do have a positive effect. It’s just that in this case, the change seemed unnecessary and liable to upset the team by getting used to someone new during the season. Anyway, without objection, I’m adding your comment to the article.
You guys are totally off, listen to Zach Scott, it was not about results, it was because they wanted chili to do things their way…Alderson wanted him out before the season but thought he would do things their way and he didn’t so they canned him…
The results are going to come and when they start to hit the front office will look good despite the fact that they are the ones who screwed it up, to begin with

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Author: stevecontursi

I am an amateur writer with a passion for baseball and all things Yankees and Mets.