HoJo out as Mets hitting coach

Posted: November 23, 2010 in Mets

Mets general manager Sandy Alderson announced Howard Johnson will no longer be the Mets’ hitting coach. Anyone who has ever read this blog or talked to me about the Mets know I’ve been wanting this to happen for the better part of two years.
HoJo seems like a nice guy, and he had great moments as a Mets player, but he was in over his head as hitting coach.
The main reason I wanted HoJo gone lies with All-Star David Wright. HoJo and Wright were extremely close, and while I can’t blame the coach fully for all the bad habits and tendencies David has picked up the last three years, he certainly deserves his share of the burden.
Wright has regressed, or at the very best, plateaued under Johnson. Once a complete hitter who used all fields, Wright has become more of an all or nothing slugger, with his strikeouts piling up as his average came down.
In one of Wright’s now patented prolonged slumps last year, he was standing so far from the plate, he couldn’t reach the outside pitch if he was swinging a Redwood tree, let alone a standard baseball bat. I saw it, Mets TV broadcasters saw it, other loyal Mets fans saw it, yet nothing was done to bring him closer. About a month or two later, Wright moved closer to the plate and like magic, began to hit the ball to the opposite field with authority again.
Alderson said HoJo will be reassigned to another position, and as a guy who has paid his dues both as a player and coach, that’s good. Maybe he should be a first or third base coach in the minors, or manage one of the lower-level teams. Just can’t have him as the Mets’ hitting coach.

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