Hitting coach Dave Hudgens, who was fired Monday, insinuated twice on radio that if Mets ownership didn’t limit his ability to spend on payroll, GM Sandy Alderson could acquire better players and construct a consistent, winning team.
“I don’t think Dave has the full information,” Alderson responded, talking to reporters later in the day. “He has information from the clubhouse and dugout, and that is a limited perspective.”
That said, according to columnist Andy Martino, Alderson’s friends and colleagues say he expected to, eventually, operate with a slightly higher payroll than he’s had (Newsday, May 28). Howard Megdal has been reporting on a similar theme in Capital New York since 2012.
In a report early Tuesday, Megdal goes a step further, accusing Jeff Wilpon of forcing Alderson’s hand, demanding that Hudgens be fired, according to a knowledgeable source (Capital New York, May 27). The team refused to comment on Wilpon’s reported role in Hudgens’s dismissal, Megdal writes.
Alderson was consistent in telling reporters Monday and Tuesday that he made decision to fire Hudgens and release Jose Valverde, and he’s repeatedly said payroll is not an excuse, while taking responsibility for players not performing as expected.
Nevertheless, according to columnist Joel Sherman, “It is hard to find a baseball official outside this organization who does not believe a Wilpon or two is impacting day-to-day baseball decisions” (NY Post, May 28).
In the end, “Alderson was supposed to bring order to chaos,” columnist Anthony Rieber wrote for his newspaper on Wednesday (Newsday, May 28). “That Alderson felt compelled to fire his hand-picked hitting coach shows all has not gone according to plan. The fans are antsy. The owners probably are, as well.”
Matthew Cerrone, Lead Writer
I am really, really uncomfortable with this alleged drama, especially at a time when I’m finally starting to see reasons for optimism, i.e., Jacob deGrom and Rafael Montero in the rotation, Jenrry Mejia doing so well as a closer, Travis d’Arnaud coming back and Noah Syndergaard being healthy and likely to be promoted in the next few weeks.
I see the good, powerful, young pitching the Mets and other evaluators have been talking about. Sure, I have no idea what is going on with the position players, but I assume a trade will eventually be made. We’re close, I think. However, just as this ship is close to realizing a lot of patience and hard work, these reports about management end up reminding me of similarly destructive, irrational behavior from previous front offices, all of which ended badly and kicked off yet another ‘rebuilding phase.’ I’m praying this isn’t about to happen again…
In other words, please, Mets, hold the doors on just a bit longer, grip the wheel, “white knuckle it,” and I truly believe we’ll start to see things come in to focus before the end of the year. I hope I’m right. We’ll find out soon enough…