Opinion: I think it could be a dramatic summer

Matthew Cerrone, Lead Writer

Late May, early June, is typically the time of year MLB teams take stock of their season. The season is roughly 30% over, and – if you’re looking to shake things up – it seems to be the time to fire the first shot.

“The hitting coach is always the first to go,” a former GM, who pays close attention to the Mets, told me this morning. “If I’m Terry Collins or Dan Warthen, I wake up extra nervous this morning.”

In other words, given conventional wisdom, and what we’ve seen from this organization before, yesterday’s firing of hitting coach Dave Hudgens makes it officially fair to wonder about the job status of Collins and his coaching staff… and maybe even Sandy Alderson, who’s contract can be up at the end of this season.


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I talk to people at all levels of the Mets, and there is a palpable disconnect that is starting to concern me. I often hear of fans, ownership, players, management, marketing and media all on different pages. I think most everyone believes the franchise is in need of structure and direction, it needs a foundation, and Alderson is right to make that happen. However, the debate about what he’s doing and how fast he’s doing it runs rampant through Citi Field. It gets louder after every home stand. It’s actually starting to remind me of the final year or two of the Steve Phillips Era, when patience grew thin, irrationality took over and it all came crashing to the ground… only to give birth to yet another boom-and-bust cycle that also came crashing to the ground.

The Mets need to be mindful of the calendar. If this current attempt to rebuild doesn’t work, and it ends up being another five to 10 years of rebuilding the rebuilding, they may end up alienating an entire generation fans, all of whom are desperate to see this team be fun again. The thing is, today’s fan doesn’t have to deal with this. It’s too easy to root for other teams, in other cities, watch every game, follow specific players or, sadly, not watch baseball at all. There is no shortage of less expensive entertainment at every person’s finger tips.

I respect and admire Alderson’s focus and vision. I get the impression from people who know him that he’s mostly immune to the frenzy around him. However, he wants to get this right and, firing his friend, Dave Hudgens, may be an indication he’s feeling more pressure to win now than I realize.

Collins just signed a contract extension at the end of last season. The organization is littered with Alderson’s guys, from top to bottom. I find it hard to believe Hudgens is a precursor to more layoffs and a total change in direction. However, now that Hudgens is gone, and this team is looking at maybe another losing season, I’m starting to think anything is possible…




390 comments
Bryan McEntee
Bryan McEntee

This would be the time to trade Wright for 3-4 good prospects.

Frank Kajtazi
Frank Kajtazi

Dramatic?More like TRAUMATIC to me,lots of close game loses,bad late game decisions by Terry,and 0 offense!

Christopher Masiello
Christopher Masiello

Hudgens was the face of the problem and had to go, but he's far from the source. A fish rots from the head down.

I would love to know just how much of this one-size-fits-all approach to hitting was his idea and how much was Sandy's. Did he convince management to use it - or did they tell him to implement it?

Same goes for Terry. He IS an awful manager, but how many of the awful line ups and substitutions are his ideas and how many of them is he forced to use? When you take a "not too bright" guy and ask him to try to be someone he's not, that's a recipe for spectacular failure.

My dream progression:

Bud retires> Wilpons are forced to sell> Sandy gets fired> Terry gets replaced> 60% of this roster is GONE! > Real Major Leaguers are Hired.


dabo
dabo

Goodbye Terry dont let the door hit you!  Bad decisions, bad management = bring in Wally!

wilpondscm
wilpondscm

the wilpons are scum


their enablers and apologists may be worse (matt)


our passion is jeffies little toy to destroy. awesome.


SELL THE TEAM. 


anyone who writes about the mets as a fan should say nothing else. just SELL THE TEAM. take your "riding  shotugn with whomever" and your optimistic naive or deceptive angles and go screw.



Boycott! ticket buyers are the enemy,




Sean Andrew Ingram
Sean Andrew Ingram

I blame the Wilpons and Selig most for the state of the Mets. If you are going to have a payroll this low in NY along with a losing record you should not be allowed to own a MLB team in NYC. Plain and simple. And the fact that the reason payroll is so low because the Wilpons were involved in one of the biggest ponzi schemes / frauds should be criminal.

Anderson was brought in to rebuild the Mets from the bottom up, which sometimes can take up to 20 years. He is doing what they hired him for. But to me his biggest mistake was not trading Reyes in 2011 if you KNEW that the Wilpons were not gonna allow you to meet his contract demands. We got Kevin Plawecki as a supplemental draft pick, which could be good, but could've gotten a boatload of prospects in a trade instead. 

C.K. Dexter Haven
C.K. Dexter Haven

Just watching MLB Now on MLB network...Did the Mets save $700K (or so) by cutting Valverde yesterday...ONE day before his contract became guaranteed, and could that POSSIBLY have been their main motivation?  As opposed to, you know, his TERRIBLY pitching?

sayhey24
sayhey24

Matt - I have to disagree on some level. I do not agree wholly with Sandys vision and do not like his execution. New York is unlike any other sports market. It is essentially unrealistic to build completely from within or expect middle average players to excel in this city. The pressures of playing in this city are too much for the average player to tolerate and succeed in. You need supremely confident and skilled players which are hard enough to find outside of the farm system, forget about finding even 5 of them at one time within your farm system. Minor league success does not equate nearly as well in New York as it does in other cities. To this end, we have had only 3 or 4 position players IN OUR HISTORY that came through our farm system and were perennial all stars while they were on our team. Wright, Reyes and then you have to go all the way back to Straw. We had the absolute best farm system in baseball in the early and mid 80s but only a few panned out for us. The reason was not lack of talent. It was lack of intestinal fortitude. Our best seasons occurred when we had a mix of strong minded vets from outside of the organization combined with some farm system peices. If Sandy had real vision, he would have seen this long ago.

dave42
dave42

Sandy has done a good job of ridding payroll and beefing up the minors without saddling the Mets with payroll albatrosses.  The two major exceptions are Reyes, whose injury short-circuited any attempt to trade him, if that was even in the cards, and Granderson, who - best-case - looks like we might get 2 passable years from him out of four (if we get that many).  The big blunder this off-season, I think, was passing on Jose Abreu.


Where do we go from here?  Duda, Young, Young and Tejada should all be gone.  Bobby Abreu should be traded as soon as we get a live offer.  Colon too.  D'Arnaud, Flores, Lagares, Campbell and/or Dykstra should play every day.  Bring Plawecki up to Vegas, bring Nimmo up to Bingo.  I'd love to unload Granderson too, but I think we're stuck with him for two more seasons. 


I think, with Mejia, Familia, Black, Edgin and Torres we have a good bullpen.  I know we have a good starting rotation with more guys on the way.


It is funny that Hudgens takes the blame for this team not hitting because the only two guys massively underperforming vs last year are Wright and Granderson.  That falls on the GM.  The team he put together was problematic from the start. 


I don't know how you fix this team now.  We still need a left fielder, a shortstop and a lead-off hitter (Lagares maybe?).  We don't seem to have any of those in-house above St. Lucie. 

Rimo Chaloney
Rimo Chaloney

There IS a disconnect with this organization and it's fans. And it starts with the Dodgers-loving owner Fred Wilpon, who ironically has a fraction of the talent that "his" Dodgers have because he is broke.


There aren't many more hated owners in sports by their own fanbase than the Wilpons.  We want them to sell the freaking team and pass it onto someone who can treat this team as a NYC team SHOULD be treated.  Not with budget players and zero to few stars - but with actual talent and stars that do have to get a lot of $$$.  But the Wilpons won't and can't do that.  The Wilpons belong in Kansas City or Oakland, not in the Big Apple.

mi
mi

"i think lucas is going to be a hell of a player"-dave hudgens


haha really? we couldnt get a pitching machine for him in the offseason, im sure theres alot of people out there that agree....so long idiot

ken1010
ken1010

"A dramatic summer" ought to mean a pennant race.  1973 was the most dramatic summer ever, coming from last place in August to win the division a day after the season ended.  

This is just a depressing summer for Mets fans.  Sandy has made a lot of mistakes.  Whether he is the one to fine tune it and fix it, or whether we need somebody different will be up to Fred and Jeff Wilpon.  50/50 whether they make the right decision.

Kevin G Gnappor
Kevin G Gnappor

For once, im agreeing with Michael Kay right now. Wholeheartedly agree about the wilpons and their thin skins

metstones
metstones

Cerrone's post from may 8th.

Look, if you want Mets hitting Dave Hudgens fired, give it up. It’s not going to happen, nor should it. He’s Sandy Alderson’s guy, and it is Sandy’s hitting philosophy that Hudgens is working to implement through the entire organization.

They’re not going to abandon it because they had a difficult time for three days in Miami, against what is maybe the best pitching staff in baseball.

It has been 23 innings since the Mets last scored a run.

It was just four days ago, leaving Colorado, that they were being praised for scoring the sixth-most runs in the National League. Today, they are ninth, following three straight losses to the Marlins.

“It’s a whole different environment in Colorado than it is (at Marlins Park),” Hudgens said Wednesday (ESPN, May 8). “We hit some balls hard today, squared some balls up. Their pitching is really good.”

metsjetsdu
metsjetsdu

Sounds like Hudgens did absolutely nothing, also sounds like he doesn't think teams really need a hitting coach. Blaming fans and talking about Keith at all just shows he needed to go. He was bringing absolutely nothing to the table. 

Mark Rakentine
Mark Rakentine

I was never for hiring TC. I also know that many fans give him a pass because there is something to be said for the talent level of the roster the last 3 years. BUT, the fact remains that he is a terrible in game manager and can't create a lineup after all of this time. The biggest issue though, is that he is indeed the face of this inept, losing culture. For that reason alone, he needs to be fired, ASAP.

Albert E Lewis
Albert E Lewis

If college SS Trea Turner is still there at 10 the Mets better take him.

johnsec125
johnsec125

do the wilpons have anything to say about anything?

Mike Garrison
Mike Garrison

Mejia took over Mets Twitter for Q & A, here are two gems...


"Who was your favorite baseball team growing up?" -   Mejia: "No"


"What are your pregame rituals?" - Mejia: "No"



Mark Rakentine
Mark Rakentine

Let me say this, I've tried for years to keep my son interested in MLB and the Mets. We live in VA. and I would drive us up every year for at least one game...and we would always catch the Mets when they would play in DC. I would buy him jerseys, hats and get the MLB TV package, and for a good while he was really into it. After the last few years, and now at age 18 he has seen what this organization is all about and has lost interest. How long is a HS kid going to wear a jersey to school and then have to constantly hear crap about it and his team...? Especially if it's true? The Wilpons really are alienating a generation of young fans and it pis**es me off! 

mets1962
mets1962

Mets need to find out if any of their high minor players are worth going forward with. Then Mets older players namely Wright and Murphy are the only consistent players. The rest aren't. Obviously have to keep Granderson but both Youngs, Abreu (who has played well but 40 YR), Duda, really should be given no playing time. Tejata has proven not to be a major league SS. Go somewhere else. For the time being, find a SS, move Murphy to 1B, Flores 2b, Campbell LF and let them play the next 30 games. See where you are after that..

Jimmy Passadino
Jimmy Passadino

They insulted us with this lame payroll and talent, now they insult us for being passionate.

That will get the masses in your park boys, ridicule the paying customers.

Oh and firing Terry mid season won't make Chris Young into Nelson Cruz for example.

Albert E Lewis
Albert E Lewis

If they want fans at games ..PUT A WNNER ON THE FIELD!

qualcomm
qualcomm

Sandy doesn't want this to be the huge black hole in his resume.  Maybe he finally figured out he can't control the fight between the owners and whatever is left of the fanbase? 

Kneel before Zod Mr. Alderson... we, the Met fan are the ones who can save your job.  Give us what we want.  We want to win, right away. No more lies and no more treating us like we're irrelevant.

Get rid of the silly manager and bring in someone with stones, bring in NY players... have the guts to give up control voluntarily and build a winning NY team. 

You can't beat us.

Albert E Lewis
Albert E Lewis

Hudgens is gone..whos next? This happening shot down Matts vision of no way Hudgens will be gone....whos next Warthen or Terry?

Mark Rakentine
Mark Rakentine

@Sean Andrew Ingram ...The Wilpons are in Selig's Good Ole Boys club, so there are no ramifications for being criminals. And they are not broke, as they need you to believe. Over the last five years the Wilpon/Katz group has been actively investing and growing their Real Estate holdings by over 100 million ...instead of investing in the Mets.....another travesty conveniently overlooked by the Selig administration.

dave42
dave42

@Rimo Chaloney  I will say this - I don't want a bunch of other teams' aging stars.  If I wanted that, I'd be rooting for that other team from the Bronx.  I wanted to keep Reyes here the rest of his career (or at least his next full contract) because he is a Met.  I wanted Abreu here (Jose) because he wouldn't have cost anything but money (no picks, prospects, international signing pool $) and he had/has such huge upside vs the contract.  I love the homegrown guys and I think / know we could have pieced together a good competitive winning team with Abreu, Marlon Byrd, a trade for a real major league shortstop (from Reyes to Gregorius, depending on cost).


One of the things I'd make a priority would be to sign our "keepers" to long-term extensions.  Harvey, Wheeler, Gee - maybe Mejia.  I guess that's about it right now.  You can compete on a budget of $80mil if you're smart.  Granderson, Colon, CYoung, Francisco - the big contracts Sandy has handed out have not been smart. 


He has been good at the little things - getting Byrd, Hawkins, Bobby Abreu (as a pinch-hitter/DH not a starting OF), Matsuzaka, and the trading of veterans for prospects.  To be determined is how he's done on the drafts.  Nimmo looks good so far.  Plawecki too.  Given the short time frame (draft-wise) and their focus on high school players recently, it is early yet, but Dom Smith is the only other one that you say "he looks good so far" among everyday players.

Rimo Chaloney
Rimo Chaloney

@mi  Well, next to Hudgens own batting career, Duda IS a helluva player.

Kevin G Gnappor
Kevin G Gnappor

@ken1010 its all bad management, and it starts at the top. The wilpons have made a ford like business model in new york. Someone needs to take over to right the ship. They need a new boss.

dave42
dave42

@Albert E Lewis  he looks like he'd fill two needs for the Mets and be a guy who could get to NY in a year or two.  I'm in.

qualcomm
qualcomm

@Mike Garrison hahaha Lovin' me some Soul Glo Mejia.  I hope nobody catches wind that we all like him; ownership will make sure the buttdialer neuters him. 

ken1010
ken1010

@Mark Rakentine I agree completely.  My son, who is 21, is already lost to the Mets.  One playoff appearance in more than 10 years, and the last five years of losing records, with no end in sight, has certainly shrunk the future fan base.

Doubleday
Doubleday

@qualcomm I think you hit the nail on the head - there is baseball, and there is New York baseball.  They are not exactly the same.  Sandy Alderson is building a great ball club for Kansas City, or Cincinnati.  He doesn't know how to build a New York club.

dave42
dave42

@Albert E Lewis  Terry or both at once, but Terry I think.  Then they can bring up Backman so he and Teufel can platoon as managers.

qualcomm
qualcomm

@Albert E Lewis Nobody in the entire organization, from ownership to the ushers, deserves to be here other than Lagares, Teufel, Wright, Murphy, the TV broadcasters and a few of the arms... so they might as well close their eyes and point/ draw straws.  

qualcomm
qualcomm

@Doubleday Right on. This is the same thing as the goofballs hiring someone from out of town to be a PR guru with a city full of the best talent in the world who'd love to help.  It's getting someone worse on purpose so you're not questioned. 

Hell, I'd hire Maggie Wiggin to run PR before anyone out of state.

Albert E Lewis
Albert E Lewis

@qualcomm Hopefully Syndergaard isn't hurt badly but if he is..we have to move on and find more talent cant stand here crying over Thor.

Doubleday
Doubleday

@qualcomm @Doubleday NY Ball goes like this:  Worship the CF and the SS, strong pitching, TIMELY hitting, and to heck with SABRmetrics and statistics.  You play hard, play to win, and EXPECT to win every game.

We currently have a team full of guys with twice the talent of a Bobby Pfiel or a Denny Doyle, yet Pfiel and Doyle were WS heroes while these guys can't finish a game.

qualcomm
qualcomm

@Albert E Lewis if he's hurt to a TJ extent, that'll be very very damaging to an already badly hurt fan base.  That and any Harvey setback might do irreversible damage to moral. 

I really hope he's ok, for his sake and ours.