- Buster Olney, Senior Writer, ESPN The Magazine
There has been a lot of energy expended in discussion of the New York Mets' collective hitting approach under the newly ex-hitting coach Dave Hudgens, about whether the hitters' hunt for strikes ultimately turned them into pitchers' prey. Through Monday evening and Tuesday, Hudgens answered his phone when reporters and radio producers called, and he fielded questions about whether the hitters were too patient, whether the booing of the home fans psychologically impacted the players.
It feels like something out of "Wag The Dog," in which a movie producer generates a drama to distract the attention of the public away from a presidential scandal, from a larger truth. And in this case, the truth is the Mets don't have a lot of good hitters. David Wright is an All-Star and a lifetime .300 hitter, and beyond that the Mets are fielding complementary hitters, at best.
Daniel Murphy is batting .313, but he doesn't hit for power and never has. Curtis Granderson sometimes hits for power, but has a career average of .259. Chris Young has had success in the past, but he batted .200 for Oakland last season; there's a reason why the Mets were able to sign him on a one-year deal. Juan Lagares is a talented defender with six homers in 528 at-bats in the big leagues. Lucas Duda is big and powerful and at 28 years old, still looking to establish himself in the big leagues.
The mystery shouldn't be about whether the hitting coach has failed in his work. The mystery is why anybody is wondering why the Mets don't have a good offense.