As difficult as it is to criticize the Mets because my uncle’s a big fan of the team, they just provide so many opportunities it’s hard to lay off. When it’s not K-Rod or Johan running into off-field problems, it’s the team’s offensive issues that provides the humor. The Mets actually have a talented lineup, but between Jason Bay’s concussion, Carlos Beltran’s knee, and Jose Reyes’ thyroid, their players either are not at full strength, underachieving, or both.
The Mets took two of three from the Pirates over the weekend to get to .500 for the season, but entering the series opener on Friday, they went seven straight games without scoring more than three runs. Manager Jerry Manuel rightfully termed the offense “pathetic,” and the team-wide slump prompted hitting coach Howard Johnson to call a meeting prior to Friday’s game.
According to the New York Daily News, HoJo “harshly criticized his hitters for their recent performances and pregame card-playing.” HoJo acknowledged that the tone of the meeting was out of character and that his hotels were doing well (just checking to see if you were reading carefully). The team went out and smashed 15 hits on Friday night in a 7-2 win and then won 5-1 on Saturday in a rain-shortened game.
David Wright downplayed the meeting’s effect, but I think it worked. As for the Mets’ offensive problems, well, it’s hard to score runs when only Wright, Reyes, and Pagan are hitting. This is an issue of the players not producing, but it’s also the responsibility of the coaches to get the most from their players.
New York Mets hitting coach Howard Johnson calls meeting, rips into Mets players [New York Daily News]