Fair or not, HoJo on hot seat.

Eyes on HoJo

Eyes on HoJo

Nothing new on the coaching front. Jerry Manuel thinks early next week his staff should be finalized.

On the hot seat is Howard Johnson, who said at the end of the season he believed the club had the right pieces.

Maybe they do, but something is missing, and it’s not all Johnson’s fault.

These are major leaguers and they shouldn’t have to “buy into’’ anything. They should know how to work a count and advance a runner.

It’s an organizational thing, and on the major league level, that’s the manager. We see guys swinging at garbage all the time, and in the case of Jose Reyes, where’s the encouragement to take the walk?

All I hear was they don’t want to take away his aggressiveness. Well, if Reyes walked 100 times and bunted for hits more, he’d be devastating offensively.

There’s more.

Carlos Beltran should steal more. … It wouldn’t kill Carlos Delgado to go to left against the shift. … Perhaps the batting order is flawed. Maybe Reyes shouldn’t be leading off. … David Wright was way too impatient this year.

There are a lot of ways to improve the offense having nothing to do with firing Johnson, but, that’s not how the game is played.

13 thoughts on “Fair or not, HoJo on hot seat.

  1. We’ve seen what good things happen when Delgado went to left against the shift.

    He started to get hot and pump up numbers when he was going to all fields. He can do it. When you look at September, while he could still be considered hot, he stopped going to left and you saw his production drop from the scorching August pace.

    Reyes will never be what he’s been hyped to be because he doesn’t buy into “the system”. He doesn’t like to bunt for hits and take the walk. He looks like he’s trying to hit over the fence at every at bat. The doubles and singles are great rally starters. With his speed, bunts and walks are as good as pure singles. He’ll end up on second anyway.

    Isn’t it the job of the hitting coach to temper impatience at the plate, instill the “go to left to the shift” permanent mentality, etc.?

    Hojo was a decent hitter in his time. As a hitting coach I’m not all that impressed. Hitting coaches are supposed to teach things like situational hitting. The Mets clearly overslept on that class day.

  2. Hojo = Omar’s Scapegoat for 2007

    Omar is a joke.

    You need PLAYERS to execute that style of play.

    Omar = not accountable
    Wilpons = not accountable
    Jerry = not accountable
    Players = not accountable
    Aguayo = lousy 3B coach. Not accountable.
    Alomar Jr = figure head/bench coach. not accountable
    Hojo = Yeah, let’s blame HIM.

  3. It seems to me that Hojo is on the hot seat because the Mets immediately signed Manuel and Omar to extensions taking both off the griddle.

    I’m not a big believer in hitting coaches. Rick Down was really good and was scapegoated. Now the same will happen for Hojo based on what…being second in the NL in runs?

    Beltran doesn’t steal because he doesn’t want to get caught. That hasn’t changed since 2005. Delgado isn’t changing for anyone. Look at what he did to Willie at the end when he batted him 7th then wanted to bench him.

    Reyes needs to walk more, but I also like him to be aggressive. He is a great 1st ball, fastball hitter: career .351avg. I thought Down had a good relationship with Reyes.

    I have no problem blaming Hojo for anything tied to Wright since both claim to be tied at the hip. Wright did have more RBI this year than any Mets player in history (tied with Piazza)

    I’m fine with Hojo leaving, but he’s definately a scapegoat if it happens.

  4. I disagree about Wright. I like how he would take a walk. Both him and Beltran were the most patient guys on our team. Sometimes I wish it would wear off on others, but at this point, I doubt it.

  5. Geoff: Wright would take a walk, but when he gets in a funk he would chase pitches off the outside corner. … Fundamentally, he tells me when he’s going wrong he starts to lunge at pitches. That’s what I meant by patient. I should have been clearer.-JD

  6. Changes are going to be made to the coaching staff and the 25 man roster. Either way the players still need to play the game and make the plays. They all know the fundamentals of the game or they would have never made it to this point. No matter how good a coach is if the players dont buy in to his philopshy they wont excute. HOJO was a good enough hitting coach when they turned around the season but when they fall short because they cant get a runner in form third and no one out its his fault.

    Call me carzy but coaching not the problem. They are easy to blame and change but its all about the players and IMO if major changes are not made to the roster we will be having the same conversation next year.

    Will ownership give Omar the funds to improve or will they just put a band aid on it.

  7. I’ve always been a believer that a HC is far less important than a PC, and that ML players who don’t want to change their approach aren’t going to.

    That said, if a manager wants a different approach, AND the HC is in tune with that, then the question comes up as to which players have the ability to change vs those that have the desire.

    David Wright, who calls Hojo his “guru”, used to be a tough out, especially in clutch situations and with two strikes. He would lay off bad pitches, and shorten his swing when the long ball wasn’t called for. The critical AB in the game where Murphy was on 3rd with none out was a microcosm of David’s more recent approach. After going to a favorable count, he swung for the fences on one bad pitch, then with full count swung wildly at ball four.

    This has become more of a pattern for David. Jose, while becoming a better hitter, needs to keep the ball in play and use the bunt, especially when the 1Bman is playing deep.

    Both players are young, part of the core, and have reputations for being amenable to coaching. We know the manager wants a new approach. If Hojo is in accord, the question becomes one of why the players are not.
    I’m sure Jerry knows what Hojo is preaching and what the players’ response is. And I’d go by his opinion as to where the fault lies. Omar voiced his opinion that scoring 5 runs in 3 games on the final weekend was “a disgrace”, and I doubt he’d overrule Jerry if Jerry wants a change.

    IMO we’ll know the answer within a week.

  8. “If Hojo is in accord, the question becomes one of why the players are not.”

    Simple. The PLAYERS are not capable of playing in this style. This team needs players who can and are willing to play “situational baseball”, as opposed to trying to hit 7 run homers with a man on third and less than two out…

  9. Wright was perfectly capable of playing in this style for years. Has he lost the ability? If so, why?

    Is Reyes incapable of learning how to use the bunt effectively, even as Endy has demonstrated it many times?

    Murphy, without input from Hojo, came to the Mets demonstrating this ability as soon as he got here.

    Beltran has repeatedly shown the ability to hit to all fields, and to bunt (though at times inappropriately).

    Delgado’s success this year came when he started going with the pitch, especially with 2 strikes, instead of trying to pull everything. If this was Hojo’s idea, he deserves credit for it.

    Church, before Concossion 2, was certainly doing this.

    Castillo had an awful year in every way, but prior to ’08 he was very successful in all aspects of “small ball”. How else could he be a career .300 hitter with so little power?

    Having seen all the above, I refuse to believe the players aren’t capable of doing what Jerry wants.

    The question is why they aren’t, and the answer to that question is what will determine Hojo’s fate and the fate of those players who simply won’t even though they can.

  10. I think that in order to make the players get with the program you need to have players to replace them.

    Case in point, when Delgado was sat we saw Tatis. If you sit Jose will we play Easley there? You need a viable bench. They don’t have to be as good just good enough.

    It’s a team game. If you play fundamental and make the right decisions you can win.

    In college I was on an intramural soccer team where everyone but me was essentially on the varsity team. We lost to the ‘americans’ because we were selfish not because ‘they’ were better – individually that is.