May 14

Reyes and Wright

Did losing two of three from the Braves take the shine off of winning seven straight? It appears so, but not because they lost but by how they lost. Same old stuff. Sloppy baserunning and not hitting with runners in scoring position.

A lot of the running mistakes were by Jose Reyes, who, because of his speed, is blasted one way or another. Reyes can’t win. He either is blasted for being thrown out at third with the play ahead of him or for not trying for third as in yesterday’s game.

By his own admission, Reyes ran with his head down on the first play and promised he wouldn’t do it again. He didn’t have a chance to be thrown out yesterday because he glided into second after styling out of the batter’s box. Maybe Reyes could have made it, but for sure if he learned from his previous mistake and was running hard with his head up he would have seen the play in front of him and known if he had a chance.

The crime is in loafing out of the box because you never know. With Reyes’ speed, sometimes he can force a bad throw. That’s also part of the equation. Rightly or wrongly, Reyes is as fault because of the perception of not hustling.

On running to third on the ball hit to shortstop, well, that was just a dumb play.

The problem with Reyes is because of his talent and physical gifts there are lofty expectations. Some of these expectations are unfair, but Reyes can take the heat off by hustling at all times.

Speaking of hustling at all times, I’ve noticed what a few of you have commented on concerning David Wright. He’s been known to take a routine play off and not run hard, and eventually it will come back to bite him.

Oct 07

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.