Is It Check-Out Time For Hojo?

An article by posted on June 28, 2009
I cant recall a season where our Mets have been so decimated by injuries. I know that we should actually consider ourselves lucky in many ways. We’ve last 40% of our starting staff along with our newly acquired set-up man. David Wright has been forced into the role of trying to carry this entire team on his back. The losses of Reyes, Delgado and Beltran have made Wright the last man standing. In spite of all of this, plus numerous costly errors and base running blunders all year, we have somehow managed to stay within striking distance. We are only a game and a half behind the Phillies and just two and a half out of the wild-card. (Yes, it’s June and I’m watching that.)
So, with all this being said, why do I feel like I want to throw my arms in the air and throw my Mets hat against the wall?

Lets face facts. These last 2 games we’ve had our head handed to us on a plate. Had we lost these 2 games to the Indians or the Rangers, okay, fine. But it always stings more when it’s ‘that’ team. Losing 2 games in our home to ‘that’ team is bad enough. But getting our butts kicked makes it worse. We’ve been outscored 14-1 and out-hit 22-4. This is downright embarrassing.

In spite of the fact that we are still in this pennant race, I feel that something needs to be done. I know we have 3 of our 4 core hitters on the DL. But this team is lacking something. The expression goes, ‘You cant fire the players.’ True. And, at this point, I don’t think we can call for Jerry Manuel’s head…YET! However, maybe we need to blame someone else. Sometimes things needs to be shaken up. Someone needs to be sacrificed. Is it time to bid adieu to our hitting coach?

I am somewhat surprised that not more fans have not been calling for Hojo’s job. He was a great player and probably one of our all time best hitters in the clutch. In his day, Hojo was the guy you wanted up with the game on the line. But blame has to be placed somewhere, fairly or unfairly.

The 2009 Mets are 17th in Runs Scored, 19th in RBI’s, 24th in SLG. We are last in the entire majors in HR’s. LAST!

I don’t want to hear the excuses about the dimensions at Citi Field. I’m tired of blaming the height of the wall. I don’t want to blame a fan who leaned over a railing. And I’m really tired of listening to Jerry Manuel after our losses. I’ve seen more enthusiasm and optimism in a funeral home! Good teams adjust. This is our home park, for better or worse. And to make excuses on our own field is silly. ‘That’ other team plays in a wind tunnel. But yet, I haven’t heard their pitchers complaining about it.

We’ve played 73 games so far. The official halfway point in the season, game 81, will be played next Sunday in Philadelphia. And our offensive leaders as we approach the mid point are pitiful. Gary Sheffield leads this team with 8 Home Runs 9 homeruns now, Carlos Beltran leads with 40 RBI’s and David Wright has scored 47 runs. At this rate, these final stats for team leaders will be the lowest since 1993. That season, Jeromy Burnitz led our team with 18 HR’s and our big hitter was Ty Wigginton who led the 93 Mets with 71 RBI’s and 73 RS. We lost 103 games that year.

Just around this time last season we replaced the much maligned Willie Randolph. At first, the Mets played with fire and new found exuberance. But here we are, one year later, pointing fingers at Manuel. In all honesty will replacing Hojo make a difference? Probably not, at least not in the long term. But maybe it will shake things up. Maybe it will be the kick in the butt this team needs.

About the Author ()

A Mets fan since 1973, Rob was born in the shadow of Yankee Stadium. Luckily, his parents moved to Queens at a young age so he was not scarred by pinstripes. Currently living in Las Vegas, he writes crime fiction and mysteries.

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