The great thing in sports about having a first or last name that has two “o’s” next to each other or a “u” is that fans love cheering the name, even though it sounds like the player is getting booed.
Carlos Boozer of the Chicago Bulls, Mets first base coach Mookie Wilson, Mets farmhand Lucas Duda and scores of others have enjoyed this luxury.
When the Mets signed Chin-lung Hu this offseason, they added another player who fits this mold.
For the Los Angeles Dodgers, Hu had never been more than a backup infielder, since he struggled offensively. He did, however, play a terrific defensive shortstop.
While many fans questioned this signing, I was one of the few who thought it was great (at the time). Hu could provide strong defense late in games, especially if Daniel Murphy was going to receive the bulk of the playing time at second base.
If he could just do an adequate job with the bat, Hu would hear his name chanted loudly every time he took the field.
Well, Hu has been hearing a similar chant lately, but it’s not the customary “Hu” sound. He’s been getting booed for his extremely poor performance.
Hu has only one hit in 18 at-bats, which translates to an .056 batting average. Even worse, of these 18 at-bats, Hu has struck out a whopping 11 times.
Being a reserve player has to be a tough task offensively. You sit around all game and then are expected to produce, usually in a tight situation.
Hu did have that clutch sacrifice fly in Washington a few weeks ago, but other than that his Mets tenure has been lackluster to say the least.
While he has been solid defensively, there are other players out there who are just as good with the glove and can also handle the bat better.
How patient will the Mets be with Hu? “Who” do they have to replace him?
It’s not like he’s one of the regulars struggling this much, so if he keeps this up, he’ll be sent packing very soon. The Mets have already shown that they have a quick leash with underperforming players like Brad Emaus and Blaine Boyer).
The one thing I will miss about Hu is the puns that Keith Hernandez and Howie Rose constantly reference during the Mets television and radio broadcast. That never gets old!
But what’s getting old fast is Hu’s terrible play.
Follow me on Twitter @JMMancari.